THE notorious Mooloolah River sandbar claimed another victim yesterday when local trawler Night Raider became stuck at low tide.
The trawler skipper's efforts to free his vessel drew a large crowd to the breakwalls and things briefly got worse when another trawler sent to help also became stuck.
A Maroochydore Police spokesman said the Night Raider got into difficulty about 10.45am.
"Another went to assist and both wound up on the bank," he said.
"One got free and towed the other one."
The accident is believed to have caused $70,000-80,000 damage to the first trawler.
Graeme Marlow was visiting from Noosa Heads when the 17m trawler ran aground.
"We were walking the dogs on the beach and saw the smoke. He was trying to initially power off the sandbar," he said.
"It looked like it was on fire from a distance. It was blowing dark, black stuff into the sky.
"(He spent) over an hour trying to push his way off and had to wait for the waves to push him off.
"He thrust every time there was a decent wave."
A Police media spokeswoman said initial reports were that a trawler was stuck on the bar at Mooloolah River and was taking a battering from waves.
She said the Mooloolaba Coast Guard was called after several reports the trawler was stuck against the rock wall.
A Coast Guard spokesman said they were at sea conducting training when the incident happened and stood by if needed.