15 March 2024

War on Wrecks claims Cooktown's Cooinda

| Cape York Weekly
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The 11.4-metre Cooinda, which is currently decaying near mangroves in Cooktown’s Endeavour River, will be removed as part of the State Government’s War on Wrecks program. Photo: Supplied.

Maritime Safety Queensland (MSQ) is taking action to remove an 11.4-metre abandoned yacht from mangroves near Cooktown as part of the Queensland Government’s War on Wrecks program.

The ferro cement-hulled, named Cooinda, is a well-known sight for anyone on the Endeavour River and MSQ announced last week it had commenced procurement for a contractor to remove the eyesore.

The Cooinda will be the 115th vessel removed form the Cairns maritime region since the program was launched in mid-2018, with an additional 40 vessels identified by the program also removed or remediated by their owners.

Minister for Transport and Main Roads Bart Mellish said abandoned and unseaworthy vessels were a blight on Far North Queensland’s postcard coastline.

“Far North Queensland is renowned for its pristine tropical beauty, and that includes its rivers, creeks, mangroves and coastline,” he said.

“Maritime Safety Queensland is working hard to ensure FNQ’s reputation stays that way, by removing abandoned wrecks that could otherwise pollute the marine environment.”

READ ALSO Maritime Safety removes derelict yacht from Cooktown foreshore

He added MSQ would not hesitate to call out owners for their lack of accountability.

“It is first and foremost an owner’s responsibility to ensure their vessel remains seaworthy or, failing that, to remove it from the water,” Minister Mellish said.

“But where they fail to act, MSQ will step in and look to hold owners accountable, through the courts, for any costs it incurs.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the removal of Cooinda would be a significant win for the Cooktown community.

“The environment around Cooktown will be much better for Cooinda no longer being there, as was the case at Yorkeys Knob, after a similar vessel, Eagle, was removed in September,” she said.

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