Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ferry accident, master praised

Ferry master saves man

POLICE praised the heroism of a ferry master who dived into to Brisbane River to save the life of a man thrown from his boat at Moggill last night.

The 79-year-old man was in his 5m tinnie when it collided with the cable which pulls the Moggill Ferry, throwing him into the water. more

That would certainly liven up the crew on the ferry, which I used only about an hour prior to the accident.

I suppose it's an idyllic life on the river, but when you only travel backward and forward across the river on a punt it's a bit stultifying.

Some time ago the ferry broke free, now that would have been a bit of excitement for the jaded crew! (Not to mention dealing with the angry passengers who needed to be at point B, not drifting down the river on a runaway punt!)


Skeeter said... his 5m tinnie when it collided with the cable which pulls the Moggill Ferry,...

I see the names of two so-called (heh heh!) journalists in the by-line for this article. You would think that between the two of them they would get it right. The cable does not "pull the ferry". The cable is fixed to the bank at each end and the ferry pulls itself across river on the cable.
The cable lies on the bottom of the river until the ferry pulls on it to make the crossing. This lifts the cable off the bottom and close to the surface of the river.
Obviously, like the journalists, the tinnie driver didn't know about these things.
As a child I lived for awhile on the Clarence River at Iluka. In those days, the last ferry on the way home had no engine and was a hand-cranked job. Passengers were encouraged to take a turn at the crank handle especially when the ferryman was getting the punt moving away from the bank.

[Don't know how you do it Kae. That "Moggill Ferry" link opens Google Maps at my street address.]

kae said...

[psst, Skeeter, I don't know how I do it, either. It opened up the google map at Moggill Ferry for me.. it was automagic in the newspaper text!]

bikeonaboy said...

I rented a houseboat up on the Hawkesbury some years ago, and there is a cable ferry up there as well. When you rent a houseboat, they make a big point of telling you where it is and to not to attempt a crossing of the cables whilst the ferry is in motion.

Even a complete gumby landlubber like me managed to avoid crashing a big, lumbering houseboat with a 5hp outboard motor and the turning circle of an office block into the ferry cables.

We did however see a lot of people zipping to the pub in tinnies, and returning with lots of tinnies in their tinnies, as well as lots of tinnies in their tummies. The tinnie that came with our houseboat was rammed into several jetties, a mangrove swamp, a pylon and the houseboat (on numerous occasions) - none whilst sober.

kae said...

I had an interesting time collecting the water for a friend's houseboat one weekend in the 70s. I rowed the tinny at Berowra Waters up river from the ferry to where I had collect the fresh water from a tap which was in a building on the other side of the ferry ramp. I was quite concerned about hitting the cables or the ferry! But I missed it. I was only about 14 or 15 years old, it must've been 1972.

Maybe I shouldn't mention the night I was on the turps and rowed back to the houseboat from the shore and became stuck on a large mooring buoy (a large tractor tyre or similar), it scared the hell out of me, I couldn't move the boat!).

Skeeter said...

Kae, I hope you weren't on the turps at age 15.
Boab, we owned and enjoyed a 32' timber cruiser on those waters for 10 years. The greatest danger to life was being anywhere near hired houseboats. My boat was even attacked by a houseboat while we were tied up to the wharf at the yacht club.
It's not surprising though, as the houseboats powered by a single outboard are virtually uncontrollable and their rudderless manoeuvring must be done at full throttle. You did well to survive.

kae said...

I had partaken of a few drinks. Sorry Skeets, I'm no angel. But having an alcoholic father I knew not to imbibe too much. I'd had enough to be a bit tipsy and panic when the mooring buoy caught me.
When I realised that it wasn't the Kraken, I settled down a bit and figured out how to get the boat off the buoy.

The funniest thing about the days my friend had the bloke with the houseboat as a b/f, was the day I went to get water from the other side of the punt. I managed quite well and was really chuffed with the achievement. I got back to the boat and they were... um, I dunno what they were doing. (She was a couple of years older than me.) I called out for help to lift the water bottles onto the boat (they must have been about 15 or 20 litres, they were big!). Noone came.

I lifted the water bottle up to put it onto the houseboat. The houseboat went one way, my tinny went the other way, the water bottle and I landed in the middle.

By this time the occupants of the houseboat had emerged and were laughing their heads off at me, and he was telling me I'd be toast if I lost his stinking water bottle.

It was really hilarious.