200 stranded after Stradbroke barge runs aground
ABOUT 200 people spent part of the night stranded in Moreton Bay after Stradbroke Ferries' Big Red Cat car barge ran aground in gale-force winds whipping Dunwich on Monday afternoon.
Passengers on the barge said they felt a jolt as the boat hit a sand bar and came to a grinding halt just after 3.50pm.
They said strong winds forced the boat off its course, stranding it about 300 metre off shore.
Wind gauges off nearby Peel Island recorded speeds of up to 53.5km/h at 3.50pm, not as fierce as the 77.8km/h that buffeted the island on December 10, or the 92.5km/h recorded on January 27, 2013 during Cyclone Oswald.
The boat ran aground just before the low tide of 53 centimetres, one of the lowest low tides of the year.
Those on board watched as Straddie Ferries staff tried to tug the large catamaran off the bank using a small water taxi, but the cables kept breaking.
The ferry was refloated after about three hours on high tide, the ABC reported on Tuesday morning.