Moggill Ferry heroes
DRASTIC times call for drastic measures.
So when Moggill Ferry captain Greg Mole heard that the powers that be were thinking of sinking his beloved vessel in the midst of the flood crisis he instigated an urgent two-point plan. Mr Mole and former skipper Frank Dobias went to work to moor the vessel to the bank with five giant ropes in the rising current.
Then the pair flew two Queensland State of Origin flags in an act of defiance to authorities.
Just the thought of sinking the iconic Moggill Ferry was a sacrilege to Mr Mole.
“That was never an option for me. No bloody way,” Mr Mole said.
“When we heard that they were thinking of sinking it, I said that you can’t drop the ball midway through the second half.
“That’s when we ran the flags up. You can’t sink a boat that is flying two Queensland State of Origin flags. It was just a reminder that we never give up.
“It was a matter of getting the ropes out, which was a bit of a task because the currents were rushing through pretty quick.
“We had five guys here to help at that stage. The water was pretty high when we got them out.
“I was confident that we wouldn’t lose it...but we still had to cut the power lines – because we were right up in those.”
Mr Mole, who lives on the vessel, said he had “no notice” of the impending doom.
Water from the Wivenhoe Dam, Lockyer Creek and Bremer River funnels into the Moggill Ferry area to make it a treacherous point in the event of a flood.
“It is faster and deeper here than anywhere else in the river,” Mr Mole said.
Stradbroke Ferries own the vessel and operate it on behalf of the state government.
Stradbroke Ferries CEO David Thomson said that while the infrastructure on either bank was damaged, he hoped the ferry would be back up and running soon.
“We are undertaking repairs to the infrastructure on both banks and we think we’ll probably get her operating again in a week to 10 days,” Mr Thomson said.
“We have got a fair bit of machinery repair and replacement to do but the vessel itself is fine.
“We are working as hard as we can to understand the damage, get the damage repaired and then get it re-certified by Queensland Transport that it is all okay to run.
“Greg and the guys stayed on board and made sure the moorings were secure.
“In a perfect world we would have had some advanced notice. And I think this is one of the improvements that needs to be looked at – that we have quicker and more direct contact with the guys on the dam when they are opening the gates and changing the procedure.”