Rescue crews work to recover the overturned trimaran. Photo: Rob Price, Brisbane Coast Guard.
FROM BRISBANE COAST GUARD
A freak wind gust in the bay turned a pleasant afternoon of sailing into a terrifying ordeal for a trimaran owner recently. The owner was preparing his vessel to enter the Manly Harbour leads when a wind gust over-turned his normally very stable trimaran, breaking the mast and spearing the jib arm into the cabin.
The sailor was quickly recovered from the water, but due to the rough weather the Brisbane Coast Guard crews were initially unable to right the vessel.
“The vessel was in reasonably shallow water near the coast, so the mast was stuck in the mud,” explained Coast Guard skipper Geoff Stanhope. “Then we needed to collapse one of the outriggers so we could roll the boat the right way up.”
Complicating the recovery option, the Coast Guard team were receiving multiple calls for help as the wind picked up during the day. At one stage extra crews were mobilised, and the trimaran was left to float overturned while higher priority taskings were underway.
“We really appreciate members of the public who called to notify us of the upturned boat throughout the day,” Geoff added, “It’s great to see mariners looking out for each other”.
Coast Guard crews continued the recovery the following day, and in much calmer weather the team were able to right the boat and tow it into harbour. The owner was relieved that his boat was salvaged. He cautioned other skippers to remain vigilant in windy conditions, and added that even close to harbour unexpected conditions can catch people out.