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"R.M.S.S. Ruaephu"

New Zealand Bound

Reference online: Papers Past Images online. NZ National Library. 

Evening Post, [Wellington] January 1897, Page 6

THE S.S. RUAPEHU ASHORE NEAR FAREWELL SPIT. Great excitement was aroused in the City this morning on receipt of a telegram from the signalmen at the Cape Farewell Spit Lighthouse to the local branch of the New Zealand Shipping Company, to the effect that the Company's steamer Ruapehu, Captain D. Stuart, was ashore eight miles west of the lighthouse. The Ruapehu left Plymouth on 14th November, called at Teneriffe, Capetown, and Hobart, in the order named, and left the last-mentioned port for Wellington at 7 p.m. on Monday. In ordinary course, she should have reached Wellington between 4 and 5 o'clock this morning, in the expectation of which orders had been given to the Harbour Board and New Zealand Shipping Company's staffs to be in readiness to proceed immediately on the vessel being berthed with the discharging of her cargo. Such is the regularity with which the Home steamers now run that when the Ruapehu became a few hours overdue anxiety began to be felt with respect to her. The telegram from Farewell Spit, however, put an end to various that had been hazarded, and the news quickly spread that the Ruapehu was ashore. The burden of the lighthouse-keeper's message was that the steamer Charles Edward, which passed at 4.30, reported that the steamer Ruapehu was aground eight miles west of the lighthouse. This news was confirmed an hour later by news sent from the New Zealand Shipping Company's ship Turakina. This vessel, strangely enough, was also on a voyage from London to Wellington. The| telegram further slated that unless the Ruapehu was got off during that tide, it would require the services of a very powerful tug to remove her from her present position ; and that the lighthouse-keeper had sent a man along the beach to where the stranded steamer was lying to gather detailed news as to the accident. This, so far, is the only information at the disposal of the local office. Mr. Gray, Secretary of the Postal and Telegraph Department, was advised of the occurrence to the effect that the Turakina when passing the Spit had signalled to those on the lighthouse about the affair. A strong north-west wind is blowing at Farewell Spit to-day, which would raise a lumpy sea, and consequently the position of the steamer would not be improved. The beach in that neighbourhood is entirely sandy, but quicksands exist in many places. The Ruapehu touched off Farewell Spit some years ago, when under the charge of Captain Greenstreet, in coming from London to Wellington, and on that occasion she sustained no damage. The vessel has on board 77 saloon and 143 steerage passengers. As to cargo, there is 1247 tons (including transhipments) for Wellington, 789 tons for Lyttelton, and 45 tons for Auckland. The following is a list of the passengers booked for the colony up to the 31st of October, or 15 days before she sailed: — Saloon —
Mrs. A. Crawford, Wellington
Miss Greenstreet, Lyttelton
C. A. Cooper, Dunedin
Captain and Mrs. Middleton, Miss Walker, Wellington
General Hogge and G. A. Ward, Auckland
L. and L. E. Hindson, F. W. Markham, Lyttelton
Mr. and Mrs. Harrison Carter, Dunedin
Mr. and Mrs. and Miss Williams, Napier
Colonel Campbell, Wellington
T. B. Wilson, New Plymouth
Colonel Stewart, Wellington
E. L. Ironmonger, Miss Chappell, New Plymouth
J. B. Evans, Auckland
W. Gibbons, C. C. Roberts, H. W. B. Walling, L. Lake, Miss. Shaw, New Plymouth
L. H. Roberts, Mr., Mrs., and C. Irving, Auckland
G. S. Greaves, Dunedin
Mr. and Mrs. Speir, Lyttelton
J. G. Anderson, Dunedin
H. Langbein, Nelson
H. W. Cooper, D. Mildred, Wellington
Miss N. Rubie, Auck
Mr. and Mrs. Crosthwaite, Mr. and Miss Croxford, Auckland
Mrs. Lockhead and two children, Wellington
C. Parrett, Hobart
T. H. Wright, and Mr. and Mrs. Lunn, Auckland
J. Sheut, Wellington
O. H. Howard, Oamaru
H. E. Boardman and W. E. Birks, Wellington.

Steerage —
Mr. and Mrs. Hanover and family,  F. Butterworth, Mr. C. and Mrs. Smith, J. C. Humphreys, Mr. and Mrs. McKenzie, W. Sprott, F. and A. E. Harvey, F. Webster, E. J. Brittain, A. Beer, G. A. Dougall, Mr. and Mrs. Dickinson, W. E. Bourhill, Mrs. Corree, A. Baker, New Plymouth
R. Hailey, Auckland
Mr. and Mrs. Thompson and family, A. Ironside, Mr. and Mrs. Dance, E. G. Drew, R. S. Mutton, J. Gibson. H. Snalgar, Miss Cartwright, Miss C. Taylor, J. Andrews, A. Deas, Mrs. Plotnicki, W. J. and Mr. Smith, C. L. Schlarlach, Mrs. Bullock and family, J. R. Wall, J. E. Pickles, F. R. and G. L. Shaw, J. T. Wilson, New Plymouth
G. W. and Mrs. Sinclair, Lyttelton
W. H. and J. Claney, Auckland
R. Preston, Wellington
Miss Coghlan, Wanganui
Mr. Bawden, Napier
A. Harvey, Bluff
G. Clowes, Wellington
Mr. and Mrs. Shaw and family, Auckland
Miss L. Page, Dunedin
P. Smith, Miss McCurdy, Wellington
Miss M. Dodd, Lyttelton
E. Arnold, A. Anderson, W. Anderson, D. Black, J. Black, Bluff ; J. Harrison, Melbourne
J. A. Clulow, Mr. and Mrs. Davis and family, J. A. Lennie, Wellington
Mr. and Mrs. Manning, Auckland ; Mrs. Thomson, Timaru
A. Armstroug, Dunedin
H. E. Dyer, Lyttelton
S. L. Thornton, Miss M. Gay, Auckland; J. Hardnick, Lyttelton
A. Johanson, M. Kronquoist, J. Erickson, A. Jacobson, J. Blonigrist, M. Forsander, J. Slangar, S. Slangar, E. Slangar, J. Backman, A. Morgan, New Plymouth.

The Ruapehu has long been a favourite with the travelling public. She was built in 1883 by J. Elder & Co., and is of the following dimensions : — Length, 389 ft; breadth, 46ft ; depth, 23ft 7in. Her tonnage is 4202 gross, 2755 under-deck, and 2659 net. The engines are on the compound principle, with cylinders of 40 and 88 inches, and a stroke of 57 inches. This is the 34th trip of the Ruapehu between London and the colony.

Marlborough Express, 4 January 1897, Page 3
William Irving, a passenger to Wellington, died on the voyage, from consumption.

Nelson Evening Mail, 5 January 1897, Page 2
Captain Stuart, R.N.R., has been in command of the Ruapehu for only two voyages. He has always been very popular with the passengers, and much sympathy is felt with him on account of the stranding of the vessel. Before going on the Ruapehu he was in command of the British-India Co.'s steamer Deccan, which was wrecked in the Rod Sea when the chief officer was on watch. Mr Cogan, the chief officer of the Ruapehu, has been in the service of the N.Z. Shipping Company for several years. The second officer is Mr T. R. Cornwall, a son of Captain Cornwall, of Taranaki, and Mr W. Burrill is third officer, Mr E. Grubb Forsyth, the fourth officer, is a son of the late Mr John Grubb, formerly Chief Postmaster at Napier, and up till the time of his death Assistant Inspector of Post Offices in New Zealand.

Taranaki Herald, 5 January 1897, Page 2
Nelson, January; 4th. — The steamer Kennedy arrived from Farewell to-night, having transhipped some of her coal, into the Mawhera on Sunday: She went alongside the Ruapehu at daylight this morning to take off cargo ; the steamer Mana, which took off eighty tons on the previous evening, also again going along side. By means of the two vessels 256 tons were takou from amidships, besides which the steamer was relieved about forty tons weight by the removal of passengers and effects.

On Sunday night's tide the Ruapehu shifted about her own length astern and canted her bow round to westward.

At nine this morning preparations were made for hauling the Ruapehu off. The steamers Mawhera, Kennedy, and Mana all commenced to tug, and the big vessel's engines were set going at full speed astern. After rolling awhile on the sand the Ruapehu came off, stern first, apparently quite uninjured, and from the attendant steamers hearty cheers went up, and several caps went overboard. The steamers then proceeded to their respective destinations.

Wellington, January, 4th. — The arrival of the Ruapehu alongside the wharf shortly after 9 to-night was the occasion for cheers from a large assemblage.
It appears on full tide last night an attempt was to be made to tow the disabled vessel off, but the Omapere was found to have a portion of hawser round her propeller, and the attempt was abandoned until this morning. So far as can be ascertained, the vessel sustained no injury whatever. The officers are very reticent as to the cause of the accident.

Wellington, January 5.— A general average of 10 per cent, has been struck on the Ruapehu's cargo. She leaves on Thursday for Lyttelton to be docked.
A magisterial enquiry will be held to-morrow to enquire into the circumstances of the stranding.

Hawera & Normanby Star, 11 January 1897, Page 2
WELLINGTON, January 9. At the Ruapehu enquiry, Captain Stuart produced a chart, which showed the positions of the. vessel on January Ist by dead reckoning and observation. | He stated that before going below at 6.35 on the day she struck a steamer passed between the Ruapehu and the shore. Forsyth, fourth officer, deposed that he saw a steamer pass about 6.20, about two miles inside the Ruapehu. The steamer was the Wareatea. At the Nautical Court, Mr Skerrett admitted that the court had power to enquire into the stranding of the Ruapehu, but had no power to deal with the certificates except in accordance with Imperial Statute. As the Ruapehu was not wrecked or sustained any damage, the court could not suspend or cancel the certificates. Mr Gully, for the Customs Department, argued that the Imperial Statute gave the colonial legislature discretionary power to deal with certificates, and as long as the colonial court had discretionary powers given to it by its legislature it had the right to bring a British vessel within its jurisdiction. The Court intimated that it would deliver judgment on Monday afternoon. The Ruapehu left on Saturday evening for Lyttelton, to be docked. January 11. Certificate of the captain was suspended for three months, and he was ordered to pay costs, except £5 which the fourth mate has to pay. The chief officer is exonerated of any responsibility, and his and fourth mate's certificates returned.