UPDATE, 11.10AM: THE owner and skipper of the wooden prawn trawler which sunk in the Yamba Harbour this morning says he had planned to have it dry docked for repairs.
Long-time Yamba resident and fisherman Dave Smith said it was believed pump failure was the cause of the sinking of the Claudia Rose.
His brother, who works for the Port Authority, called him at 5.30am to deliver the tragic news.
"I knew it had a bad leak, I actually dived on it yesterday trying to seal it a bit but, epic failure," Mr Smith said.
"I had 30 new planks in my punt at home and I was just about ready to go on the slip and it's just beat me to it."
But, he added, it could have been much worse if it happened while they were working.
None of Yamba's prawn trawlers have left the harbour this week due to huge swells and rough seas.
"Better for it to happen here than out at sea, at least no one's hurt," he said.
EARLIER: ONE of Yamba's iconic prawn trawlers, the Claudia Rose, has been claimed by the river overnight, sinking at its moorings in the Yamba Harbour.
This morning, Roads and Maritime Services, Port Authority personnel and Yamba's Rural Fire Service were at the scene to contain any potential diesel spills.
The vessel is the third Yamba trawler to sink in the space of just six months.
More to come.
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