Paddlers demand sunken boat polluting river be removed
REGULAR paddlers of a popular Coast river are pushing for a sunken fishing boat leaking diesel and oil to be pulled out of the water.
The boat sunk at a mooring in the Mooloolah River, after Cyclone Debbie dumped a deluge on the Coast in late-March.
Kayaker David Bellamy said he'd been given the run around from authorities as he sought to have the boat removed.
"Basically it's a problem that nobody wants to do anything about," he said.
"I'm just a local resident paying my taxes... surely someone's responsible for moving crap out of the water?"
Mr Bellamy said he paddled the river most mornings, but was sick of being covered in oil and diesel paddling past the site, as the stricken vessel leaked its contents into the river.
Fellow paddler Paul 'Buck' Rogers said the fuel spilling out had slowed recently, but there had been "a lot" in the water.
He was concerned about bits of the corroded vessel breaking off into the river as it rusted.
"It's just an eyesore," he said.
He thought it would be pretty frustrating for other vessel owners to see the sunken boat left laying in the water for months.
The 35-40ft vessel is believed to be a fishing trawler, although Paul Williams, owner of Mooloolaba-based prawn trawler Lady Beatrice, said it was a line-boat possibly used for professional fishing.
"It's not a good thing to see a boat sunk in the river and not being salvaged or taken away," Mr Williams said.
He said it wasn't causing navigation issues for boaties, but people on skis or smaller craft unaware of it could "come a gutsa" pretty easily.
He said there would be pollution caused by the sunken boat and thought "something needed to be done about it".
Mr Williams said he had to have up-to-date insurance on his vessel in the event it sunk.
A Transport and Main Roads spokesman said Maritime Safety Queensland would continue to monitor the boat to ensure it didn't pose a navigation hazard or pollution risk.
The spokesman said attempts were continuing to locate the owner.
"The owner is always responsible for the salvage of their vessel," the spokesman said.
"As the vessel is within the Mooloolah Fisheries area its removal will be a matter for the lease-holder and owner to arrange."