Cleaning up after Cyclone Oswald

By Golden Genie

When ex-tropical Cyclone Oswald passed over the Sunshine Coast earlier this year, it cut our sandy beaches to shreds. In all the 40 or so years I have lived here, I have never seen anything like the erosion the beaches suffered this time around.

For the first two days I was stuck at home because the roads were closed due to flooding and in that time, pretty much all I thought about was those lucky detectorists who lived close to the beach who would be making an absolute killing.

When I finally worked out a way to get to the beach, there was a thick blanket of sea foam covering the majority of what was left of the sand. Large rocks were exposed everywhere, there were huge cuts in the sand and the platform that supported the lifeguard tower had been partly washed away. The tower itself had been craned out before the wild surf engulfed it.

Finally I had a chance to get out onto the ripped sand and find out what it held for me. I picked a large patch of thick black sand to work, knowing my machine could handle the mineralisation whereas a lot of other operators would probably have walked over it with machines that blanked out on good targets.

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