The buoy is back in town

The errant harbour channel marker is loaded onto a truck. Picture by Paul Rickard

EASTLAND Port’s new channel marker buoy that broke loose on Friday afternoon during a severe winter storm and came ashore has been salvaged from the beach.

It beached near the Beacon Car Park on Saturday morning and a front-end loader was used to get it up the beach to a spot where CR Taylor’s Dave Taylor could lift it on to a truck at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

In January the 45-year-old, three-tonne, steel channel marker Tokomaru was replaced with this new 2.6 metre diameter 970kg polythene buoy.

An increase in the size of vessels using Eastland Port prompted the port to make the size change.

Made in Melbourne and requiring minimal maintenance, the replacement buoy cost $30,000 and, at 3.8 metres high, is double the height of the old one.

It was connected to a concrete block via a chain link tether 13m under water.

The chain was still attached to the buoy when it landed on the beach.

Port Eastland’s manager Andrew Gaddum said it appeared the connection with the concrete anchor had parted.

“As it's likely this anchor has now been buried under sand we will never know for certain why it came free. However, this connection point will be strengthened.”

The port is now getting a new anchor block fabricated and plans to have it back in the water in the next two to three weeks.

The buoy suffered no damage from its travels.

“They're a very robust design,” Mr Gaddum said.


EASTLAND Port’s new channel marker buoy that broke loose on Friday afternoon during a severe winter storm and came ashore has been salvaged from the beach.

It beached near the Beacon Car Park on Saturday morning and a front-end loader was used to get it up the beach to a spot where CR Taylor’s Dave Taylor could lift it on to a truck at about 1.30pm on Saturday.

In January the 45-year-old, three-tonne, steel channel marker Tokomaru was replaced with this new 2.6 metre diameter 970kg polythene buoy.

An increase in the size of vessels using Eastland Port prompted the port to make the size change.

Made in Melbourne and requiring minimal maintenance, the replacement buoy cost $30,000 and, at 3.8 metres high, is double the height of the old one.

It was connected to a concrete block via a chain link tether 13m under water.

The chain was still attached to the buoy when it landed on the beach.

Port Eastland’s manager Andrew Gaddum said it appeared the connection with the concrete anchor had parted.

“As it's likely this anchor has now been buried under sand we will never know for certain why it came free. However, this connection point will be strengthened.”

The port is now getting a new anchor block fabricated and plans to have it back in the water in the next two to three weeks.

The buoy suffered no damage from its travels.

“They're a very robust design,” Mr Gaddum said.


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