Miracle of human ingenuity looks like drained wineskin after "a very deep swell that we weren't planning on."
If there’s a lesson inventors and spruikers of artificial reefs should’ve learned by now, it’s this: any attempt to harness the might of the ocean is like putting a lamb in the claws of a tiger.
The ocean, as most of us know or should know, will refuse, violently if necessary, any attempt at its subjugation.
“We had a lot of undertow — a new swell came through that was a very deep swell that we weren’t planning on, and it was pushing the undertow through the line-up,” its inventor Troy Bottegal told the ABC.
Yesterday, an inflatable reef called The Airwave, a UFO-shaped bladder six-feet high by thirty-six feet wide, which was anchored off a normally waveless stretch of Western Australian coast in a town called Bunbury one hundred miles south of Perth, revealed a catastrophic tear.
“We had a lot of undertow — a new swell came through that was a very deep swell that we weren’t planning on, and it was pushing the undertow through the line-up,” its inventor Troy Bottegal told the ABC. “It’s torn along the seam — it hasn’t torn the actual rubber, which is very strong. The pressure from the airbag going back and forward with the undertow and incoming swell has put some pressure on that particular seam…You only find these things out when you’re installing them for the first time, and you learn so much about how you want to install them in future, when we start to put these things over the world. As horrid as it sounds, when you’re committed to putting something in and installing it, you have to deal with these things. When you’re committed to something you have to see it through to the end.”
The City of Bunbury, Australia’s fastest growing city as it happens, threw $A75,000 ($US50,000) at the project in an attempt to convince surfers to turn right into Bunbury instead of gunning it straight to Margarets another hour south.
Its chief executive Mal Osborne was philosophical despite the failure.
“Troy Bottegal and his team have been working extremely hard over the last few days to put an inflatable bladder into the ocean, which is no mean feat,” Osborne told ABC.
Right now, the reef looks like a drained wineskin and beachgoers, surfers etc have been urged to avoid the area.