An old, derelict timber vessel at Bermagui was one of two vessels to removed from South Coast waterways in the past week.
The “Aragusta” was removed from its mooring at Bermagui Harbour on Tuesday, August 15 with a large crane and cut up into smaller pieces to be disposed of at the local landfill.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Illawarra and South Coast Gareth Ward said Roads and Maritime Services was forced to appoint contractors to remove the 20-metre timber vessel from the harbour after the owner allegedly failed to comply with clean up notices.
“The old timber vessel was assessed as a high risk to the environment due to its condition and also has been removed and disposed of safely,” Mr Ward said.
All the contractors used were local contractors – from Bega and Batemans Bay. Roads and Maritime was seeking to recover costs from the owners of both timber vessels, he said.
Mr Ward thanked boaters for their patience this month while the two timber vessels were removed from the waterways.
The other vessel removed was a 14-metre timber vessel that sank in Shoalhaven River near Nowra in early February after heavy rain lashed the South Coast and several attempts to compel the owner to remove the vessel failed.
Mr Ward said that the timber vessels were removed from the Shoalhaven River near Nowra and Bermagui Harbour at Bermagui to ensure the safety of the waterways.
“Maritime crews have had a busy month on the South Coast carrying out functions under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act to remove sunken vessels,” he said.
“As the regulatory authority, Roads and Maritime has taken action to remove these vessels to ensure the safety of the environment with local contractors from Batemans Bay and Bega appointed to carry out the removals.”
Regarding the Shoalhaven River vessel, while there was no indication of pollution from the sunken vessel, it was important to remove the timber boat from the water to ensure safety for other vessels and the environment, he said.
“It was a complex operation to remove the vessel from the water, with four large underwater air lift bags used to refloat the boat before a large crane was used to lift the vessel from the water. Once the vessel removed, it was demolished and disposed of safely.”