CONCERN: Oran Caputo points to the area where problems are likely for fishermen launching 20-foot boats at low tide. He says the pylons are too short for the vessels to enter deep water.A fisherman says as many as 200 boat owners are unable to launch their vessels at low tide in Port Pirie.
Oran Caputo said thisgroup of anglers was thought to own 20-foot cruisers which would run into problems while trying to go to sea at the existing pontoons.
He said one or two pontoons should be added to the end of the boat ramp to fix the problem, but Port Pirie Regional Council has reacted coolly to the plan.
“Why can’t we tie up a 20-foot boot on a .5m or under tide?” Mr Caputo asked,.
“You could do that at any other boat ramp around South Australia.
“At least one more pontoon is needed on the end of the pylons.
“Everyone who has a 20-foot boat or bigger would be upset. There would be a couple of hundred of them in the Pirie area.
“The State Emergency Service rescue boat would not be able to be tieup as well.”
Mr Caputo is a former SES marine trainer.
He said it would be better to do the work needed while construction teams were in the area, rather than call them back at greater cost.
A council spokeswoman was unable toconfirm that there were200 people with boats of more than 20 footor if every other boat ramp can launch bigboats in any tidal conditions.
“Port Pirie River is a tidal saltwater inlet and not a coastal port,” she said.“Most boat owners plan their trips and take into consideration wind and tide conditions as well as the best place at whichto launch.
“The lowest tides in Port Pirie are about.3m to .5m which providea water depth of 1.4m to 1.6m.
“There are very few days where the tide is this low at the time of peak use.
“The upgraded launching facility will cater for the majority of boat users in the majority of conditions.
“It is a high-qualityfacility and is provided free.
“The idea of additional pontoons to be added would require new piles as well as additional dredging that would need to dredge past the firm clay layer of the estuary bed.
“This would require additional fundingwhich is hard to justify.
“Regarding the SES, it has been confirmed that therescue boat can launch in most conditions from the boat ramp with little or no issues.”
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