Geoff Potter

Uninsured sunken yacht retrieved from Noosa Bar

IT WAS anything but plain sailing for a Clayton's Towing crew called to the Noosa River bar today to retrieve a sunken yacht which came to grief Monday evening after sailing from Mexico.

The vessel made the hardest of landfalls for the 35 foot Beneteau called Priority which may have misjudged the tides and the narrow entrance and Coast Guard Noosa believes the keel went through the hull of the uninsured vessel.

All crew were able to leave the vessel without injury.

The coast guard had been called out last evening but was unable to pull the monohull off the sand at it reportedly sunk about 6.30am today.

The vessel was still visible at high tide and was buoyed to show its location pending another inspection at today's low tide.

"Setting sail from Mexico the 35 ft Beneteau spent a month sailing to Noosa only to come to grief yesterday evening when only 30 mins from home, the yacht was not insured," the coast guard Facebook post said.

Towing boss Mike Clayton said the land-based salvage was completed shortly before 1pm.

Geoff Potter

"It's been moved up to the rock wall and we're organising a crane to lift it out in the morning on to one of our trucks.

"It was a little bit tricky to get a strong point to hang on to," he said.

Noosa local surfer and experienced sailor Robert Cleveland witnessed the grounding from the Noosa North Shore and said "it was not the bar's fault".

"It's not  treacherous, the channel moves, " Mr Cleveland said.

He said just before dark yesterday he saw the monohull coming across at the wrong time of the tide.

"It was about 36 foot and they draw at least four feet of water," said Mr Cleveland who said the skipper claimed to have sailed from Mexico.

"There was another guy with me and we were saying 'you're got to be kidding, this isn't going to happen'."

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