Founders of fishing boats in a tidal accident

Emergency services spent six hours bailing out a boat that got stuck between the tide and a pile near Port Chalmers yesterday.

Port Chalmers Volunteer Fire Chief Stephen Hill said crews were called to Careys Bay around 5 a.m.

They found a fishing boat Echo overwhelmed.

“Basically it was downstairs,” Mr. Hill said.

It appeared the boat had had a tide-related accident and got stuck between the rising waters and one of the pier piles, he said.

The boat had docked Monday evening with a full load of fish and was planning to unload them yesterday morning.

Instead, emergency services used six pumps to try to raise the vessel, assisted by winches on two other fishing boats.

The pumping continued throughout the morning, with the help of owner Gavin Heineman, who was in the water wearing a wetsuit.

The deck was under 1.5m of water and the slipway had to be opened to bring the suction pipes in before being sealed so that the water could be pumped out.

“We managed to get enough water out of it to pull it off the bottom and then we kept going,” Mr Hill said.

The vessel was refloated around 11 a.m.

Mr Hill said it was a good result, but Mr Heineman was “rather devastated”.

The rescue involved a big effort from crews from St Kilda and Ravensbourne Fire Stations, local fishermen and staff from Otago Regional Council and DG Engineering, Mr Hill said.

Mr. Heineman won a sustainability award in 2017 for the design and reengineering of the bridge of Echo to include an aluminum chute for the crew to dispose of fish waste to keep seabirds away from the vessel’s trawl lines.

Echo also made headlines when he rescued a sinking recreational fishing boat by towing it to Carey’s Bay after responding to distress signals off Papanui Beach in September last year.

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