by Ken McManus
Volunteers from Marine Rescue Crowdy Harrington are assisting in an operation to prevent an environmental hazard in the seas off the Mid North Coast following a trawler crash near Taree early this morning.
Trawler Henry Lawson on the Harrington breakwater
The trawler, with three people on board, collided with the Harrington breakwater south of Crowdy Head about 5am.
Marine Rescue Mid North Coast Regional Controller John Murray said the NSW Police Marine Area Command had tasked a crew from the MRNSW Crowdy Harrington unit to respond to the emergency.
'When Crowdy Harrington 20 reached the site, the crew found the trawler’s three crew were uninjured and had successfully made their way off the vessel to shore. The volunteers collected floating debris from the incident,' Mr Murray said.
Mr Murray said efforts were now concentrated on preventing potential environmental damage that could be caused by any leak of diesel fuel from the vessel’s engine.
'NSW Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) is leading the salvage effort, working with hazardous materials crews to determine the best course of action, including installing booms to contain any pollution,' he said.
'Marine Rescue Crowdy Harrington is on the scene, assisting with the installation of these booms where required,' he said.
Further north, members of the Marine Rescue Woolgoolga unit earlier today were alerted to reports that a small, unoccupied inflatable boat with personal and fishing gear on board had been discovered after dragging its anchor.
As the crew was preparing to launch their rescue vessel, they received a call advising that the vessel’s owner, a spear fisherman, had been picked up by another boat.
'The two incidents today follow Tuesday’s capsize at Crowdy Harrington, when three men were rescued after a rogue wave tipped them into the water,' Mr Murray said.
'They were retrieved quickly by another nearby fisherman and the fact that all three men were wearing lifejackets certainly contributed to their safe recovery.
'Marine Rescue Crowdy Harrington recovered their boat and towed it back to Crowdy Head.'