A taxpayer funded salvage operation has taken place to remove a boat that sank in Wollongong Harbour more than a week ago.
The 9.5 metre (31 feet) cruiser sank on July 25, with Transport for NSW in negotiations with the owner since then to have it removed.
The four-hour long salvage operation occurred on Thursday, August 3, with scores of onlookers gathered by the harbour to watch.
Around 9am a specialist diver was deployed to swim under the boat to systematically inspect the vessel and work out the best method for the crane to lift it out.
"Our first priority is the environment and safety issues, then leaks and hazards to the public," Commercial Diving Services managing director Keith Johnson said.
Port Kembla based Avcon Projects managed the salvage operation, and general manager Ryan Burke said the complex operation involved a 100-tonne crane lifting the boat out.
"You can just imagine the weight in the vessel, we'll be lifting and pumping out water [from the sunken boat] at the same time," he said.
"We've got a jet ski for any safety or medical issues that happen as well."
The public was kept well back during the operation, with many taking a bird's-eye view over the salvage from Endeavour Drive.
"We get a lot of onlookers so we're just keeping everyone away," Mr Burke said.
After being removed from the water, the boat will stay on a concrete area beside the harbour overnight on Thursday, before being put into storage on Friday.
Taxpayers paid the cost of the salvage as the boat's owner was unable to do so, a Transport for NSW spokesman.
Click on the photo below to see more pictures from the operation
"We can detain or hold the vessel pending payment from the owner," TfNSW Maritime South principal manager Deon Voyer said.
"We can see costs back through courts ... [there's] legislative framework we need to deal with small boats, large boats, ships, it's all available to us."
The day before the boat was salvaged, its owner Barry Harrison Lancaster met with the people who rescued him and his dog as the boat sunk.
"I was really impressed, I'm not from here," he said.
This boat was the the second vessel to sink it the harbour during a seven-day period in July. TfNSW has remained tight-lipped on whether seaworthy checks are conducted.
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