Knysna Paddle Cruiser re-floated

14:47 (GMT+2) Wed, 17 Apr 2019
Pic: Paddle cruiser re-floated in Knysna Estuary

Contractors working on the salvage of Knysna's Paddle Cruiser successfully refloated the stricken vessel at around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

The boat, which is owned and operated by the Featherbed Co., was found partially capsized at its moorings early on Friday morning, 12 April, with its port (left) hull underwater and resting on the floor of the Estuary.

No one was on board at the time of the accident.

The salvage operation began almost immediately, with steps to prevent pollution of the Estuary being the first priority.

SANParks spokesperson, Nandi Mgwadlamba said expert divers and salvors worked through Friday night to prepare the boat for re-floating.

Mgwadlamba says although pollution control barriers were deployed around the vessel, no diesel had leaked.

The salvors righted the boat using massive inflatable airbags.

Paddle Cruiser will now lie under observation at its moorings for 24 hours.

It will then be dry-docked for a full investigation into the cause of the sinking before clean-up and restoration can begin.

Marine engineers will investigate the cause of the incident.