Ship stuck in the mud of the Tamar River

MUDDY: A yacht has been stuck in the mud of the Tamar River since September. Picture: Paul Scambler
MUDDY: A yacht has been stuck in the mud of the Tamar River since September. Picture: Paul Scambler

Marine and Safety Tasmania is working to contact the new owner of a derelict yacht which is repeatedly inundated with water on a high tide. 

The yacht has been stuck in the Tamar River across the water from Home Point since September last year.

Marine and Safety Tasmania were in contact with the owner, who was pumping water from the stuck vessel in an effort to refloat it.  

Nine months later the yacht has a different owner, but remains tethered to a mooring on the west bank of the river.

While the yacht is caked in mud, its fenders and lines are out and the vessel remains chained to its mooring.

At each change of the tide, the yacht is inundated with the murky and muddy water of the Tamar River.

Marine and Safety Tasmania recreation boating project officer Ian Ross said officers were working to determine who the new owner was.

To date, who owns the sunken and damaged yacht has not been discovered. 

“This is a constant problem with derelict vessels,” Mr Ross said. 

Mr Ross said a lot of ships were not registered, leaving Marine and Safety Tasmania officers unsure who they belonged to if they broke free from their moorings or if there was an issue.

In Tasmania, Recreational boats with a motor of four horsepower or more and personal watercraft must be registered.

But many ships without engines are left unregistered and their owners, unknown.

Mr Ross said there was a push to tighten the laws and give more clarity about owners.

“We’re looking at revamping by-laws to put more teeth into them,” he said.

He said the issue of mystery boat owners was a problem across Australia and was not unique to Tasmania.

Despite only a mast being visible at high tide, Mr Ross said there was no significant hazard to boats navigating the river. 

“It’s along the western shore tucked in a line of moorings,” he said.

“There shouldn’t be anyone navigating in that area.”

Mr Ross said the Environmental Protection Agency had been contacted in September, but there was no concern about fuel or contaminants polluting the river. 

He encouraged all Tasmanian boat owners to be safe.