Categorized | Community, News & Notices

Coochie barge out of action


Bayside BulletinJUDITH KERR
7 Nov, 2011 05:14 PM

THE 14-car barge to Coochiemudlo Island was taken out of action again on Monday after two cables holding the front ramp snapped.

The accident happened about five minutes after the barge, called the Sirenia, had left Victoria Point on the 8am run to Coochie.

Sirenia was about 200m south of the island when witnesses said they heard two loud crashes as the cables snapped.

Coochie Island Progress Association’s Russell Jackson said the barge was stranded south of the island after the front ramp was left dangling in the water.

No cars were on the vessel, which had returned to the run on Monday morning after two months out of action while it was repaired to Maritime Safety Queensland standards.

Last week, it passed survey and yesterday was its first day back in service after MSQ took it out of action in September when it failed a range of safety checks.

Sirenia’s first trip in two months was at 6.20am on Monday when it left Coochiemudlo for Victoria Point.

Before the accident happened, the barge had taken two garbage trucks from Victoria Point to the island.

Sirenia owner Donna Davis was upset when told of the cables snapping.

“I’ve done everything I could do to get this boat back in the water and now this happens,” she said.

“I’m not sure what to do now. This is slowly sending me broke and I feel so desperate and sorry for the people who rely on this service.

“I’m not going to give up yet though and will see this through,” Ms Davis said.

Amity Trader company owner Steve Wallace stepped in with his six-car barge Scorpio to take over the run on Monday afternoon while the Sirenia and its sister barge, Megamia, were out of action.

He said while Ms Davis’s two barges were out of action, Scorpio would run to the usual Monday to Friday timetable and his two-car barge, The Silver Princess, would operate on weekends.

He denied rumours that he wanted a landing permit for Victoria Point so he could run barges to Moreton and North Stradbroke islands and not to Coochie.

 “I want to do both and I guarantee Coochie residents that they will be included in all my company’s future plans,” Mr Wallace said.

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