On Sunday 8 February 2020, after over 200mm of rain in 24 hours, our Aquatic Weed Harvester “The Weedosaurous” was sunk by rapidly rising floodwaters. It was berthed at Nepean Rowing Club in Penrith, having been in action just before Xmas removing aquatic weeds from the rowing course.
It was berthed by two steel chains attached to concrete and metal bollards onshore. The floodwaters lifted the machine off one of the bollards. This caused the machine to tilt at an angle, water began to enter the hull, and the sinking began. It all happened very quickly. Even though the SES responded to the scene, there was very little that could be done. Luckily one remaining chain kept the machine anchored onshore, preventing it being washed further downstream and possibly over the weir itself.
HRCC is currently in the process of planning a salvage operation and considering its options around future aquatic weed harvesting operations.
The pictures below were captured by a HRCC staff member on the day.