Dannevirke: Launch ramp proves value

By Christine McKay

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Dannevirke's Les Ingram, who along with mate Kevin Curry, hauled in these crayfish off the Akitio coast on Sunday morning. Photo / Christine McKay
Dannevirke's Les Ingram, who along with mate Kevin Curry, hauled in these crayfish off the Akitio coast on Sunday morning. Photo / Christine McKay

Operational, but not due to be completed until the end of this month, the launch ramp at Akitio Beach has been invaluable over the holidays, bach owner Jim Crispin said.

The Tararua District Council approved $30,000 be allocated towards the construction of the ramp last year, when told by chief executive Blair King the area in front of the boating club had eroded severely, leaving an unsafe angle for vehicles to launch or to recover boats.

"This is an area where in the past there has been one drowning and regular rescues undertaken by local fishermen after boats have been in trouble due to the narrow channel through the rocks, or challenging wave action," Mr King said.

Fishermen put to sea at Akitio after using the operational launch ramp on Sunday.
Fishermen put to sea at Akitio after using the operational launch ramp on Sunday.

Mr Crispin told the Dannevirke News everyone was "absolutely delighted" with the progress of the new ramp, which became operational a week before Christmas.

"Without the launch ramp people wouldn't have had much of a good time out at the beach this summer and it's also being used by some commercial fishermen."

"With little sand because of erosion the launch ramp is vital for the community," he said.

"We only have an opening [to launch and recover boats] mid-way through high and low tide. After that we run out of beach space and there are problems, such as the accident out here on Saturday."

Peter Greatbatch, chairman of the Akitio Ratepayers' Association and project manager for the new launch ramp under construction at the beach.
Peter Greatbatch, chairman of the Akitio Ratepayers' Association and project manager for the new launch ramp under construction at the beach.

Mr Crispin said a Pahiatua boatie and his wife came into the beach "a little late."

"The husband has gone away to get the tractor, leaving his wife holding the boat. Unfortunately, wave action swung the boat around and over her, causing serious injuries to her leg."

The women, in her 60s, was cared for by St John Ambulance personnel and the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter was called to transport her to hospital.

"The sea is a powerful thing and it's to be respected," Mr Crispin said.

"We would have more of these accidents if we didn't have the ramp.

"With the council's help and with the goodwill of Pete [Greatbatch], the project manager and the locals, we're so grateful for this ramp."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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