Skeggs assets hard hit by Tropical Cyclone Evan

Sir Clifford Skeggs
Sir Clifford Skeggs
Dunedin businessman Sir Clifford Skeggs is counting the cost of Tropical Cyclone Evan after it caused significant damage to his properties in Fiji earlier this week.

A state of natural disaster is in place in Fiji as the Pacific nation begins the clean-up in the wake of Cyclone Evan.

Speaking from Tasmania yesterday, Sir Clifford said he had many shore-based facilities which were not damaged by the storm, but two of three large marinas he owns have been ''wipedout''.

One of the marinas affected was at Port Denarau and was the largest in Fiji.

Sir Clifford said a lot of money had been spent developing the marina during the past 11 years.

Unfortunately, the marinas cannot be insured, he said.

''It's going to cost millions.''

He said the marinas held up to 130 boats, some up to 70m long, but owners had plenty of warning about the approaching storm and were able to move them to safer areas of the island.

However, Sir Clifford's own pleasure boat, Sabbatical, was not so lucky.

It was severely damaged when it blew from its moorings and washed on to the rocks.

Fortunately, the boat was insured, he said.

''It's been a very bad week - an absolute disaster.''

Sir Clifford said work had already begun rebuilding the marinas and he hoped they would be fully operational again as early as April next year.

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