Abandoned yacht washes up at Wooli
BORDER Force and NSW Water Police will inspect a barnacle-encrusted yacht hull washed up on Wooli Beach in the past 24 hours.
The Northern Rivers Marine Rescue regional controller Steve Reading said the yacht, which was abandoned after it set sail from Noumea more than nine months ago, was partially buried on the beach.
"It's getting a fair smashing from the waves right now," he said. "But the hull still looks in pretty good shape."
He said Wooli residents had spotted the yacht on the beach this morning.
Mr Reading said Border Force needed to check the abandoned 11-metre vessel because it has not cleared customs and is still subject to quarantine restrictions.
"The owner has, after he was rescued, but the boat technically has not been cleared," he said.
Mr Reading said the owner of the vessel has been notified it is on the beach.
"He's coming down tomorrow or the day after to have a look at it," he said.
"He will have to get it off the beach. The beach is part of a marine park, so he'll need to have it moved."
He said the yacht had been washing around the Coral and Tasman seas for at least eight or nine months.
"It's been in the water a while because it's covered in barnacles and marine growth.
"It was last spotted about 90 miles offshore between Smokey Cape and Lord Howe Island.
"With the low pressure system and the winds it's now been washed onto the coast here."
Mr Reading said a caller from Brunswick Head recognised the name of the boat and provided some background information about it.
"He said it was one of two boats that left Noumea," he said. "One made it here and one didn't.
"It's spent a fair bit of time going around the Coral and Tasman seas since."
He said the yacht hull appeared sound, but the masts, rigging and rudder were all gone.
"There's still some stuff lying around on the deck and wires hanging off it here and there," he said.