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Kingston Beach surfers ride pontoon after wild weather breaks moorings

By Ros Lehman, Monday December 4, 2017 - 19:48 EDT
ABC licensed image
Kara Wolfe sent in this photo of swimmers making use of the pontoon. - ABC licensed

Surfers in Tasmania have used a pontoon to catch a wave in a swell brought by the weekend's wild weather.

Kingston Beach resident Dillon Kesur shared photos on social media of a group standing on the pontoon and launching into the swell early on Sunday morning.

Mr Kesur said it provided a thrill for a while, until things became dangerous when it broke from moorings.

He said it was rare to see surf up at Kingston Beach and at 8:00am on Sunday there was just one lone surfer.

"I was having a morning cup of coffee when I saw this lone guy," he said.

"Two days earlier when we had that lovely weather it was like a millpond and then all of a sudden we had surf waves.

"[The lone surfer] was joined by a couple of more people and they tried to get a few more waves without much luck and then they all went to the pontoon and they just dived off catching a wave, it was just brilliant to watch."

Pontoon breaks away

Mr Kesur said the waves lifted the pontoon and broke its moorings.

"Suddenly there must have been about 10-15 people surfing after that until the pontoon [broke loose]," he said.

"The waves were just so big that it was actually lifting the pontoon almost vertically, it was just pretty dramatic and then eventually it just lifted off and ended up on the beach.

"God it would be amazing to be that young again that flexible to be able to just throw yourself around like that."

Mr Kesur said while it created quite a spectacle, it was also dangerous.

"The dangerous thing was that the pontoon came off its anchoring," he said.

"If people had been on it at the time that would have been a bit scary because people were riding the pontoon as the waves were hitting it.

"Kids are kids and it would have been fun but I wouldn't have done that, not the way it was moving, but yeah, they were having a ball.

"I supposed nobody knew it could come off its moorings."

Kingborough Council staff secured the pontoon on Monday morning and engineers are assessing the damage.

A spokeswoman said it was a different design to a previous pontoon.

"The anchors into the sea bed were more secure to reduce the risk of tampering and it was positioned in a sheltered location to try and reduce the risk of it coming loose," she said in a statement.

"Council is meeting with the supplier of the pontoon to investigate how it has become separated during the severe weather conditions."

The council has asked the public to stay clear of the platform until it is reinstated.


© ABC 2017

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