THE refloating of historic paddle boat Avoca hit a snag yesterday, when salvage work was put on hold until mid-August.
NSW Maritime officials and salvage experts agreed to halt the lifting of the 137-year-old vessel until Lock 11 weir works finished and the river level rose again.
When Sunraysia Daily arrived at the salvage site opposite Jaycee Park about 3pm yesterday, two NSW Maritime officials and salvage operator Danatec Resources director Daniel Forbes-Wilson were in discussion about the final lifting phase for the Avoca.
“We were going to put extra gear underneath the boat to lift it up further,” Danatec Resources’ Naomi Forbes-Wilson said.
“But it has just been decided that there is no point lifting any further until such time as we can take it out of the river because, once we lift it up, if there are holes and so forth in the hull, we’ve got to maintain the pumps and keep them going flat-out.
“So it’s been agreed, what’s the point until we can get the boat out of the river.
“It is a case now of waiting until the water level comes back up in a few weeks after the weir works.”
The Avoca was “about five feet away from floating of its own devices”, she said.
“The bottom storey is still partly submerged, but structurally, the boat’s come up OK,” Ms Forbes-Wilson said.
Delayed: The salvage of the Avoca has stalled while RMS assesses the river. Picture: Mitch Rodd
However, as the above picture shows, there has been extensive damage to the paddle, where the boat collapsed on when it sank three months ago.
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