Boat sinks 3 times in 6 weeks
SAILOR Dave Jones was cursing his namesake after his boat sank for the third time in six weeks — this time leaving him clinging to rocks in the Burnett River overnight.
Mr Jones ran into difficulties on Saturday evening when his boat rammed into rocks near the mouth of the river at Burnett Heads.
“I don’t know what happened exactly,” Mr Jones said yesterday.
“I went to sleep and when I woke up the boat was on the rocks and it was half under water.”
Without an Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), his plight went unnoticed and Mr Jones was forced to hang onto the rocks to avoid a watery fate.
After spending a cold, damp night trying to stay out of the river, he was finally noticed by a passing fisherman who took him to shore at Strathdees boat ramp about 1pm on Sunday — after more than 18 hours partially submerged.
“He was just going down the river and could see I was in trouble — I’m grateful because I wouldn’t have been able to get off the rocks without him,” Mr Jones said of his rescuer.
He was taken to Bundaberg Hospital where he was treated for exposure, and stayed overnight on Sunday.
As the NewsMail reported in December, Mr Jones lost nearly everything he owned when the 4.5m boat went down the first time.
And after its third soggy mishap, he has been left with nothing — all his clothes and utensils are now at the bottom of the drink.
Without identification, Mr Jones even had trouble getting his money from the bank yesterday, and was helped out by the Salvation Army, who donated some dry clothes.
He said he would stay with friends until his boat could be fixed or other accommodation was found.
But the hapless boatie was more worried about his best mate than his own tricky situation.
“My dog, Ranningirl, wasn’t there when I woke up, and she normally sits up on the bow,” he said.
“I think she’s swum to land, and she’ll turn up at someone’s door in the next couple of days.”
The $800 vessel was also rescued on Sunday, and is on dry land at Strathdees boat ramp while Mr Jones assesses the damage.
“It’s been a real disaster, that boat — I never should have bought it,” Mr Jones said.
“I’d like to burn it myself, but it’s too wet,” he joked.
Anyone who finds Mr Jones’s four-month old female white Maremma pup can call the NewsMail on 4153 8513.