A sunken ferry re-emerged from the waters near the entrance to Burraneer Bay this morning following a 24-hour salvage operation.
The 45ft ferry, the Prolific is believed to be an old NSW Maritime Services Board personnel transport and an ex Nicholson Bros Tug from Sydney Harbour.
Burraneer Bay resident David Hunt watched the retrieval operation from his home.
“The barge was moved there yesterday afternoon. It has two large cranes, one about 20m high,” Mr Hunt said.
“There were four or five crew and diver who took slings down into the water to put underneath the ferry,” he said.
“This morning they gradually started to lift it up. The first bit that came out was the tiny captain’s cabin and what looked like a chimney.
“Then as the roof came up out of the water I could see all the spaces underneath but it was obviously an old ferry.
“It about two hours to raise it. I think they were waiting until the tide was favourable.
“They got it half out of the water and it was suspended from the crane in front of the barge.
“The barge then pushing the ferry and beached it on the sandbank about a quarter of the way up the bay.
“As the tide has gone out we can see more of the ferry. I’m not sure how long it would have been down there but it looks pretty grubby. But the roof is a cleaner so it may not have been down there for very long.”
Maritime workers have now put a boom around the ferry to contain any leaking oil.
The ferry can be viewed from Wally’s Wharf or Shiprock Reserve.
RMS has been contacted for comment.