In days after we experienced the biggest weather event to ever hit the Whitsunday region, the sun has shone and the spirits have remained high. Despite physical damage to infrastructure, boats, houses, businesses and native flora, the team at Abell Point and their extended families are all well and working hard to restore normality to their lives and to the marina.
Considering the force and the duration of the system, the marina held up well. There was damage to the pontoon structures in the north marina due to the relentless wind and the consistency of the waves crashing over the rock wall at highest point of the tide and for hours afterwards. With a full assessment now complete, we estimate the replacement pontoons will take between 3 -4 months to be fully operational and will be brand new, providing the much-needed opportunity to upgrade the north pontoons. The good news is this effects only A/ F/ G/ K arms and vessels in the north have been relocated to permit normal operations.
There is minor damage to some pontoon fingers in the south marina and ongoing maintenance and repairs will be carried out over the next two months. However, on the plus side the marina village stood up well with only cosmetic damage to buildings, tenancies and infrastructure. The walkway to L arm was destroyed, however a temporary replacement walkway arrived yesterday for L arm, permitted the resumption of fueling services in the next couple of days. The new walkway is being manufactured and will be ready for installation in 5 weeks.
With 507 vessels berthed at the time TC Debbie hit land on the Whitsunday coast, we had two vessels sink in their berths and an additional three broke their lines with one ending up on the rock wall and the other two on nearby Shingley Beach. Various vessels have cosmetic damage in the form of scratches, bent railings and torn sails, but insurance assessors for all major companies are already in town assisting boat owners with their claims.
We are working closely with tenants and operators to ensure minimal disruption to their businesses and are pleased to advise that many charter operators are taking guests back out to enjoy the Whitsundays already. The marina is currently operating at around 80% capacity, which is normal for this time of year. Our main focus at the moment is to move forward with the recovery process to ensure we are at full capacity for the upcoming cruising season and that our valued customers will once again receive the Blue Carpet Treatment at our first-class marina facility.
We would once again like to thank all our customers for their messages of support and well wishes. We will ensure we keep you all up to date with the progress we are making over the coming weeks and rest assured we are very much open for business.