S.s. TAIAROA, Waipapa Point. April
12th, 1886. U.S.S. boat, on her way from Wellington to Lyttelton. Captain
Thompson. 438 tons (iron steamer). She left Wellington shortly before noon, the
weather being exceedingly fine with a favourable breeze. The barometer began to
fall and a startling change came at 4 p.m. when a heavy gale set in. About 7
land was seen on the weather bow. She was put full speed astern, but took the
ground at once. Finding that she began to fill four boats were at once put out.
Owing to the heavy sea they were lashed one to the other. There was boat
accommodation for all the passengers and crew, and each was provided with a life
belt. Three out of the four boats were capsized, and most of the occupants
drowned. The captain's boat broke adrift, and went straight out to sea. She
afterwards made for the Wairau bar which she reached in safety. This boat
contained captain, seven of the crew, and three passengers. Of the crews of the
other three boats only three men reached the shore, and they were in a weak and
exhausted condition. There were 20 passengers and 28 of a crew, and only 14
saved. The captain and officers showed great coolness and bravery. There were
two stewardesses and two female passengers, and all behaved with the greatest
heroism. They made a straggle for life, but were speedily drowned in the cold,
rough water. The captain's certificate was suspended for two years, provided he
took the position of mate on another boat ; but he received a handsome
testimonial from the men who were saved, for they thought they owed their lives
to his coolness and courage.
Brig STAR OF MERSEY, New Plymouth, May 21st. 1886 Vessel sprang a leak, and ran to New Plymouth for shelter, and there went ashore. No lives lost.
Ship LYTTELTON, Timaru. June 12th, 1886. The Harbour Board tug was being docked at Port Chalmers, so the s.s. Grafton was engaged to tow the Lyttelton out of Timaru roadstead. As soon, however, as she had got clear of the buoys the Grafton took a short turn north-east. The tow-line slackening fouled the propeller of the Grafton, and prevented her keeping up a steady strain. Captain Boorman, of the Lyttelton, let go his anchor. When towing was recommenced the vessel must have struck the fluke of this anchor, for she began to fill so rapidly that her crew had hardly time to get the boats out and could not save anything. In 20 minute- she settled on the bottom, and the sea broke over her poop. The Harbour Board was much blamed for not getting someone well acquainted with the harbour to tow the vessel out. Master and mate exonerated from blame.
Schooner PELICAN, unknown, June, 1886. Left Kaipara bound for Lyttelton, and is supposed to have foundered in Cook Strait during violent squalls on the night of June 24th. She was found bottom up near the Waitotara River on June 28th. Five men lost.
Schooner RUBY, Opotiki, June 25th, 1886. Cables parted in a heavy gale. No lives lost.
Schooner VOLUNTEER, Sumner, July 13th, 1886. No wind, drifted on a, rock at Sumner bar, and was broken to pieces. No lives lost.
Ketch ALPHA, Waikawa River, July No lives lost.
21st, 1886. Total wreck.
S.s. schooner HANNAH MOKAU, Whakatane Bar, July 28th. 1886. Vessel struck the bar and damaged her machinery. No lives lost.
S.s. PELHAM, Howell's Rock, Bluff, August 9th, 1886. Master tried to go in without a pilot, and was wrecked. Certificate suspended for three months. No lives lost.
Ketch GIPSY, Banks Peninsula, August 19th, 1000. Vessel dragged anchors in gale, went on shore, and was soon a total wreck. No lives lost.
Cutter DAY'S BAY, Port Nicholson, August 25th, 1886. Driven on shore by a heavy gale. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner CLEOPATRA, Hawke's Bay, September 21st, 1886. Vessel discovered bottom tip, completely wrecked. All hands (six) lost. Supposed to have capsized in a heavy gale.
Schooner MAID OF OTAGO, Bluff, September 24th, 1886. Owing to a heavy gale she
was running into the harbour for shelter, and mistook the red light at Sterling
Point. She went too near the land and struck on a submerged wreck, and had it
not been for the prompt appearance of the pilot boat all hands would have been
lost. She became a total wreck, and the next morning nothing was to be seen of
Government schooner KEKENO, Bluff, September 24th, 1886. Was returning after a three months' cruise among the islands. She entered the port and reached the lower anchorage shortly after midnight. During the night a heavy gale sprang up. The anchor chain broke, and the vessel was driven on shore. At daylight the tug Awarua went to her aid and took off her crew ; the vessel rapidly became a total wreck.
On the same day there was a fatal accident at the Taieri Mouth, when four men were drowned.
S.s. schooner LYTTELTON. Beef Barrels. September 30th. 1886. Stranded. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Ketch CLYDE. Croixell Harbour, September 30th, 1886. Wind suddenly failed, and she went on the rocks. No lives lost.
Ketch SOVEREIGN OF THE SEAS. Port Macquarie. September 30th. 1886. The master and an accomplice ran away with her after committing murder on Great Barrier Island. They scuttled and abandoned her.
Barque RAPIDO. Cambridge Gulf, October 1st, 1886. A strong tide sent the vessel on to the rocks, where she became a total wreck.
Ketch JANET. Cape Campbell. October 2nd. 1886. Carelessness of master. Certificate suspended .for six month;-.
S.s. schooner TUI. Pencarrow Lighthouse. November 1st. 1886. Reckless navigation of the captain, who had frequently run her on shore. Certificate cancelled.
Iron barque DERRY CASTLE. Enderby Island, March 20th, 1837. From Geelong to Falmouth She left the former port on March 12. and on the 20th the catastrophe occurred. It was a dirty night, and without the slightest warning she ran bow on to submerged rocks and bumped over them with terrific force. The bow dropped into deep water and the stern rested high on the reef. She was so close to land that 200 yards of the frowning coast line could be seen. In a few minutes she parted amidships, and all on board were either washed off or threw themselves into the water. Only eight half-dead men managed to reach the rocks, the surf having beaten 15 others to death. When daylight broke they found themselves on a wild, deserted shore, with no sign of human habitation. They set to work to hunt for shellfish, and came upon the dead and mangled bodies of their comrades. They had no fire, no food except shellfish , and of them but a poor supply and from the wreck they get nothing but two tins of herrings, a pumpkin, and a little wheat, which latter soon began to grow mouldy and germinate explored, and the miserable party were much cheered by finding on the other side of the island a small closed hut ; it was eagerly opened, but was found to contain nothing but a bottle of salt. (The New Zealand Government at this time had only one depot on the islands at Port Ross, which the castaways could see but could not reach.) They were fortunate enough to find a box of wooden matches, which were thoroughly soaked. These were, however, carefully dried in the sun, but one after the other refused to light, until the last was exhausted. One of the party then said that he had found in the bottom of his pocket a revolver cartridge. They removed the bullet, and in its place was put a frayed bit of cotton handkerchief, which had been worn next the bosom to make it thoroughly dry. A hole was cut in a bit of wood to hold the cartridge in its place, and the cap was exploded by the action of a nail driven against it by a stone. When the powder ignited the cotton was smouldering, and by careful fanning a blaze was obtained. The fire thus obtained was kept up with the greatest care until the party escaped from the island, and by its means they parched the wheat, which they crushed into powder and ate mixed with hot water. This with a few shellfish, formed their only food, as there were no eggs or birds to be obtained. On the 92nd day of their captivity hone was revived by the discovery of an old axe head buried in the sand. Here was a tool for making a boat. The men collected all the wreckage they could find, and took it to the other side of the island, as no boat could be launched from the spot where they had been wrecked. Here after infinite pains a most original boat was constructed, which was nothing more than an oblong box 6ft by 2£ft, with the ends running up like a Norwegian prow. This vessel was launched with many hopes and fears, and two of the party pushed off, leaving the other six nearly naked mariners to watch the frail craft freighted with the hopes of those whose lives depended on the success of her mission. She gradually passed out of sight, and nothing was heard or seen for two days, when smoke was seen to rise from Port Ross. The messengers soon returned with provisions and clothes, still in their barge, for though there was a boat at the depot, it was too leaky to be used. In a few days the whole of the band and their possessions were established at the Port Ross depot. Here they remained until July 19 when the Awarua put into Port Ross in search of a boat which she had previously left there. Captain Drew took the shipwrecked party under his protection, and took them at once to Melbourne at considerable loss to himself and his crew, who were just starting on a five months sealing cruise in Bass Strait. The captain and crew of the Awarua -were afterwards highly commended and compensated for their trouble and loss of time. The loss of this vessel was attributed to defective charts, and the need of a lighthouse was strongly urged.
The scene of this wreck was afterwards visited by Captain Fairchild and the Government s.s. Stella, who found the figurehead of the vessel a life-sized bust of the Queen which they placed over the graves of the poor fellows who had been buried by the survivors. Other relics name-board, life buoys. &c. were secured, and brought to New Zealand : and a depot and box for letters to give kindly information to any future castaways were erected at Port Ross, together with depot of stores in other conspicuous places.
Cutter MIDGE, Nelson Harbour. February 6th, 1887. Struck on the Boulder bank. Totally wrecked. No lives lost.
S.s. schooner HAURAKI. N.N.W. of Capt Farewell, February 28th, 1887. Vessel foundered having sprung a leak. No lives lost.
Cutter WHANGAREI. Great Barrier Island, March 17th, 1887. Vessel went ashore owing to some of her gear giving way and disabling one of the men.
Cutter ROSANAH. Ruapuke Island, April 20th, 1887. Vessel sprang a leak and had to be beached. Totally wrecked.
S.s. schooner WAITAKI. Cape Palliser, April 23rd 2 1887. Master blamed for steaming at full speed in thick weather. Certificate suspended for six months. Ran on a sand spit.
Schooner REWARD. Mahia Peninsula, May 3rd, 1887. Vessel stood in too close to
land, and went upon the rock's. Three out of five men drowned.
Schooner LALLA ROOKH. Great Barrier Island, May 8th, 1887. Vessel sprang a leak and the pumps became choked. She had to be abandoned, and drifted on to the rocks, becoming a total wreck.
Barque CELESTIA. Tasman Sea. May, 1887. Left Russell for Hobart. May 5th. 1887. and has not since been heard of. Supposed to have foundered at sea with the eight men who formed her crew.
Ship NORTHUMBERLAND, Napier. May 12th, 1887. She was a large cargo boat with a crew of 44 hands, and was wrecked in the harbour in a terrible gale in consequence of the parting of her cables. The steam launch went to her rescue and was capsized in the breakers, five men out of six being drowned. The crew of the Northumberland were afterwards rescued by means of a life-line and cradle. The ship became a total wreck.
Schooner ONWARD, Tauranganui River, May 17th, 1887. Wreck caused through insufficient depth of water on the bar.
S.s. ketch SIR DONALD, unknown, May 20th, 1887. Vessel supposed to have been blown to the north. All hands (six) lost. Left Auckland, May 20th, and was never heard of again.
S.s. schooner GO AHEAD, Cape Kidknappers, May 20th, 1887. Wrecked through carelessness of master. One life lost.
Brigantine OCEOLA, Buller River, June 19th, 1887. While being towed out to sea in a .strong gale the cable broke, and the vessel went on shore and became a total wreck.
Cutter DAUNTLESS, Catlins River, June 28th, 1887. Wind fell suddenly while the vessel was crossing the bar, and she stranded and went to pieces.
Schooner REWARD, Cavalli Island, July 5th, 1887. Vessel went on shore when trying to recover a boat which had broken adrift.
S.s. Cutter BOOJUM, Petane Beach, Napier, May 12th, 1887. She went out to render assistance to the ship Northumberland, which was being driven ashore and whilst steaming round her a heavy sea struck the Boojum and capsized her. Five men drowned.
Schooner COLUMBIA, unknown, July, 1887. Left Mercury Bay on July 6th for Napier, and has not since been heard of. All hands (four) lost.
Brigantine OMAHA, Chatham Islands, July 24th, 1887. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Ketch RECAMIA, Kaipara Harbour, August 24th, 1887. She left Lyttelton in ballast for Hellensville. She was seen by Captain Fairchild, of the Stella, to capsize in 13 fathoms of water. He endeavoured to heave the vessel over with a winch, but was unsuccessful, nor was anything to be seen of her crew (five), who must have gone down with her.
P.s. schooner TONGARIRO, Hawke's Bay, August 24th, 1887. Vessel caught in a heavy gale, and not having sufficient power to steam against it, went on to the rocks and became a total wreck.
Cutter BESSIE, Catlins River, December 8th, 1887. Heavy sea with changing wind rendered the vessel unmanageable ; the cables were slipped, but jambed in the hawse pipe, and canted her head right on the rocks. Three out of four men lost.
Ketch AMATEUR, Manawatu River, January 19th, 1888. The s.s. Napier was towing out the Clyde and the Amateur. The Clyde, mistaking the signal, set her head sails, which carried all three vessels towards the South Spit, and caused the destruction of the Amateur.
Schooner ATLANTIC, Raratonga Harbour. January 24th. 1888 A hurricane caused the chains of the vessel to part, and drove her violently on shore, where she became a total wreck.
Barque MAY QUEEN, Lyttelton Harbour, January 26th. 1888 The ship was being towed out of the harbour when the pilot who was in charge ventured too near the rocks, and a sudden squall caused the vessel to strand on the rocks and become a total wreck.
Ship PLEIONE, Waikanae River. March 16th. 1888. One of the Shaw, Savill, and Albion boats, from London ; went ashore when within two days of her destination. Crew, passengers, and cargo all saved, with the exception of one seaman, who was drowned in the capsizing of the captain's boat.
Barque WEATHERSFIELD. Cook Strait. April 8th, 1888. The vessel was carried out of her course by a strong current from the westward, which drove her upon the Wanganui Bight, and caused a total wreck.
Schooner JULIA BRYCE. Cook Islands. May 8th. 1888. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Barque SOPHIA R. LUHRS, Kaipara Harbour, June 5th, 1888.- Vessel went ashore through cable parting while lying at anchor, probably caused by a faulty link.
S.s. HAWEA, New Plymouth, June 12th, 1888. Was wrecked on the breakwater at 7.30 a.m. Captain Hansby finding another vessel in his berth, went a little out of his course, and the vessel bumped against a hard substance, supposed to be an uncharted rock. She filled very rapidly, and the passengers were taken ashore in the boats. This was a work of some danger, as the vessel lurched heavily, and the chief officer was thrown overboard ; but all the passengers and most of their luggage were saved. There were two valuable racehorses on board Allegro and Armourer. They were lowered into the surf. Armourer reached land safely after a great struggle, but his mate was drowned. The Hawea was now rapidly settling down by the head, and the quarters of the crew were ankle deep in water. They, however, managed to get into the whaleboat, and reached the wharf in safety, having lost most of their effects. Before the captain and mate left the sea was washing over the stranded vessel.
S.s. GERDA, Greymouth, June 23rd, 1888. Heavy seas struck the vessel and carried her clean over the north breakwater, where she was broken to pieces.
Schooner SUVA, Westport, July 10th, 1888. Vessel struck when crossing the bar outwards, and was driven along the shore until she stranded.
Ship STAR OF GREECE, Willunga, July 14th, 1888. Well known in the Port of Otago. Was totally wrecked, and 15 lives out of 27 lost. All might have been saved had they stuck to the vessel. The harbour authorities were censured for not having sent the rocket apparatus earlier, for if that had been done all might have been saved.
Cutter SOUTH CAROLINA, Hauraki Gulf, August 30th, 1888. Vessel caught in a squall. Put round for Tryphena Harbour, but squall increasing she could not rise to the waves, and sank in 22 fathoms of water.
Schooner COLONIST, Wellington Harbour, August 31, 1888. Rudder broke off short when the vessel was about Cape Campbell, and she drifted on to the rocks before a violent gale. Captain and two men drowned and one saved.
Ketch THREE BROTHERS. Turehau, August 31st, 1888. Heavy gale came on when the vessel was at anchor, and she was beached to save life.
Schooner MIMIHA. unknown. August 31st. 1888. Vessel left Lyttelton for Havelock, and is supposed to have foundered in a gale. Four lives lost.
Cutter HERO, Le Bon's Bay, Akaroa, September 22nd, 1888. Vessel parted her cable in a heavy gale, and was driven on shore.
Schooner NELLIE, Fouveaux Strait, October 9th, 1888. Lost in a gale. The
captain was washed overboard and drowned.
Schooner LIZZIE GUY. Cape Palliser. November 10th. 1888. Total wreck. The captain went too near shore and ran on the rocks. Two lives lost.
Yacht COQUETTE, Akaroa Harbour. December 14th, 1888. Tried to sail from
Lyttelton to Akaroa Harbour with incompetent hands, and being caught in a heavy
gale the boat was broken in half and foundered, and the three boys forming the
crew were drowned.
Barquentine ADA C. OWEN, Papera. February 4th, 1889. Of Auckland. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Brigantine ADA C. OWEN. Tahiti, February 6th. 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Barque KILLOCHAN. Dungeness. February 4th. 1889. Collision with the steamer Nereid. Seventeen lives lost. Ship sank immediately. From Lyttelton to London.
Ship LARGO BAY. English Channel, February 5th. 1889.Collision with steamer Glencoe. One life lost. From London to Auckland.
Schooner GAIL, New Hebrides, February 10th, 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner AURORA. Loyalty Islands, February 18th, 1889. Total wreck in a hurricane.
Schooner LILY. Apia. Samoa, March 16th, 1889. Total wreck. One life lost.
Ketch FLORENCE, Kaikoura, March 7th, 1889. Sprang a leak and was beached. No lives lost.
Biigantine CLANSMAN, Poverty Bay, April 4th, 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Cutter ROSE, Great Hairier Island, May 15th, 1889. Total wreck No lives lost.
S.s. MATAI. Mercury Island, June 2nd, 1889. U.5. 5. boat. Totally wrecked. Two lives lost. The remainder of the crew and the passengers were rescued by Captain Fairchild in the Hinemoa.
Ketch ZILLAH. Kerititi Bay. June 2nd, 1889. Went ashore in a thick fog. Two lives lost. The remaining three men swam to shore.
Ketch OREGON, Mokau Bar, June 8th, 1889. Total wreck, live- lost.
Ketch ISABELLA ANDERSON, Hokitika River, June 25th. 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Cutter GOLDSEEKER, Walker's Bay, July 16th, 1889. Sank in a squall. One man lost. One swam ashore.
Schooner LANCASHIRE LASS, Pagopago, Samoa, July, 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost. Auckland trading schooner.
Steamer CENTENNIAL, Sydney Harbour, August 24th, 1889. On her way to Wellington. Came into collision with the steam collier Kanahooka and sank in ten minutes. Crew and passengers all saved except two, who were crushed to death in their berths, being in the line of the collision. Captain of the Centennial censured for not keeping his own side.
Barque FLYING VENUS, Penryhn Island, September 6th, 1889. Total wreck. Two lives lost.
Schooner CORA. Raratonga Pass, September 22nd, 1889. Total wreck. No lives lost.
S.s. KORANUI, Beef Barrels, September 27th, 1889. Struck in a fog. Sank in an hour. Passengers and crew rescued by the boats and taken to Nelson by the Rotorua. No lives lost.
Barque WILLIAM M'LAREN. Wellington Harbour, October 5th, 1889. The captain, being exempt from pilotage, entered the harbour, and his vessel struck on a rock. The vessel sprang a leak and sank almost abreast of the pilot station.
Ship MARLBOROUGH, unknown, January, 1890. Left Lyttelton for London on January 11th, 1890. She was sighted the next day by another vessel, but was never afterwards seen or heard of. She had a company of 21 souls on board and a valuable cargo. She is thought to have come into collision with ice, as there was a great number of bergs at that time in higher latitudes than usual. No wreckage or further information was ever obtained.
Barque SPLENDID, Kaipara Harbour, February 7th, 1890. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Whaleboat MAGGIE, Lyttelton Harbour, March 24th, 1890. Two men went fishing towards the Heads, and a violent gale coming on, the boat capsized, and was found- bottom upward. A dog that was with them returned home much cut and bruised.
Schooner ELIZA MARY, New Hebrides, March, 1890. Native labour boat She encountered heavy weather and was wrecked. The first boat she sent off was dashed to pieces, and the crew were drowned or tomahawked by the natives. Another European was drowned in swimming to shore, and one native fought his way to the Mission station, and obtained assistance. Altogether 47 natives and five Europeans perished, and only 27 escaped.
Ketch ADAMS. New Hebrides. March, 1890. Was wrecked at the same time and place, and three natives were drowned.
Schooner C. WALKER, Loyalty Islands, March, 1890. Total wreck. So lives
Barque EMILY, Red Head, Stewart Island, March 27th,1890. From the Bluff to Port Pirie. She encountered a heavy gale, and an attempt was made to launch a boat, but a falling spar cut it in two, and the Emily went on shore. Eight of her crew were drowned, and the remaining four were washed ashore. The survivors climbed a steep cliff, and one of their number, overcome by fatigue and hunger, sank down on a ledge to die. The other three reached the top of the cliff, and after obtaining help went back to seek for their exhausted comrade. All were ultimately rescued after terrible sufferings.
Barque DUNEDIN, unknown, March, 1890. Left Oamaru for London on March 19th, and was never after heard of. Supposed to have foundered with 34 souls on board.
Barque MEROPE, Buenos Ayres, May, 1890. From Wellington to London. Left New Zealand April 4th, 1890. The Merope's cargo took fire spontaneously when near Buenos Ayres. The crew took to the boats and were rescued by the Bobock, by which the captain and 11 of the crew were taken to Deal ; the remainder of the Merope's crew being transhipped for Liverpool.
Cutter ROSE BLANCHE, Wanganui, May 20th, 1890. Found on the beach bottom upwards. Crew of three men lost.
Barque KENTISH LASS, Tasman Sea, June, 1890. On her way from Hokianga to Sydney. Supposed to have foundered with all hands (10). Wreckage found on Solomon Island, September, 1891.
Ketch MINNIE. O'Kain's Bay, July 24th, 1890. Caught in a sudden squall when crossing Akaroa Harbour, and driven on shore. No lives lost.
Barque NOTERO, Howland Island, August 17th, 1890. Stranded in a violent gale, and yon became a wreck. No lives lost.
Barque ASSAYE. unknown, September, 1890. Left London for Wellington on February 16th, 1890, and in the following September portions of wreckage marked with her name were found on the Chatham Islands ; also portions of cargo known to have been hers. None of the articles washed up appeared to have been in the water any length of time, so hopes were entertained that some of her crew might have escaped in the boats ; but nothing further was ever discovered. Among the things lost in the wreck of the Assaye was a part of the valuable library of Sir Walter Buller and a number of his curios. Some of the latter, however, were recovered, not much damaged by water.
Schooner RAINBOW, unknown, November, 1890. Left Melbourne for Clarence River on November 27th. Supposed to have foundered with all hands (10). A lifeboat belonging to this schooner was found near Jervais Bay in March, 1891.
S.s. KAKANUI, unknown, January, 1891. A small steamer of 57 tons was sent by the Marine department to the relief of a party of ten persons who had been placed on the Macquarie Islands for the purpose of getting sea elephant oil. These persons were supposed to be short of provisions, and the Kakanui was sent to their assistance. The reached the islands safely, but never returned. There was great public excitement about this loss, as the boat was known to have been unworthy and quite too small for the journey. [corrected in Otago Witness 21/12/99 page 37] She took eight persons from the island, and these, with her own crew of 11, perished, and left no tidings of their fate. No wreckage was ever found.
Barque ROSE M., unknown, January, 1891. She was laden with timber. A great quantity of her wreckage was found near Kempsey, north of Sydney, in March of the same year. The number of her crew is not known.
Barque CAMPADRE, Auckland Islands, March, 1891. From Talchuano to Calcutta. She caught fire on March 16, and was beached on the 19th. The crew (15) were rescued by the sealing schooner Janet Ramsey, and brought to the Bluff on July 6th, having been on the island nearly four months and undergone great privations. They found the two Government depots, and were thus enabled to sustain life until the arrival of the Janet Ramsay, but when she appeared they had got nearly to the end of their stores, and were living on an allowance of three biscuits a day. These shipwrecked men kept their health in a wonderful manner, largely owing to the stores and live stock on the island. Of the latter they killed eight sheep and three goats, leaving others to replenish the stock. The sheep had never been shorn, and the wool was so extraordinarily long and fine that the captain (Jones) washed, preserved, and brought it with him to the Bluff, where it was sold for the benefit of the wreck fund, and fetched a good price.
S.s. ST. LAWRENCE, Mokihinui River, April, 1891. Total wreck. No lives lost.
S.s. WANAKA, New Plymouth, April 2nd, 1891. Struck on a reef. in a dense cloud of smoke from bush fires. The sea was calm, and no sign of danger. All the passengers, crew and cargo were saved, but it was found impossible to get the vessel off. She was one of nine vessels Alexandra, Irishman, Rangatira, Hawea, White Swan, Lord Worsley, Airedale, and Paterson all wrecked on this coast within 50 miles of each other.
Schooner TAVANUI, Vatuvalu Pass, July, 1891. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Brigantine MAGELLAN CLOUD, New Caledonia, July, 1891. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Ketch ELIZABETH, Wanganui, September 5th, 1891. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner SEA BREEZE, Kaipara Harbour, October 12th, 1891. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Barque HABIL, unknown, December, 1891. From New York to Nelson. Missing with all hands.
Ketch AWARUA, Aitutaki Island, South Pacific, December 12th, 1891. Wrecked on the island in a heavy gale. No lives lost.
Brigantine PARNELL, New Guinea, December 24th, 1891. Bound to Kaipara. Wrecked on New Guinea. Crew rescued and taken to Singapore.
Cutter MAHURANGI, Great Barrier Island, January 5th, 1892. Stranded. No lives lost.
Ketch ALPHA, Waiwera, Auckland, February 1st, 1892. Stranded on the rocks in a gale. No lives lost.
Barque STAR OF ERIN, Waipapa Point, February 1st, 1892. She struck heavily in thick weather during the night. The crew remained on board until daylight, but soon after that the sea got up with such fury that it dashed over her yard arm. The boats were, however, piloted by signals inside the reef, and the crew escaped, though the vessel became a total wreck.
S.s. ELGINSHIRE, Timaru, March 9th, 1892. From Oamaru on her way to England with general cargo and passengers. Went on shore in a heavy fog. She was observed off Normanby by a plate layer, who ran down and sang out to her. He was asked where they were, and replied " Five miles south of Timaru," and added : " Keep out to sea." In trying to follow this advice the steamer went' on shore and stuck fast on the Dolerite Reef. Two or three attempts were made to get her off, but she was too firmly stuck. There was no commotion on board when the vessel struck, but everyone remained at his post and obeyed Captain Millar's commands. There was no loss of life, and most of the cargo was saved. The captain did not lose his certificate, but had to pay the costs of the inquiry.
Cutter VINNIE, Pencarrow Head, May 13th, 1892. Totally wrecked while at anchor, being driven on shore by a violent southerly gale. No lives lost.
Schooner WAIREKA, Chesterfield Group, May 27th, 1892. Her cable parted during a heavy gale, and she went ashore. She struck on a reef about midnight and sank, only her bowsprit remaining above water. The crew clung to this until daylight, when they were rescued by Captain Blundell, an inhabitant of the island.
Schooner LOUIE, unknown, May, 1892. On her way from Lyttelton to Auckland. Supposed to have foundered in a heavy gale, with all hands (six).
Schooner AWARUA, Poverty Bay, June 17th, 1892. Stranded No lives lost.
Schooner EDITH MAY, Wanganui Heads, July 24th, 1892. The vessel dragged her anchors and went on shore in the midst of a heavy gale. Her signals were not seen from the pilot station owing to the dense fog, and it was more than five hours after she broke loose before she was seen. She was then only 160 yards from land, but it took the men nine hours to get on shore. The mate was washed off and drowned, but the others got safely to land.
Schooner OLIVE, Great Barrier Island, August 15th, 1892. Total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner FRANK GUY, Woolgoolga, August 21st, 1892. Ran on shore in a gale. No lives lost.
Ship AUCH MOUNTAIN, Greenock, September 3rd, 1892. A fire broke out as she was loading at the wharf, and 20 tons of gunpowder exploded. The captain and crew escaped to the Clyde guardsbip before the explosion occurred, so no lives were lost. She was intended for New Zealand.
Schooner WELCOME HOME, unknown, September, 1892. Left Sydney for the Kermadec Islands, in search of guano and to look after salvage from a reported wreck. She called at Norfolk Island, and was never heard of after.
Brigantine CAMILLE, Puyseger Point, November 11th, 1892. Foundered at sea. Crew landed safely in the boat.
Cutter SARAH, Hen and Chickens, December 21st, 1892. Total wreck. No lives lost.
S.s. schooner ROTOITI, Pakiri, February 10th, 1893. Went on shore inside the breakwater, and became a total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner JESSIE, Long Island, February 17th, 1893. A hurricane drove the vessel on shore and the crew reached Noumea in a small yacht.
Barquentine BLASTER, Woolgoolga, February 20th, 1893. Bound for Port Chalmers. Went ashore in a heavy gale. No lives, lost.
Barque NORTHERN STAR, near Hokianga, February 20th, 1893. From Hokianga to Egmont. Found bottom upwards at South Head, Kaipara. Crew of nine men all lost.
Schooner MAILE, unknown, February 23rd, 1893. On her way from Launceston to Auckland. Lost with all hands (10). The captain's wife and child were passengers on board.
Cutter START, Cape Colville, March 13th, 1893. Stranded. No lives lost.
S.s. ketch RUBY, Whangarei, March 31st, 1893. Wrecked in crossing the Mangassai Bar. No lives lost.
Ship HORSA, Scilly Islands, April 4th, 1893. From Bluff Harbour to London. Went on shore in broad daylight, and became a total wreck. All hands saved.
Schooner ANNIE WILSON, Oeo River, April 22nd, 1893. 0n her way from Lyttelton to Kaipara. Went ashore in heavy rain and fog. No lives lost.
Cutter LIZZIE, Cape Foulwind, June 8th, 1893. Capsized, and was found bottom upwards on the spit. Crew of three men lost. Cutter MERSEY, Separation Point, June 23rd, 1893. Went on. shore. No lives lost.
Schooner MARY OGILVTE; Norfolk Island, June 23rd, 1893. Stranded near to Cascade Bay. No lives lost.
S.s. schooner WAITARA, Mokau River, July 11th, 1893. Totally wrecked on the bar when going out of the river. Steamer went to pieces at once, but no lives were lost.
Cutter DREAM, Tauranga, July 31st, 1893. Stranded on the north of Stony Point, and became a complete wreck.
Barque SPIRIT OF THE DAWN, Antipodes Islands, September ¦4th, 1893. On her voyage from Rangoon to Chile. Her troubles commenced when she got into the meridian of New Zealand. On September 4 the man on the lookout saw breakers ahead, but the fog -was dense, and before anything could be done she struck on a reef. The captain gave out life-belts, and ordered the boats to be lowered, but this order could not be carried into effect, as she sank too quickly. Most of the men took refuge in the mizzen rigging, from which they jumped into the starboard boat, which fortunately drifted clear of the ¦ship, which almost immediately sank, the captain and four men being engulfed with her. The boat drifted out to sea, and nothing could be seen of land for several hours. When the fog lifted they again saw the land, and managed to reach it. They hauled up the boat and made her fast, as they supposed, but she broke loose in the night, and was never seen again. The shipwrecked men found neither food nor shelter in that part of the island, but there was plenty of water, and they passed the night under a hastily-rigged tent. After this they lived on mutton-birds, mussels, and roots, but had to eat them raw, as they had no means of making a fire. They remained on this island 87 days, without fire, but the weather was not very -cold, and with one exception their health was good. In October penguins came to the island in great numbers, and the castaways ate though they had to be eaten raw. "The worst of our trouble was in mending the scanty clothes in which we had come away from the ship. We had no garments worth speaking of, but when we -were able to change our camp to a place beneath an overhanging bluff, and had built a wall in front so that we had a sort of ¦cave to live in, we had the boat sail to spare, and this we divided equally amongst us to mend our rags. But a new difficulty arose, as we had no needles and no thread ; but one of our party had a pair of mittens, which he unravelled to serve as thread, and we made needles out of the albatross bones. With these tools we not only mended our clothes, but made a flag out of a piece of canvas and a singlet, which we hoisted on the highest point." This flag was seen by the Hinemoa, when she came to the rescue. The island is .excessively mountainous, with tussocks 6ft to 7ft high, and the men were too weak to surmount all these obstacles, so they never found the depot which was on the island, and which would have supplied them 'with all manner of stores.
Barque EVELYN, Tasman Sea, September, 1893. From Newcastle to Lyttelton, laden with coal. Left the former port on September 19, and was never heard of after. Wreckage belonging to this vessel was seen by the s.s. Wakatipu, also a boat bearing the name "Evelyn, Glasgow."
Ketch ALICE JANE, Taiaroa Head, October 26th, 1893. While running for Otago Heads mistook the lights, and grounded on the sandspit, and speedily became water-logged. No lives lost.
Schooner JANET RAMSAY, Waikawa River, October 27th, 1893. While leaving Waikawa by some means ran on the rocks, rapidly filled, and went to pieces.
Ship JESSIE READMAN, .Chatham Islands, December 23rd, 1893. From Napier to London. She experienced strong N.E. winds after leaving New Zealand, and was driven out of her course. She struck heavily about four miles east of Taupeka Point on the Chathams. Crew and cargo saved, and brought back to New Zealand. photo
Schooner EILEEN DOONAN, Chesterfield Group, January 19th, 1894. From Auckland. Wrecked owing to carelessness of master, who under-estimated the distance.
Ketch OWAKE BELLE, Waimakariri, January 26th, 1894. Totally wrecked on the North Spit, at the entrance to the river. No lives lost.
Barque WARATAH, Gulf of Carpentaria, February 2nd, 1894. Loading with guano for New Zealand. Was caught in a heavy gale and completely wrecked. No lives lost.
Barque GAZELLE, French Pass, February 3rd, 1894. From Thursday Island for Lyttelton. The captain having died on Thursday Island, his place was taken by the chief mate. As they neared New Zealand a frightful gale got up, and the sails were blown out of the bolt ropes. They tried to get off the land, but could not, and were finally dashed upon the outside head west of Waikawa Bay, Current Basin, French Pass. Nine lives were lost.
Fishing boat MAGGIE, Auckland, February 3rd, 1894. Sank off the North Head in a squall. One man drowned.
Cutter ECLIPSE, Stewart Island, March 8th, 1894. Encountered a heavy N.W. gale when off Paterson's Inlet. When running for shelter her ballast shifted, and she immediately capsized. Her crew of three men succeeded in getting into the dingey and got safely to land.
S.s. ketch KIWI, East Coast, North Island, March 11th, 1894. From Wellington for east coast ports. Was totally wrecked off the coast-landing of Glenburn station. It is supposed that she struck on an uncharted rock, the east coast ports and landing places being very badly surveyed. All hands (14 crew and two passengers) saved.
Schooner GRECIAN BEND, Hawke's Bay, March, 1894. Supposed to have foundered in Hawke's Bay, with all hands. Wreckage seen at Mohaka.
Schooner CREST OF THE WAVE, unknown, April 25th, 1894. From Timaru to the Bluff. Supposed to have foundered, with all hands (four). She was last seen off Otago Heads. Soon after a violent gale came on, and she was never seen again.
Schooner SOVEREIGN, East Coast, North Island, June 17th, 1894. Stranded near Castle Point, Mataikoua River. No lives lost.
Barque ALEXANDER NEWTON, Portland Island, June 18th, 1894, Stranded at the north end of Portland Island. No lives lost.
Cutter PAKU, West Coast, North Island, July 1st, 1894. Supposed to have foundered with all hands (three).
Schooner DUNEDIN, unknown, July 6th, 1894. On her voyage from Lyttelton to Greymouth. Supposed to have foundered, with all hands (four).
Barquentine INDIANA, Cape Barren, July 10th, 1894. F0r Auckland, loaded with guano. Found a total wreck. Crew supposed to have escaped, but' no further news can be obtained.
Ketch ELSIE, Tutukaka Harbour, July 27th, 1894. Total wreck. No lives lost. Her anchor chains broke in a severe gale, and she drifted on to an island in the middle of the harbour. The captain and three men scrambled on to the rocks, where they remained all night, having lost everything but the clothes they stood in.
Schooner ISABELLA ANDERSON, New Plymouth, July 28th, 1894. Left Kaipara for Dunedin, July 14. Wreckage picked up as above.
Ketch NELLIE, Mercury Bay, August 4th, 1894. Stranded in a heavy gale at Hot Water Bay, six miles from Mercury Bay. No lives lost.
Cutter WEAR, Auckland Harbour, August 29th, 1894. Totally wrecked on the Rangitoto Reef at the entrance of the harbour. No lives lost.
Schooner CHRISTINE, Waitotara, September 2nd, 1894. Lost in crossing the bar, with all hands (five).
Ketch CATLIN, S.E. Coast, September 30th, 1894. Supposed to have foundered on her way from Otago Heads to Bluff, with all hands (five). Wreckage picked up on the beach at Waikawa.
S.s. WATRARAPA, wrecked Great Barrier Island, October 29th, 1894. This is perhaps one of the most terrible wrecks that have ever occurred off our coast, and whether we look at the circumstances of the case or the large number of lives lost, we cannot but shudder at this instance of the heavy Toll of the Sea, the great price that is now and again demanded from those who "go down to the sea in ships," whether as wage-earners or mere travellers. The ocean takes toll of all. Sometimes the payment demanded is so small that we scarcely notice it ; and then again it is wholesale in its demands, and the cry of the bereaved is heard from one end of our islands to the other ; and there is scarcely one house from which a friend or an inmate has not been taken. Such was especially the case in the catastrophe which we are now considering.
The Wairarapa left Sydney on October 24 at 6 a.m., with 155 passengers and a crew of 65, commanded by Captain Macintosh. She was due at Auckland four days later, and when she did not appear anxiety was soon felt for her safety, and two other steamers the Waihora and the Wakatipu were despatched in search of her, one south and the other north.
The Wairarapa ran on the rocks at the Great Barrier shortly after midnight. The weather was thick, and there was a heavy sea running. There was no sign of land, and the captain believed that he was on a safe course, when the ship struck violently on the point known as the Miner's Head. The passengers were all in bed, but were speedily aroused and served with lifebelts. Although the greatest alarm prevailed and the scenes, especially in the cases of those who had children on board, were heartrending in the extreme, there was nothing approaching a panic. Immediately the vessel struck, Captain Macintosh gave orders to launch the boats, but owing to the great list of the ship and the heavy seas that were breaking over her, this became a work of the greatest difficulty, and it was almost impossible to take on board any of the passengers, as the lower portion of the steamer's deck was under water. An attempt was made to lower the starboard boats, but they were capsized, and a number of the occupants were drowned. Life buoys were thrown into the sea, and were the means of saving a considerable number, enabling them to support themselves until rescued by the boats. The majority of those who were drowned appear to have made for the steamer's bridge when the vessel struck, and remained there until it was swept away. Captain Macintosh was observed at his post until the last moment, and as the bridge was carried away he was seen to plunge into the sea. He never rose again. The whole of the ship's papers were lost. Apart from those on the bridge a number had sought safety on the fore and main rigging, for although the funnel was carried away, the masts remained in their position. When daylight broke and the sea somewhat lulled, communication with the shore was effected at great risk by two of the crew swimming ashore with lines. By this means most of those still ' in the rigging were hauled through the water.
After being on the rocks for over 30 hours with nothing more sustaining than a few cases of oranges, which had been washed ashore from - the wreck, the survivors were discovered by some Maoris and taken to Catherine Bay. In the meantime the third officer (W. H. Johnston) and some of the crew made their way overland to Port Fitzroy and reported the catastrophe. The Argyle, which was at that port, took them on board and proceeded to the scene of the wreck, and thence to Catherine Bay, where the remainder of the survivors were taken on board and brought to Auckland.
Mr Johnston and the stewardesses, as also some of the passengers, behaved with wonderful bravery and presence of mind throughout this trying time. The three stewardesses, Mrs M'Donald, Miss Macquaid. and Miss Grindrod, actually gave their lives with ungrudging self denial for those in their charge the helpless women and children, and their names deserve to be ever remembered and loved as "house hold words" in the roll call of the heroes and heroines of New Zealand.
Interesting personal details : Miss Jane Williams had a most thrilling experience, being in the water for 12 hours. For a part of that time she was clinging to a spar with her hair wound round it, and during the remainder of the time she lay on two buoys. "At quarter past 12 I heard a thud, and jumped out of my bunk. In the same compartment was my sister Sarah. We both put our life-belts on and went on to the hurricane deck in time to see the steamer list over. Many were washed off by this, and their screams were awful. My sister and I then climbed on to a railing, and were nearly swept off several times by the fury of the waves. It was still pitch dark, and we could see nothing. My sister and were now parted. She went on to the captain's bridge and I clung on to a rope which suspended the saloon awning. Next thing a huge wave dashed over me, and, the rope breaking, I was swept into the sea. Not being able to swim, I tried to keep myself up by catching hold of pieces of wreckage that were floating about. Soon the welcome dawn began to break, and we were able to recognise each other. The scene at this time was terrible. I was clinging on to one of the spars with my hair wound round it, and remained in that position for some hours, while numbers were being drowned all around me by the force of the waves and the wreckage. It was at this time that Mrs M'Donald, the stewardess, was drowned. Miss Cole, one of the passengers, who could swim, was swept on to a small ledge of rock, and was saved. Amid all these horrors I kept my presence of mind. I saw a life-belt floating on the water. I managed to get it and put my head through. I lay in this position for about two hours. I then saw another life belt floating past. I caught it, and put my feet through. Thus I kept myself afloat. I had only my nightdress on, and this helped me greatly, for if I had been fully dressed I am sure I should have been drowned. . . . When I had been in the water fully 12 hours, and all hope of rescue seemed gone, I recognised the face of Mr T. Roberts swimming towards me. I could scarcely hold up my arms to let Mr Roberts put the rope round my shoulders, I felt so terribly weak. He then swam with me to the cliff, and we were hauled up by those above us. I could not stand, and Mr Kendall, second steward, carried me up the rocks on his back, and means were taken to restore the circulation of the blood. All were so kind. I lay there for about an hour, when a Maori came with some clothes, some of which were put on me, and I was carried down the cliff again and placed in a Maori boat, and we were all taken to Catherine Bay."
Mr Chamberlain, one of the passengers, who was most indefatigable in his efforts to help his companions, says : " There was immense excitement, but absolutely no panic. On deck there was a great deal of singing and praying. It would give you some idea of the immense list the vessel had taken to port when I say that it was far easier to stand on the side of the vessel than on her deck, which was almost perpendicular : and I expected every moment that the ship would turn over. I cannot find words sufficient to praise the way in which the young Misses Scoular behaved. Their conduct was really heroic. If some of the men could have taken a pattern from these girls and from the ladies generally it would have been well. After a time others began to join me in working our way forward on the outside of the ship. I must say that they all behaved splendidly, the ladies especially. After a time a great sea nearly smothered us, and a second swept the whole crowd of us into the water with the remains of the deckhouse and bridge. It seemed to me a long time before I could get to the surface of the water, and when I did so I could only see one or two floating round. Morning was just breaking, and I was able to make out what kind of a place we were in. On one side was a sheer cliff about 1000 ft high, and on the other a mass of rocks which were left uncovered by each receding wave. I made up my mind to swim to these rocks, and did so, but for a long time I could not get on to them, they were so steep. At last, after about an hour, I succeeded in getting on to a ledge. Some other fellows followed, and one lady, who was frightfully exhausted ; but it was a heartrending thing to have to stand on the rocks and watch those who were struggling in the water between the ship and the shore. There were about 15 or 16 of these the sea was swirling amongst them, and pieces of heavy wreckage were being tossed violently about. We were unable to give them any help, and they went down one by one until only Miss Williams was left. After the sailors had brought off the rope we tried to get the people off the rigging. The first lady to cross was Miss Dickinson, and it was a marvel to see the way she came over. She was dashed on the rocks, but clung on in splendid style. After her two other girls tried to cross, but they both lost their hold, and were swept up by the rushing sea and dashed to pieces on the rocks. Some 50 people were taken across in this manner, and among them were many who displayed great heroism. I specially remember Mrs Ferguson as she left the ship she was smiling. Then there was Father Doran, of Bathurst, and lots of others. But there were one or two instances of selfishness at that time and afterwards. One or two of the men on the rocks alongside of me behaved abominably. The men who could do the most service on the rocks were those who had their feet protected by boots, yet some of these after being saved actually went and sat down and rendered no assistance. Again, there were a few instances of men completely clothed who never offered a single garment to the delicate, shivering women around them. Mr Chamberlain highly praised young Roberts, who rescued Miss Williams, and Dunlop, who tried to rescue one of the girls who fell from the rope. Dunlop was terribly smashed by the waves. He was second engineer. J. Sinclair, chief engineer, was another hero. Not being rung off after the vessel struck, he remained at his post, and was the last to leave the ship. Indeed he did not do so until the bursting of a steam pipe and the complete flooding of the hold compelled him to make his escape through the skylight into the sea, where he was picked up. At a meeting of the survivors held afterwards the following statement was drawn up : " We commend the coolness and self-command of the passengers, which resulted in an entire absence of undue excitement or panic, but feel it necessary to record our regret that the discipline of the boats was not better and that orders to lower them were not given more promptly. The stewards rendered great assistance to the passengers in adjusting lifebelts, and the stewardesses the loss of whom we have to deplore did their utmost to get all the ladies and children on deck and into a safe position." Then follows a list of those who were most conspicuous for their heroism, headed by the name of J. Sinclair (chief engineer) and W. H. Johnston (third officer). The paper was signed by Mr Chamberlain and five other passengers. The cases of individual hardship were touching in the extreme. Wives lost their husbands, husbands saw their wives drown before their eyes. In some cases children lost their parents, in others parents lost their children. One young girl travelling with an aged grandmother held up the old lady in the water until she died from exhaustion, and even, then reluctantly left the lifeless body to the waves and with difficulty succeeded in saving herself. A young man having saved a lady, a complete stranger to him, scrambled with her on to a narrow ledge, where they had scarcely room to stand ; and finding even there the waves were encroaching and that the spot would not long be tenable, he cut ropes from the rigging and belts within reach, and made with them a kind of step-ladder, up which they climbed to a higher ledge, where they remained for nearly 18 hours until rescued, with no food except a few oranges. Wild and hostile as the spot was where the wreck occurred, with the unscalable cliff behind and the jagged teeth of the rocks in front, it was the only place for miles on either side where it would have been possible for any of the party to be saved. The Wairarapa had managed to get into a V-shaped depression where the rocks were a little broken by the impact of the waves, whereas on either side they rose perpendicularly from the water in an unbroken wall. During the weeks following the disaster the scene was visited by hundreds of persons, and it was then that our illustration was taken. To describe the thrill of anxiety, horror, and sympathy which ran throughout the whole of the colonies Australian as well as New Zealand would be impossible. From nearly every home a friend if not a relative was included among the 126 persons who had perished in that wild, dark night of horror ; and the newspaper reports of the search for and recovery of the bodies kept the excitement alive ; as also the uncertainty concerning the fate of some who were supposed to have been in the vessel, though their names were not on the published list. A searching inquiry was held as to the cause of the disaster, and a relief fund for the survivors and relatives of the dead was immediately opened. The finding of the court laid the responsibility of the catastrophe on Captain M'lntosh, but as he had already paid for his error with his life, very little was said. It was also proved that he was not in a good state of health at the time. The chief and second officers and several of the crew were severely censured, but the engineers and the third officer received high praise for their really noble and heroic conduct. The stewards were also praised, and of the stewardesses the verdict was " These noble women preferred death to neglect or dishonour " " The conduct of these noble, self-sacrificing women is beyond human praise."
To the memory of these heroines a beautiful monument was afterwards erected in the Northern Cemetery, Dunedin, a spot which even at the present day is seldom to be seen without a wreath of in memoriam flowers.
Cutter TEVIOT, Auckland Harbour, January 1st, 1895. Sank in a heavy gale. One man lost.
Schooner OCEAN, Kero Island, Fiji, January 6th, 1895. Supposed to have foundered. All hands lost.
Schooner GRACE DENT, Wanganui, February 23rd, 1895. From Clarence River, N.S.W., laden with timber for the Government. Went on shore in a gale, and became a total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner ST. KILDA, Lord Howe Island, March 16th, 1895. Left Newcastle on February 24th for New Zealand. Nothing heard of her after. Wreckage picked up on Lord Howe Island, March 16.
Ketch COMET, unknown, April 13th, 1895. Left Lyttelton on April 13th, and was never heard of again. Supposed to have foundered in Cook Strait. All hands (four) lost.
Ketch KESTREL, Croixelles, April 17th, 1895. Was sheltering from a heavy gale, when her anchors parted, and she drifted on to the beach. No lives lost.
Schooner SPRAY, Gisborne, May 23rd, 1895. Got into a dangerous position while trying to enter the river in a heavy gale, and her crew were rescued with great difficulty.
Barque THURSO. Grey River, August 7th, 1895. Her hawsers parted while she was being towed out of the river, and she drifted on to the North Cape Head. A number of holes were found in her bottom, and she soon became a total wreck. The mate was injured, but not killed. No other casualties.
Barquentine ZENO, Lord Howe Island, September 6th, 1895. On her way from Newcastle to Wellington. She sprang a leak, and, the water rising, made for the nearest land. The crew worked splendidly ; but when within sight of Lord Howe Island the wind dropped, and the vessel began to roll helplessly. The captain, his wife, and crew took to the boats. The vessel foundered, but they got safely to land.
Schooner CHRISTINA, Auckland Harbour, September 28th, 1895. Stranded on Rangitoto Reef, and became a total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner SARAH PILE, Brisbane, October 13th, 1895. From New Zealand to Rockhampton. Was stranded on Breaksea Spit. The crew stood by her until night, suffering much from the heavy sea. They then landed, and the vessel drifted off, water-logged, and was seen no more.
Ship STONELEIGH, Auckland Islands, October, 1895. From Melbourne to London. A quantity of wreckage was afterwards found on the Auckland Islands, which seemed to belong to this ship, but could not be positively identified. The ship was lost with all hands.
Schooner WAIWERA, Nukueloffa, December 11th, 1895. From New Zealand, loaded with copra. Went ashore and became a total wreck.
Barque GRASSMERE, Cook Strait, December 25th, 1895. She ran on a sunken rock, called Tom's Rock, in a heavy sea, when the broken water rendered it impossible for her to see it. She immediately began to fill, and the crew had scarcely time to get into the boats when she sank. The boats were blown off the land, and their occupants had an anxious time ; but they were picked up by the cable repairing steamer, Terranora.
Barque HALCIONE, Pencarrow Head, January 8th, 1896. The barque struck the rocks in a violent gale when out of sight of the lighthouse. One boat was got off with difficulty, and rowed to Wellington. A steamer was sent to their help, and all on board were rescued.
S.s. schooner WAITAPU, Wellington Harbour, February 8th, 1896. She was on the slips for repairs when she caught fire forward, and almost immediately an explosion occurred which nearly blew her to pieces in consequence of the fire reaching a number of rockets, part of the cargo. She was completely destroyed.
Ketch RELIANCE, Pencarrow Head, February 28th, 1896.Stranded on Hind's Point, near Pencarrow Head, Wellington Harbour.
Yacht WAITANGI, Summer, March 1st, 1896. The boat was being taken from Stunner to New Brighton, when she capsized, and three lives were lost, one man only being saved.
Schooner JOHN BELL, Terawhiti, March 19th, 1896. Stranded through carelessness, the mate losing his certificate for six months and the captain having to pay costs.
Schooner CORROMANDEL, Wellington, May 3rd, 1896. Was first stranded at Westport, then floated off and taken- to Wellington, where she capsized in the harbour, and became a total wreck.
S.s. schooner MARRAMARRA, Cook Strait, May 29th, 1896. Stranded on Oeo Point, Cook Strait. No lives lost.
Barque FIRTH OF SOLWAY, Irish Channel, April 24th, 1896. Came into collision with the s.s. Marsden, and sank. Boats were put off from the Marsden, but 15 lives were lost, including the captain's wife and daughter. The Firth of Solway was bound for Dunedin, New Zealand.
S.s. cutter PICTON, Karamea River, June 9th, 1896. Stranded on the beach just inside the river. No lives lost.
Barque GAINSBOROUGH, Oahu, June 10th, 1896. Total wreck. From Westport to San Francisco. No lives lost.
Ship PATRICIAN, Tasman Sea, August 28th, 1896. She was on her voyage from Newcastle, N.S.W., to Lyttelton, when she encountered a very heavy gale, in which she was dismasted and in momentary danger of foundering. The skipper seeing that all hope was over, enclosed his last message in a bottle. All the men kept up their courage in a wonderful way, though there seemed no hope of rescue, ¦ and their moments seemed numbered. When matters were thus at the worst they sighted a ship in the distance bearing down upon the wreck. This proved to be the s.s. Fifeshire. The Patrician being an American ship then hoisted her flag upside down, with other signals of distress. The Fifeshire answered that she would rescue them if possible, but the sea was running so high that it seemed impossible to launch a boat. But by skilful manoeuvring Captain Wilson got the Fifeshire in such a position that he was at last able to launch a boat safely, but not before the lifeboat had been stove in and the first officer (Mr Ross) much injured. Notwithstanding this, Mr Ross took charge of the second boat, with which he succeeded in reaching the wreck and saving the crew of the disabled ship, just in time, for soon after this she went down. The captain, Mr Ross, and the boat's crew were much applauded for this deed of " British pluck," and received some very handsome testimonials.
Schooner DAYSPRING, Brand's Pass, October 20th, 1896. Mission ship, on her way to the Island of Santo. Ran on an uncharted rock in fair weather, glided off, and she sank in a few hours. All efforts to pump her dry proved unavailing, and she sank in a few hours. All hands saved in the boats.
Ketch LIBERTY, Wellington Harbour, December 3rd, 1896.Stranded off Clyde quay.
Barquentine DELMIRA, Palliser Head, December 8th, 1896. From Bluff to Maiden Island. There was a heavy sea on, and the wind dropping suddenly, she was carried on to the rocks, and soon became a total wreck. The crew were taken off by s.s. Kahu.
Schooner LIZZIE ELLEN, unknown, January 7th, 1897. On her way from the Nuggets to the Bluff. Supposed to have foundered with all hands (four).
Barquentine M. E. BONN ALL, unknown, January, 1897. Burnt at sea. Crew rescued. No particulars.
S.s. MAMIA, Taranaki, January 14th, 1897. Struck on reef at the mouth of the Oeo River, Taranaki ; weather calm, but thick, owing to bush fires. No lives lost.
S.s. NEPTUNE, Wairau River, February 12th, 1897. Stranded on the bar through the breaking down of her machinery. Crew and passengers all saved.
Ship ZULIEKA, Cape Palliser, April 16, 1897. She was a chartered ship, and came here from America and discharged part of her cargo at Dunedin. She was on her way to Wellington with the remainder when the wreck occurred. About 11 p.m. she sighted land near Palliser Bay. A strong gale was blowing, and the captain, seeing his vessel in danger, gave orders to wear the ship, and she was in the act of wearing when she struck. A grating noise was heard as if the rocks were scraping the bottom, and in a few seconds the vessel was hard and fast. A tremendous sea was running into the Bay, and the waves dashed over the ship, sweeping everything movable overboard. The officers and crew (twenty one in all) saw that it was a matter of life or death, but there was no panic. Life belts were served out and attempts were made to launch the boats, which proved unsuccessful. The men then took to the rigging. The seas were tweaking as high as the mizzen top. After a time the men left the rigging and took refuge in the fo'castle. About 2 a.m. the ship took a list to starboard and literally washed the unfortunate men out of their place of refuge, when they climbed on to the jibboom. Soon after the vessel made a lurch forward, and all the men were thrown into the water. All who could swim struck out for the shore, where the waves were breaking with deafening fury. Those who could not swim clung on to bits of wreckage, etc. , most of these being washed on shore dead, battered and injured beyond recognition. Of the twenty-one on board only nine were saved, including Captain John Bremner. The wreck occurred in Palliser Bay, about four miles from the lighthouse, where there is a large flat several miles long above the beach, with sharp rocks sticking out at intervals. The Zulieka struck on these stem first, and her wreckage and cargo strewed the coast for miles. The Tutanekai went to the scene of the wreck and gave what assistance was possible. The bodies of the drowned men were interred near the spot on a piece of land given by Messrs. Sinclair and E. Eraia. The apprentice, Herbert J. W. Billett, showed great bravery, and after being washed back three times went to the rescue of one of the sailors and pulled him out of the water. Adolphe Hasecke, the carpenter, writing to a friend says : "It was a sad and fearful night. I was in the watch on deck from 8 to 12. It was a fearful storm, with rain. We could not see further than half a mile. A quarter before 12 I saw the land, but I was not at first sure that it really was land. I went to the steward and others of the crew and routed them I saw breakers on shore. I ran to the captain, who was with the mate on the bridge, and said : 'O, God, Captain, that is the land !' Almost at the same moment the ship banged on the ground, knocking on the rocks. All the men ran to the boats to save their lives, but had to come out again to put their lifebelts on The steward wanted to go overboard. He shook hands with me and asked me to let his parents know. But I held him When I got to land I looked round and saw two other men. We looked about for a house, but could find none. We had to take shelter behind a tree where we lay for three hours We hunted over the hills and back along the shore where we found three dead bodies they were fearful to see. At last we saw a house, and there, O joy !we found the captain and three men."
Schooner PIRATE, Portland Island, April 16th, 1897. From Newcastle to Gisborne.
Encountered a heavy gale, in which she lost all her sails, and was at last
carried on shore in a fog. All hands saved.
S.s. TASMANIA, Mahia Peninsula, July 29th, 1897. Made a splendid run from Auckland to Poverty Bay, when a terrific wind and sea and thick weather rendered it impossible for her to call at Gisborne. She therefore put out to sea, but the weather being very foggy she struck on Table Cape. The boats were ordered out immediately, and the passengers were assembled on deck and supplied with lifebelts. There was no sign of panic. The boats were launched and the passengers put into them. The water was flowing rapidly into the vessel, and she rolled and worked a little. The boats were put off, and lay to within sight of the vessel. " Suddenly her lights disappeared, and we knew that she had gone down." The boats made for land, and the largest of them a fine lifeboat under the command of Mr Nicholson, the second officer, and containing about 30 passengers, weathered the heavy seas well and landed on the peninsula. Telegrams were at once sent to Gisborne, and the s.s. Snark was sent to the rescue, and, meeting two of the boats, took off their passengers in safety. The smaller boats did not fare so well as the larger ones, and were terribly buffeted by the heavy seas. The carpenter's boat capsized off Kawa-kawa Beach, and of its eight occupants two were drowned. The quartermaster's boat is also supposed to have capsized, as nothing more was heard of it and its eight passengers. Three other lives Were also lost in this wreck, making a total of 13. Great sympathy was felt for Captain M'Gee, who knew every inch of the coast, but went too far in shore in the hope of obtaining shelter. He remained on the vessel until the last, and did not leave her until all the persons in his charge had been safely placed in the boats.
Mrs Hunter, the chief stewardess, stated that the women behaved splendidly, and went into the boats as directed by the officers without a whimper or cry of any kind. The stewards and others on the ship were very good to the women, and supplied them with fruit, food, and blankets until the very last moment. There were also five little children, who behaved capitally. One gentleman named Porter, after the first excitement of the vessel's stranding had subsided, tried to encourage his fellow passengers by singing and playing lively airs on the piano. But owing to the universal coolness and heroism that prevailed there are few incidents to relate of what might easily have been a terrible catastrophe.
Schooner AOTEA, Tokomaru, August 3rd, 1897. On her way from Auckland to Gisborne. Caught fire half a mile from shore. Desperate efforts were made to save the ship, but owing to the nature of the cargo which consisted largely of kerosene all efforts proved ineffectual. The crew of 18 men worked for " all they knew " for many hours without food, under the command of Captain Skinner. The flames were not extinguished until she was burnt to the water's edge. All hands saved.
Barquentine YOLANDE, Buller River, August 20th, 1897. Tow line parted while she was being taken over the bar. She drifted on to the North Beach, and became a total wreck. No lives lost.
Schooner ALERT, Cook Strait, September 30th, 1897. Supposed to have foundered in Cook Strait, with all hands (four).
Schooner s.s. WAIPARA, Okariti River, January 6th, 1898. Total wreck, on the North Beach. No lives lost.
S.s. MATAURA, Magellan Strait, January 12th, 1898. From Wellington to London. Encountered heavy weather near the Apostles, "and was obliged to take the inner passage, where she struck on a submerged rock. All hands saved, but cargo lost. Among the cargo were the University examination papers, which were 'being sent Home for examination, and which could not be recovered. She was a wool and frozenmeat ship, and carried three passengers and crew of 57.
Barquentine WAITEMATA, Wanganui River, February 1st, 1898. Came in collision with the Stella while beating up the channel. Cut to the water's edge, and sank in an hour 1 . Nothing saved but the crew and ship's papers.
Schooner OSCAR ROBINSON, Norfolk Island, January 16th, 1898. Went ashore in a heavy gale. All hands saved.
S.s. MANAWATU, Port Phillip, April 27th, 1898. Came into collision with the Edina, and sank about 150 yards from the pier. All saved in the boats, the night being fine but dark.
S.s. GRAFTON, Macquarie Bar, June 13th, 1898. Struck on the bar, and sprang a leak. The water soon put out her fires. She drifted out to sea, and sank in an hour. The crew and passengers were rescued by the Mahinapua.
Barque FIDO, unknown, June, 1898. Left Sydney for Auckland, May 5, 1898. Wreckage found near Newcastle, June 14, with the word " Fido "on it. Supposed to have foundered with all hands (11).
Ship PHILADELPHIA, Stewart Island, October, 1898. Left Newcastle for Callao, August 27th, with coal. Supposed to have foundered in Foveaux Strait, as big spars and other wreckage bearing her name in zinc letters were washed ashore at Orepuki on October 5. No further particulars.
Ketch GRATITUDE, Macquarie Islands, November 10th, 1898.Experienced a heavy gale while at anchor, and on 8th and 9th the seas were breaking heavily aboard. Life belts were served out lest the vessel should founder at anchor, and on the 10th a heavy sea struck her and broke on board, doing considerable damage. The vessel then began to drift swiftly towards the reef, but with the help of the sails the ship's head was turned to a shingle beach where they put her ashore. Crew and cargo saved. Soon after this the Gratitude began to break up. The crew remained on the Island until they were brought to Invercargill by the Government s.s. Tutanekai, February 17th, 1899.
In our picture on page 5 the description should read, "S.S. Kakanui, &c, on her way to relieve the men left by the Gratitude."
Ketch MARGARET, Akaroa Heads, January 16th, 1899. Was trying to beat out of Gough's Bay against a strong N.E. wind, when the wind dropped, and she drifted among the breakers and became a total wreck.
Cutter FOUR SISTERS, Chamberlain Island, January 25th, 1899. Ran on shore and became a total wreck.
Schooner MARMION, unknown, March 2nd, 1899. Left Napier for Tairua on March 2nd, 1899. Now posted missing. Supposed to have foundered with all hands.
Barquentine JASPER, Bunker Island, February, 1899. Sailed for Dunedin early in February, 1899. Now posted as missing. Supposed to have foundered with all hands. Buoy found at Diamond Head, near Camden Head, April 27th.
Barquentine CATHONA, Kaipara, March 21st, 1899. 0n her voyage to Sydney. Was stranded on the North Spit. She left Auckland with a fresh N.E. breeze, but on approaching the spit the wind died away, and the vessel went ashore. All hands saved.
S.s. AUSTRALIA, Arthur River, April 19th, 1899. With general cargo and 20 passengers. Struck on West Point, Arthur River, in clear weather. After striking she steamed on eight miles, when the captain was obliged to beach her. The vessel was about three miles out of her usual course when she struck, and was in charge of the second mate, who was severely censured by the court of inquiry and had his certificate suspended for 12 months. - The crew and passengers escaped without loss, but the cargo could not be landed. The Australia lay on the rocks exposed to the weather, with the. seas breaking over her, and all attempts to tow her off entirely failed.
S.s. OHAU, Cook Strait, May 13th, 1899. On her passage from Greymouth to Dunedin. A fearful storm was raging off the coast of Wellington, and the Ohau must have steamed straight into it. She was seen by several vessels which were themselves sheltering from the bad weather, the last sight of her being obtained by the lighthouse keeper on Cape Campbell at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 13th. She was then 10 miles north of the lighthouse, struggling against a furious S.W. gale and a heavy sea. As she did not, appear again after this. A diligent search was made for her along the coast by the Brunner and other vessels. The Ohau was a strong vessel and well found. She was manned by an excellent and efficient crew of 22 men under the command of Captain Richard Brewer, and her sad loss carried grief to many homes in our city.
If any lingering doubt was entertained as to the fate of the Ohau. it was dispelled by the discovery of wreckage on the coast of Wellington, between Castlepoint and Cape Turnagain. A life buoy marked " S.s. Ohau," fore and aft hatches, and some cabin fittings were found near Cape Turnagain. Further south, near Castlepoint, the lid of the flag locker, with the name " Ohau " on it, a derrick, and portion of the cabin were found. No bodies were washed ashore.
S.s. TEKAPO, Marouba Bay, May 16th, 1899. Vessel went on shore during a dense fog on her voyage from Sydney to Port Kembla. The course set on leaving Sydney Heads should have taken the vessel clear of Mcirouba Heads, but so dense was the fog that those on board were unaware of their proximity to land until the vessel crashed on the rocks. She was going half speed, and the crash threw the men out of their bunks. Before striking the rocks she bumped heavily amid ships. The captain ordered all the boats out, though those on board could have jumped ashore, but they could not see the land for the fog. Fortunately there was neither wind nor high sea, and the carpenter having reported no water in the well, the engines were reversed. The boats were ordered out to locate the spot, but before half a dozen strokes were taken she touched the rocks. Rockets and distress guns were fired, and the people at Ranwick and Long Bay hastened to follow the sound, but it was fully two hours before they located the ship, and finally it was done by hailing, not sight. The pilot steamer Captain Cook, with three tugs, at once went to her assistance, and the Tekapo having struck at low tide, they hoped to get her off at high water. But as the tide rose- the Tekapo bumped more and more heavily, and began to fill with water, which soon reached the furnace doors ; and when the wind and sea rose she began to strain and smash with such force as to fracture her iron plates. All attempts to tow the vessel off having failed, she was sold by auction, but the work of salvage was not completed when a heavy storm came on. and she went to pieces.
The compiler of the above wishes to thank most earnestly all who have aided her in the execution of her arduous task, especially Messrs W. R. F. Fraser (Wyndham), W. H. S. Roberts (Oamaru), C. de L. Graham, John Petrie (Ross), Captain Thompson (Otago Underwriters), etc.