Last week a big and scary event for all passengers and crew on board a catamaran that caught fire off Lady Musgrave Island.
Four crew members on the Spirit of 1770 catamaran noticed smoke coming from one of its engines. The flames then spread to another engine, and the crew quickly ushered their 42 passengers on to life rafts.
Forty-six people spent five hours waiting to make it back to land. They were transported to land at 1770 and accounted for. Of the 46 people on board, 19 received treatment for non-life threatening injuries at hospitals in Bundaberg. While its human cargo was saved, The Spirit of 1770 unfortunately sank.
It’s a small tight knit community and not only will the owner of the boat John Clayton be picking up the pieces but the town will feel the impact from a reduction in tourism until the boat is replaced.
Ruth Geck who owns a business in 1770 said, ‘It will affect the town. A lot of people that go on the boat are European and Chinese tourists who stay in accommodation, eat out and with the boat no longer there it will also be loss of jobs for admin and crew temporarily’.
‘We are encouraging the Gladstone community to come and spend the weekend and use the Larc and other local businesses so that we can help drive business with the lack of international visitors’.