Thursday, 16 July 2020


Owners of “Westering” to show appreciation with beach care donation

The owners of “Westering,” the boat that broke from her mooring in the Whitianga River and ran aground on Buffalo Beach on Wednesday morning, 4 September, would like to extend their gratitude to all who helped with the salvage operation.

Unfortunately, the boat got badly damaged in the incoming tide and couldn’t be saved.

To show their appreciation for all the assistance they’ve been given, the owners, who prefer to only be known as Graham and Lesley, will be making a donation to a local beach care group.

“Westering’s mooring had more than a year to go before its next service,” says Peter Head, the Whitianga Harbourmaster. “As well as keeping the mooring inspections current, we were very pleased that Graham was able to quickly contact the vessels insurance company. It’s a reminder of the importance for all boaties to have the relevant insurance, as without it the salvage operation would not have been as successful.  

Staff from Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Department of Conservation didn’t hesitate to put their hands up to help when it became clear what a big job the salvaging and beach clean-up operation was going to be. The operation was overseen by Waikato Regional Council. “John Norman of Trojan Marine, a local mooring contractor, was also a massive help,” says Peter. “Through his contacts he was able to pull together a number of essential contractors at short notice. There obviously was huge public interest in the boat while it was on the beach and the local Police and staff from Waikato regional Council office in Whitianga did a very good job making sure everyone stayed out of harm’s way.”

Graham and Lesley live in the Waikato, but spend many of their holidays in Mercury Bay. Graham is a member of the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club and enjoys fishing in the area, especially around the Mercury islands.

Westering was designed by Salthouse and built in 1962. She was the forerunner of the classic coastal 35-foot launch, a boat that went on to become very popular across New Zealand.

“The salvaging operation on 4 September was tricky,” says Peter. “The sea state was challenging and a lot of work was required. Fortunately, with all the local help, everything could be attended to without any significant delays. It was impressive to see how clean Buffalo Beach was once the operation was completed.”

Pictured: The boat, “Westering,” during high tide at Buffalo Beach in Whitianga on Wednesday morning, 4 September.


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