Dozens of boats damaged or sunk
A monster 80-foot aluminium boat that sunk in St David's Marginal Wharf was one of the biggest casualties of Hurricane Nicole and will need to be hauled from the seabed as part of a complicated recovery job.
Some 27 damaged boats have been reported to the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre so far and between the four major insurance companies a total of 45 boat claims have been made.
The owner of the sunken boat in St David's is yet to be located and the Bermuda Land Development Company said it believed the owner was not an official tenant of the wharf that it owns.
Graham Maddocks of Crisson Construction, which is helping to salvage damaged boats around the island, said the job of hauling it out of the water would not be an easy one.
He told The Royal Gazette: “It is a pretty expensive salvage job because it is going to be an 80 tonne lift so it would be a dual lift with two cranes.
“It's going to be a fairly complicated lift. It has to come up — it is an environmental disaster.
“We did a salvage job for the long liner up in Dockyard years ago. We had to get it out of the way of the dredgers. That was a big salvage. It had holes in it, it was 100 tonne lift — we had two cranes and worked on it for two or three days. This one is as big a boat but not quite as heavy.
“I'm not sure what happened. I understand that it was tied up to one of the pancake buoys in St George's Harbour and it broke loose and landed up against the [Niobe] Corinthian. It sat there for a bit, beating itself up and when the wind changed it beat itself to death on the dock. Just the fly bridge is out of the water. It has got to be 30 feet deep there.”
Mr Maddocks, whose own boat, Phoenix, sustained a hole in the hull as a result of the storm, said there were a lot of boats that sank near the Causeway and he was aware of many others.
“The Causeway is full of sailboats — we picked up four yesterday in St George's. There were a lot of boats that sank.
“A sailboat broke loose from its mooring, sailed itself out of Ferry Reach, was sailing around North Shore when the eye came over and headed back towards Ferry Reach. It ended up on the rocks near Shelly Bay and sank in 15 feet of water. We have got to go and get that as well — Ana Luna, a mono haul — it wasn't the big catamaran.
“There was a house boat that went missing. It left Somerset, went under Watford Bridge and then ended up at Spanish Point.”
A Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre duty officer told The Royal Gazette the centre was still receiving reports of damaged boats and encouraged owners and members of the public to call in any sightings. He said: “It is either boats that broke from the moorings, boats that are up on the rocks, boats that have sunk — all that kind of damage is occurring. It's just a matter of us, post Nicole, finding out what is out there, tracking down the owners and having people come and clean the vessels and do what needs to be done. We are trying to point people in the right direction. Most people have been quite proactive.
“The onus is on the owner to come and inspect the vessel and if there are any issues they need to go and tackle those. We encourage any calls about any additional wrecks that are sighted around the island. During Nicole we had a lot of beacons active — eight or nine emergency beacons. We are doing all the follow-up investigating now and additional sightings. It is more of a recovery effort at this stage and cleaning up the environment.”