CUDGEN commercial diver John Gilbert emerges from the surf at Duranbah Beach yesterday after marking out exposed areas of the w
CUDGEN commercial diver John Gilbert emerges from the surf at Duranbah Beach yesterday after marking out exposed areas of the w

Tyalgum wreck to be trimmed

By BYRON MOORE

THE removal of exposed parts of the wreck of the coastal steamer Tyalgum ? stranded on Duranbah beach in 1939 is necessary because it is considered a danger to public safety, according to the NSW Department of Lands.

The Department of Lands, in consultation with the Heritage Council, determined the wreck had little historical significance and hired a commercial diving firm from Cudgen to remove exposed parts of the wreckage.

"A Heritage Council-accredited diver has been contracted to remove some sharp protrusions as well as grind back some of the sharp edges over the next day or two," Department of Lands spokesman John McClymont said.

John Gilbert, of Gilbert Diving, marked out potential areas of hazards on the wreck yesterday.

But the local representative for the Australian Surfriders Association, Phil Arnott, is doubtful of the danger posed by the wreck.

"Public safety is one of our major concerns, although everyone knew that the wreck was there so it was common sense to avoid it," he said.

Rather than presenting a risk to surfers, Mr Arnott said the wreck was a useful measurement of sand erosion on the beach.

"We used to believe that when certain parts of the wreck were exposed, that was a good indicator of when sand needed to be put back into Duranbah."

Ray Duke, from the Tweed Heads Historical Society, claimed the wreck had not caused any serious injuries and should be left as it is.

"It'd be a shame if they dug it all up; it's got a nice grave there at the moment," Mr Duke said.

Mr McClymont said the wreck would continue to be removed as long as sand movement left it exposed.

"The wreck is monitored regularly, and more of this work will occur as other hazards emerge from the shifting sands."



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