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'Heartbreaking': Incredible new pictures in yacht search

The force of Cyclone Debbie pushed these yachts into the mangroves and dragged them back further inland.
The force of Cyclone Debbie pushed these yachts into the mangroves and dragged them back further inland. Wasp NQ

WHEN Denise Hadley began searching for her lost boat, she was hopeful she would find and salvage it without too much trouble.

While she wasn't able to track hers down, the images taken at the northern end of Shute Harbour showing yachts pushed and dragged sideways into mangroves proved to her the full force of Cyclone Debbie.

When the cyclone hit Airlie Beach, it brought with it winds up to 260km h over several days.

Damage was extensive, with recovery efforts still under way and likely to continue for many months.

After the storm, Ms Hadley contacted Wasp NQ, a drone company, to conduct aerial surveys in areas her yacht could have been taken to.

Although the company searched the Whitsundays, they weren't able to track down her yacht. However, they were able to assist others in their hunt.

 

Denise Hadley said her yacht wasn't found, but appreciated the effort by Wasp NQ.
Denise Hadley said her yacht wasn't found, but appreciated the effort by Wasp NQ. Wasp NQ

Linda Priday identified her yacht in one of photos, trapped in by another boat and unable to be salvaged as there was no water to float on.

When asked how she would get it out, she wasn't sure.

"Too heavy to helicopter and nothing to attach a line to," Ms Priday said.

"The mangroves have become like razor blades 60-80m beyond the mudflats.

"I'm feeling so sick right now."

Many yachts in the Whitsundays region are still unaccounted for and Ms Hadley was losing hope she would ever reclaim hers.

"I think ours may have been one of the boats crushed by the barge," she said.

"The whole thing is heartbreaking."

Topics:  cyclone debbie drone editors picks shute habour whitsundays

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