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Lorinna Back on the Road as Track Reopens for the Brave – but Most Favour the Barge

Until yesterday the only ­reliable means of reaching Lorinna after the June 5 floods had been a half-hour trip along Lake Cethana on a 6.5m barge.

Kentish Council will continue its charter of the barge until at least July 22 and is ­likely to extend the three day-a-week service – including a bus to take passengers to Sheffield – as it grapples with permanent solutions for restoring road access to the town.

The barge belongs to The Underwater Centre, a school for commercial divers that keeps a floating classroom on Lake Cethana.

Trevor Ingold, a dive school technician and Lorinna resident, has been operating the 8km service since June 6.

Yesterday Mr Ingold ferried out a family of four who were on their way to the airport for an overseas trip – plus all their pets.

“It was like Noah’s ark,’’ he said.

On the return journey the barge brought in Launceston youngsters Cooper Orchard-Skey, 12, and sister Freya, 10, who are staying with their grandmother at Lorinna for the school holidays.

Council contractors were also busy yesterday pouring gravel on a steep bulldozer track, which, for now, is the only way of reaching the town by motor vehicle, after a large part of the normal access road was washed away.

The track has been open for only a week, and until yesterday it required an extreme feat of four-wheel-driving. It is unlikely the track will be open to two-wheel-drive traffic.

Mr Ingold’s partner, Paula Hopson, who juggles bookings for the barge service, said the weight of groceries, fuel and other supplies taken on board by passengers needed to be carefully calculated to stay under the 1100kg maximum load. The barge can carry a maximum of 12 people.

Mr Ingold said an extra cargo-only trip would be made tomorrow to deliver much-needed fuel for residents’ generators, gas for cooking and hay bales for a local farmer.

A supermarket has agreed to make a special grocery ­delivery run to the boat ramp.

From next week, departures from the Lake Cethana boat ramp will be at 3pm, instead of 12.30pm to give residents a chances to venture further afield for appointments.

This article originally appeared in The Mercury, written by Bruce Mounster – you can read the original article here.

For more information about The Underwater Centre contact; [email protected] or +61 3 6383 4844.

 

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