Thieves ‘lighten the load’ on sunk yacht

A SAILOR whose boat sank in the Burnett River at Burnett Heads has slammed the actions of boaties who stole items from the vessel as it remained marooned in the water.

In a letter to the NewsMail, visiting sailor John Irving described himself as a "slightly disillusioned visitor" and sarcastically thanked all the "Bundy boaties that have helped this distressed sailor whose boat had temporarily sunk at Burnett Heads".

"I am a little disappointed to say that most of the help has been in lightening my boat so that it would more easily float," he wrote.

"Among the many heavy items they have taken are spare fuel drums, 2 x 120watt solar cells, one 15HP Yamaha outboard motor, socket spanners and miscellaneous tools, entry steps, gas bottles, stainless barbecue, new marine toilet, steering wheel, GPS/Plotter and a range of deck fittings.

"And the really enlightened yachtie that took off the aft deck hatch so that my aft cabin wouldn't miss out on a proper coating of silt.

"It certainly lightened the boat by 100 or so kilos, but will make it a bit difficult to go back to sea."

Mr Irving said sadly the boat had to sit in the Burnett River for 10 days until he got enough low tide to refloat it, which was done early last week in about 90 minutes.

On a more positive note Mr Irving thanked those who had genuinely offered support.

"On the positive, a very big thanks to the Blue Water Club staff and members for their mental and physical support," he wrote.

Mr Irving's boat sank on March 10 and in the days after it sank a Volunteer Marine Rescue spokesman said the boat had become a mini tourist attraction for local fisherman with a number of boaties seen up along side the sunken vessel checking out the damage.