NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
SINKING OF THE NORTHUMBERLAND AND SS BOOJUM
OFF BAY VIEW, NAPIER, HAWKES BAY
WEDNESDAY 11 MAY 1887
From New Zealand Shipwrecks and Hawke's Bay Herald, 12 May 1887. Volume XXII, Issue 7741 p3 and later editions of this newspaper.
During a terrific gale on Wednesday 11 May 1887 the Northumberland which had arrived off Napier on Monday night the 9 May, parted her cables and drifted on to a bank about two miles west of the port.
She had on board 1000 tons of her original cargo including material for the Wairoa bridge, 4000 bags of wheat and other produce loaded at Lyttelton. The ship was steadied with her second anchor but around 10am on the 11th her anchors began to drag. Five smaller steamers including the Weka, Sir Donald and Boojum went to her aid and stood by while the ship's boats were lowered.
Unfortunately the Boojum was carried on to the breakers and quickly overturned. The Northumberland's lifeboat succeeded in rescuing the engineer Louis MARTIN but the captain and three crew were drowned. They were: -
|BAIN||George||38||No known relatives in colony*|
|KELVINGTON||George William||30||Leaves pregnant widow|
|SETTER||John (Captain)||44||Leaves widow and four children|
|WADDELL||Archibald||31||Leaves widow and seven children|
The 31 members of the Northumberland's crew including the Captain, Richard TODD, and four passengers were all rescued. The ship eventually broke up but the wreck re-appeared during the Napier earthquake in February 1931.
*Hawke's Bay Herald, Volume XXIII, Issue 8003, 16 March 1888, Page 2
It will be remembered that one of the victims of the Boojum Disaster was a seaman named George BAIN, who was buried by some of his acquaintances at the Spit. Yesterday Captain B B Creagh was waited on by Mr Robert MacFarlan, a solicitor and barrister from Dumbarton, Scotland, and was requested by him on behalf of the deceased's family to thank all who so kindly assisted in the interment. Mr MacFarlan knows the late George Bain's family well, and when he made known to them that he was going to New Zealand for a trip, he was particularly desired to convey their sincere thanks for the kindness shown. It was also desired that special thanks should be conveyed to Mrs R D D McLean for her kindness in sending the beautiful floral wreath that was laid on the coffin.
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