Magnetic Island North Queensland
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A young koala's beach adventure

April 10th 2008
Terios can't swim

Perhaps it was under the influence of car advertisments that, sadly, continue to show all terrain vehicles roaring through pristine beach and off-road outback environments, that led a car full of Irish and German tourists to lose a three year old Diahatsu Terios in deep mud some hundreds of metres from the beach at Cockle Bay last Friday.

For brief time the car became a navigation hazard after the occupants were unable to retrieve the vehicle from the advancing tide.

Moke Magnetic, who hired the vehicle, were more than a little dismayed by the vehicle's aquatic predicament and called in Island based Oceanic Maritime Consultants' Mr Peter Illidge. Peter, who is more familiar with commercial diving, heritage surveys, mooring and reef protection marker maintenance, told Magnetic Times, "We've never salvaged a car before".

Peter Illidge aboard a barge towing the Terios

The Cockle Bay mud flats are within Queensland's State Marine Park and as they include very high conservation values, Peter Illidge, was sought by the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency. He said, "The whole idea was that we would surgically remove the car without further damage."

Options to remove the vehicle with other vehicles at low tide was rejected due to the potential for further damage to the delicate mud flat area which is home to thousands of marine creatures.

The incident underlies the ongoing problems of vehicles being taken into sensitive natural areas on Magnetic Island including beachs and mud flats.

The Terios is delivered to Picnic Bay

Mr Illidge said, "We went around on the low tide on Saturday morning and used one and half tonne lift bags." The Terios was sitting in several metres of water but once the bags were inflated it, "popped to the surface and we towed it to the Picnic Bay where we brought it up the boat ramp."

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Terios can't swim
Chris C
April 11th 2008
I hope that Chris & the crew at MM have the driver's credit card details!!!!
April 11th 2008
Yes, it might have been the influence of TV advertisements. Or it might have been that they were Irish. Or German. Or perhaps they saw a stairway to heaven and thought that 4WDs were made for climbing such slippery slopes.
So, what was the penalty? Did they lose their deposit? Do they have to take the car back to Ireland? Or is some hapless insurance company picking up the tab?

What do you think? Send us your comments.

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