CYCLONE YASI -$6.5m in insurance claims from Port Hinchinbrook

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Club Marine completes recovery stage of boats

CYCLONE YASI -$6.5m in insurance claims from Port Hinchinbrook
CYCLONE YASI —$6.5m in insurance claims from Port Hinchinbrook

Final numbers are not in yet, but across the state of Queensland, Club Marine says it has a total of 126 claims reported from the floods and Cyclone Yasi.

The claims include 60 boats in Cardwell’s (Qld) Port Hinchinbrook alone. At least 13 boats were completely destroyed. Early estimates are that the leading Australian pleasureboat insurer will pay a total of $6.5 million to its members affected by the storm.

On February 21, Club Marine said it finalised the majority of its two-week salvage operations of boats damaged and destroyed by Category 5 Cyclone Yasi that devastated Port Hinchinbrook Marina on February 3.

As the recovery phase concludes, Club Marine said the focus now shifts to expediting claims and fast-tracking the repair of affected boats.

Club Marine said recovery work began on Sunday, February 6 and were focussed in Port Hinchinbrook, the area most affected by the cyclone. Led by Club Marine’s national claims manager, Phil Johnson, his team set-up operations, working in conjunction and leading the other insurance companies involved.

Club Marine CEO, Greg Fisher credited the company’s Event Response Plan as the major factor behind the company’s timely response to the storm.

"Even before Cyclone Yasi reached landfall in Northern Queensland, Club Marine’s Event Response Team was coping with the fallout of the storm," said Fisher.

"Experienced teams of marine assessors, salvage crews, crane operators and diving companies in Queensland were contacted and were standing by, while at Club Marine headquarters in Melbourne, additional claims officers were brought in to handle the extra volume of calls," he said.

According Phil Johnson, his team was dealing with a scale of destruction few had seen before. "It was easily the biggest single disaster I’ve encountered in terms of total boats destroyed and damaged," he said. "The sheer scale of the damage and the huge pile of boats washed up on top of each other was something I’ve never seen before. We knew we had our work cut out for us as soon as we arrived at the scene."

Club Marine said the recovery team’s arrival in Port Hinchinbrook preceded the arrival of the majority of the disaster relief workers. Immediately, the team began the delicate work of extricating the damaged boats piled on top of each other.

As the boats were removed, Club Marine said on-site assessments were conducted, ensuring that those which received light damage were immediately repaired and returned to the water, while boats that were more severely damaged were transferred to repair facilities locally or moved to shipwrights in Cairns or Townsville.

Photos: Aftermath of Cyclone Yasi at Port Hinchinbrook.


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