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Houhora Oyster Barge Found

Houhora Oyster Barge Found

The mystery of the missing Houhora oyster barge has been solved.

The barge, the Facilitator 2, turned up in Australia on the remote Far North Queensland coast between Cape Bedford and Cape Flattery - thousands of kilometres from its original home.

Ross Garnsey, who found the barge, said it had drifted for some time and at some stage was upside down gauging from the wear on the motor.

He told the Houhora Police Constable Tracee Knowler that it was amazing that the barge had stayed afloat as there were cracks and holes in the hull.

Ms Knowler said the barge went missing in August 2012 and was believed to have been stolen and there had been several reports of it being seen, ranging from on the water in the Bay of Islands, around the Snells Beach area and also being towed by a 4WD vehicle near Dome Valley and on the Northern Motorway. However, these reports were unconfirmed. A sighting was also reported from as far away as Te Puke, but after investigation it was found to be a different barge.

Police had put a photo and the barge's details in media around the North Island and on the Police Ten 7 Facebook page in the hope that someone would recognise it and get in touch with Police.

Ms Knowler said Police did not know, at this stage, whether the barge had been stolen or if it had broken its mooring.
"It may be difficult after all this time to determine how the barge ended up so far from home."

"I'd like to thank Ross in Australia who found the barge and made the effort to find out where it came from. Many people would not have bothered to do that. I was very surprised to get a phone call from a previous owner, who had been contacted by Ross, to say the boat had been found."


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