Reef cat fire has major effect on tourism trade

The Gladstone region tourism body has released a statement in the aftermath of the major fire onboard Lady Musgrave cruises catamaran "Spirit of 1770" last Wednesday.

There were 42 people on board and it was approximately 10 miles offshore from the Town of 1770 when it caught fire.

The statement reads:

The crew activated their emergency procedures and deployed the life rafts transferring all their passengers from the burning vessel to the rafts. With the assistance from the local Volunteer marine Rescue from 1770, and Gladstone, along with a fishing vessel and other small local craft, all passengers were rescued with no loss of life, or major injuries, which is a credit to the training and professionalism of the crew, and those who assisted.

Below is a statement from Lady Musgrave Cruises:

"The Clayton family has been operating a tourist cruise service to Lady Musgrave Island for over 20 years. They are a valued member of Queensland's Tourism industry and an anchor tourism business for the Gladstone Region. A boat fire is extremely rare event.

Recently Lady Musgrave Cruises installed two new engines that remain under warranty and have been serviced and maintain regularly by external expert contractors. Safety is the utmost priority for Lady Musgrave Cruises this was strongly demonstrated by the crew's actions during the event. Lady Musgrave Cruises have adhered to all of the necessary Marine Safety requirements; and they were followed with great professionalism by the crew.

Lady Musgrave Cruises is heartened by the positive responses of the passengers. There has also been an overwhelming supportive reaction from the whole community for which Lady Musgrave Cruises is immensely grateful. The Clayton family will decide in coming days about the future operations".

This incident has a major effect on the tourism trade in the local area along with the community, but it is hoped that in the coming weeks another vessel will be leased to cover their operation, until such time as a new vessel is purchased.

GAPDL are working with them, along with the rest of the community, as we endeavour to keep the profile of this amazing region on the travellers radar.

Lady Musgrave Island and Lagoon is one of the most beautiful places along the Queensland coast, visited by thousands of tourists each and every year. Here on the Southern Great Barrier Reef travellers can still access this amazing island from Bundaberg through Lady Musgrave Experience on their 25m Cat called Main Event.

The Discovery Coast has so much to offer with many other experiences, such as the multi award winning Larc, Kayaking, Paddle Boarding, surfing, fishing and many other experiences.  Plus this region caters for all levels of accommodation from camping to caravans, Back packers, through to Bed and Breakfast, self-contained units, quiet private retreats, through to 3, 4 and 4.5 star resorts. The food experience in this local community is first class with a variety of eateries, bars and hotel.

This weekend the town will come alive with the annual Captain Cook Festival which entails an art show, a re-enactment of the first landing on Friday commencing at 4.30 pm til 8 pm and massive concerts fireworks and markets over the weekend.

GAPDL encourage all our locals and visitors to consider visiting this region and support the community by staying there for a few days.

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