COCKBURN council is investigating whether a clod in a catamaran left the CY O’Connor statue at North Coogee beach decapitated on Sunday.
The Herald and the city both received calls about a catamaran seen around the statue on Sunday about 3pm, while others noticed the extensive damage shortly after its departure.
The council is now in a race to get the bronze CY repaired in time for a live broadcast on March 10 by Radio Fremantle, which commemorates the date the Irish-born engineer took his own life at the beach in 1902.
O’Connor had been hounded by some members of parliament and sections of the press over his Perth-Kalgoorlie pipeline, which is now internationally recognised as a marvel of engineering.
The council has already retrieved the statue and severed head so its sculptor Tony Jones can make repairs on dry land.
Mayor Logan Howlett said the sculpture of O’Connor had a special place in people’s hearts, having been voted one of WA’s most significant artworks in 2013.
The city is asking local yacht clubs, marinas and harbours for help identifying the catamaran to see if its skipper or crew can provide information about the statue or the damage.
by STEVE GRANT