Couple plans to restore sunken antique yacht

SUNK: The 62-foot Torres Herald sunk in the Calliope River where it was anchored at the weekend.
SUNK: The 62-foot Torres Herald sunk in the Calliope River where it was anchored at the weekend. Contributed

IT sank before they laid eyes on it, but a Victorian couple reckons they can save their $40,000 yacht from its watery grave.

And it's not the first time the Galloway family have had a yacht strike trouble down under.

The owners of the 62-foot, Torres Herald, which sank in the Calliope River on the weekend, bought the vessel one month ago.

And they've vowed to restore it.

"I don't care if we have sand her by hand for the rest of my life," owner Kelly Galloway said.

"We've already lost one beautiful old antique boat. I don't want us to lose another."

Last year Ms Galloway and her husband Jesse bought a 1919 yacht in Townsville, but it sank in a cyclone.

The Galloways had it lifted from the water and kept safely until it could be transported to their Victorian home at Lara, but when the transporting service arrived, staff discovered the boat sitting on sand.

"She had pretty much rotted to the point of destruction," said Ms Galloway.

Ms Galloway said the thought of repeating the process of recovery was daunting.

"To go through it was just a nightmare when the police turned up at our door and said it (Torres Herald) had sunk," said Mrs Galloway.

The Torres Herald in its watery grave.
The Torres Herald in its watery grave.

Former owner of the Torres Herald, Madonna Horvath said it had been her family's 'pirate ship', and its loss was very sad.

"It was an awesome pirate ship. We had a treasure box and everything," she said.

The boat was kitted out with a wind generator, solar panels, a water pump and batteries.

"I do feel for Kelly. The poor bugger bought the boat over a month ago, and hasn't even had the chance to put her feet on it."

Ms Horvath was dumbfounded by the boat sinking.

"It had been anchored through all kinds of weather, we'd never really had an issue with it."

The Galloways are seeking help from any Gladstone residents who would donate their time to help retrieve the vessel.

"We're just here licking our wounds, devastated," she said. "It cost everything we had to get this boat."

The Horvaths joined in the appeal.

"It would be sad to see it stay there. I'd much rather it go somewhere that people can admire it."

Topics:  calliope river sailing shipwreck yacht

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