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Century-old boat lost to Ōamaru Harbour

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Arrow Koehler

02 July 2024, 2:01 AM

Century-old boat lost to Ōamaru HarbourIrene was towed to Normanby wharf until it could be dismantled at low tide. Photo: Arrow Koehler

Irene’s long life on the water has come to an end.

The 34-foot wooden boat crashed onto rocks in the Ōamaru Harbour at the weekend, after a failure in her mooring chain, North Otago Yacht and Power Boat Club commodore Kevin Murdoch, who was first on the scene on Sunday morning (June 30), says.

The boat “departed the mooring” and crashed inside the breakwater some time on Saturday night, but was not noticed until the following morning.

The motor and gearbox were on the outside of the boat and the bottom of the boat was gone, Kevin says.

A fellow boat owner towed Irene to Normanby wharf, near Del Mar Eatery and Beach Bar, with just enough timber to keep her afloat until she could be dismantled at low tide.

The boat and debris were cleared the same day and she will be disposed of.

Kevin doesn’t want to identify Irene's owner, but says she was locally owned and is believed to have been built in 1921.

Contamination from diesel and oil were checked for, but “nothing substantial” was found.

Irene is the second boat to sink in the Ōamaru Harbour in about a year.

In June last year, Black Crow, a concrete-hulled sailing yacht, also sank after she came off her mooring.