AN $85,000 luxury motor cruiser with two people onboard almost sank after it came to grief on rocks near Ballina’s South Wall at about 7.30am yesterday.
Rescuers believe the skipper was trying to avoid another vessel near the bar when it crossed over the porpoise wall – which is submerged at high tide – seriously damaging its hull.
The Coast Guard could not reach the boat and called the Ballina Jet Rescue Boat toassist.
Jet boat captain GarryMeredith was on the water when he received the call and reached the distressed cruiser just as water was breaching its gunwale. The jet boat’s shallower draft enabled it to reach the cruiser in time.
Mr Meredith’s crew then ferried a pump to the sinking cruiser to bale it out before towing it back over the porpoise wall without incident.
The Coast Guard then towed the cruiser back to its mooring near Faulks Park.
“It was one of those rescues where everything went right,” Mr Meredith said.
“It was taking on a lot ofwater when we got there and was on the verge of goingunder.
“We didn’t have much time as the tide was dropping. Had we not got it off then we probably would have had to wait two days for the next suitable tide.
“We let the owner make the call and he was very keen to get out then and there.
“He was a very happy man getting his boat out of there.
“They will have to temporarily patch it until they can get it to a dry dock.”