The National Parks and Wildlife Service successfully replaced the crane on Montague Island using a heavy-lift helicopter on Thursday morning.
The Vietnam-era "Huey" Bell UH-1 Iroquois heavy-lift helicopter from National Helicopters on the Central Coast was called in to do the job.
The helicopter lifted the old 1300kg crane from the jetty on the island bringing it back to the staging area on the Narooma headland where it was dropped off onto the back of a National Parks truck.
In a seamless operation, the helicopter then lifted the new crane off the back of another truck to take it out the island where it was installed at the jetty.
Ambulance officers were on standby at the staging area on the headland, while the Marine Rescue Narooma vessel was also placed on standby halfway to the island.
National Parks’ area operations coordinator Ian Kerr said the lift went smoothly and he thanked all involved, including Marine Rescue and the Ambulance service.
“The biggest challenge was getting the old sea crane detached from its pedestal after 10 years and they spent all yesterday working on it,” he said.
The workers also had to line the new crane up with the existing bolts on the platform as it was lowered into the place by the helicopter, which took some skill.
The old sea crane had been on the island for 10 years and had reached the end of its service life, and the new crane would be in place servicing the island for the next 10 years, he said.
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