Forget shells, Broadwater Beach coughs up $2.4m catamaran wreck
THE vast expanse of Pacific Ocean fronting Broadwater Beach is perfect fossicking for Wardell beach-goers Steve and Julie Cooper.
But over the weekend they found much more than they could carry home: The cabin roof of what is likely to be the $2.4 million luxury catamaran Catanova.
There’s not much to show for it now – just a pad of white fibreglass and a bit of broken electronic gear mounted on its top.
Steve said his riverfront home is full of treasures from this beautiful stretch of sand and now, thanks to the Catanova, there will be a little bit more.
“We found a fibreglass bench covered in a fine leather cushion,” he said.
“I wanted to leave it on the beach but my wife Julie said, ‘let’s take it home!’ We think it probably comes from the wreck too.”
The Catanova sunk in 62 metres of water on January 21, about 14 nautical miles south-east of the Gold Coast Seaway.
The 16.4 metre long motorised vessel sank stern-first in calm waters after a fishing expedition went wrong.
At the time, water police officer Senior Constable Cameron Bourke said seven men were aboard the twin-engine Power Cat when one of the engines failed. On closer inspection they found water pouring into one of the hulls. The crew radioed for help. The second motor failed and then the boat began to sink.
By the time water police arrived, only a couple of metres of bow protruded from the blue ocean. One week later, Evans Head charter boat skipper Brody Aleckson reported what was probably the same item to the coast guard.
He was concerned about a large, bright white cabin top drifting near the North Ground, about three nautical miles east of the Evans River bar. In response, the Evans Head coast guard carried out a grid-search to make sure there were no people floating in a life raft.
Brody described his found object as being 3.5m long and 2m wide, with a stainless bar running across the cabin top, holding a large satellite dome and radar, plus aerials and a spotlight.
Keen to retrieve some of the valuable gear, he tried to get a rope around the floating cabin top and tow it home, but the plan did not work.
“Those Inmarsat domes are worth $10,000,” he said. “And the aerials would have been alright even after being in the water.”