Today is the day! The auction of the one of a kind RV Flamingo Bay at 11am Queensland time, at Southport Yacht Club on Queensland's Gold Coast.
With international interest and several registered bidders from all strands of the marine industry and tourism sectors, Flamingo Bay will be going home with new owners today. Temperatures are set to soar today, and by 11am, hit 30C, but on the waterfront at SYC, in the air-conditioned comfort of the Compass Room, the bidding is likely to have some people sweating.
Among them will be owner and skipper for the past 13 years, Captain David Tomlinson. Tomlinson will present a small spiel on his much-loved vessel, to warm up the today's crowds, no doubt covering his adventures and experiences onboard. Then, under the experienced gavel of auctioneer, Colin Banks, this magnificent ship will be placed on the market,
Tomlinson says he is looking forward to moving on to the next chapter in his life in the Bahamas where he will be closer to family.
'There’s no doubt that she will be sold,' he said. 'Within the first weeks of starting the campaign, we had at least 10 serious enquiries and there are currently about six potential buyers from all over the world, and local operators in Australia.'
Built by Belliard Creighton for the Belgian government in 1956, the product of two years planning and designing and two years construction to the highest specifications, the 36m vessel was originally built for coastal patrols and rescues in the treacherous North Sea.
Intended as an ice breaker, her engineering is second to none. 'This is the boat you want to come rescue you if you’re in trouble anywhere at sea,' says Tomlinson. 'I’ve taken on 20ft waves in this and she hasn’t missed a beat.'
He continues: 'She has saved many ships and lives during her earlier life as the Belgium government’s ice-breaking rescue tug. I found her 13 years ago in the Caribbean and brought her back to Australia. Since then, we have created the perfect ‘get away from it all’ platform.
Flamingo Bay has travelled through much of the South Pacific over the past 13 years: Tahiti, Fiji, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Pago Pago.
He has no doubts he’ll soon be farewelling his unique and historic vessel. 'There are enough people who are legitimate buyers, that I am confident she’ll be sold. That’s the advantage of putting it up for auction, people have to make up their minds by the date.'
According to broker, Ian Swan from Swan Super Lines, 'this is an opportunity of a lifetime'.
'Not only will the new owners be buying a piece of maritime history, and a new lifestyle, they will be investing in an income producing vessel. Flamingo Bay is being sold in Survey 2B, she has 11 cabins, providing 20 berths, and all the mod-cons. You can travel anywhere in the world on her. It would make the ideal mother ship, for diving, surfing safaris, fishing, exploration, mining, charter, lectures, film-TV, docos, as a marine office or an adventure ship.'
The Flamingo Bay Auction will be held TODAY, Monday 7 October 2013, 1100hrs at Southport Yacht Club, Main Beach, Gold Coast, Australia.
Registered buyers can bid during the auction either personally, or via phone.
Enquiries to Ian Swan, Swan Super Lines. Tel: 0416 110 466.
More information www.swansuperlines.com and www.adventureshipauction.com
by Jeni Bone
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11:02 PM Sun 6 Oct 2013GMT
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