Man finds abandoned boat 'from Sydney' on Northland beach

A boat washed up on a Northland beach on Tuesday morning.
A boat washed up on a Northland beach on Tuesday morning. Photo credit: Zak Slaughter.

A fisherman who found an abandoned boat in Northland says he first thought it was a beached whale.

Peter Drybre told Newshub he had gone out fishing on Tuesday morning at Henderson Bay, near Houhora, and noticed a big object lying on the beach when he'd come back to shore.

"I was coming back as the tide was going out and noticed this big black lump in the surf and at first I thought it was a whale that was being washed ashore," Mr Drybre said.

"As I waded out it was clear it was the hull of a fishing boat about 5-6m-long, covered with these goose barnacles."

He said it looked like it had been in the water for a long time.

"The goose barnacles had long black stalks - mature ones, these were big - and the tappets within the boat were just full of these beautiful scallops from about 1-2cm to about 5cm."

Mr Drybre said when he went to look closer, the tide pushed a life jacket and some beer holders out of the boat's upturned hull, which is when he realised it had come from overseas.

"Every time the tide rushed past, it compressed the air and shot out anything that could float... including life jackets saying 'Blakes Marina', which is in Sydney."

Peter said he owns a small dinghy for fishing, and his friend Zak had taken the boat away to give it a clean-up before they figure out what to do with it.

"This is a big boat, and Zak has a fishing charter - so Zak and his friend who rescued the boat are going to work it out and clean it out and go from there."

But he thinks the rule of finders-keepers should apply, since the boat seemed like it was long-lost to its potentially Sydney-based owners.

"As far as I can make out, a boat like that belongs to those who salvage it, so it'll be Zak and his friend who work things out."


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