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Wahine Disaster In New Zealand

This discussion on "Wahine Disaster In New Zealand" is in the Ferries section; Does anyone have any information on the ferry Wahine, which sank in a storm off ...

      
   
  1. #1
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    Does anyone have any information on the ferry Wahine, which sank in a storm off New Zealand. I have only seen it once on the Discovery Channel. I have never seen or heard of it again.
    Please help!!!!

  2. #2
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    For the full story go to http://www.nzmaritime.co.nz/wahine.htm

    The incident is a fine example of the uselessness of lifeboats in a real seaway.
    Dave Gittins
    Titanic: Monument and Warning.
    http://titanicebook.com/Book.html

  3. #3
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    Thanks for that site, Dave. I've seen the story in documentaries, so it was good to get a bit more detail. I also take your point about the lifeboats.

    Michael, here's a 1998 article from The Wairarapa Times, including interviews with a survivor couple and one of the rescuers: <a href="http://www.times-age.co.nz/weekly/wahine.html" target="_blank">www.times-age.co.nz/weekly/wahine.html</a>

  4. #4
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    thank you!!!!

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    With the Wahine Diaster,it would proably be best to contact Martin Cahill. He is a fellow New Zealander, like myself and is very knowleable at the subject. He travelled on the Wahine before she sank, so did my mother. He will proably be the best person to contact and I am sure he won't mind you dropping in a line. His email address is: ngaio62@yahoo.com

    Hope this is of help.

    Regards,

    Nigel



  6. #6
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    Thanks Nigel for your post. You are all welcome to write to me directly if you like.

    With regard to the life boats 4 of the 8 were able to be launched namely those on the low starboard side.
    #1 was the motorised emergency boat. this got away and the engine was started. However water was found to be entering via the drainage hole and it swamped killing the motor. It capsized in heavy seas to be washed up on the eastern shore.
    #s 23&4 were larger and hand propelled by lever action. These were fully loaded and drifted east of the ferry into rougher water. 2&4 were taken in tow by private launches and landed there cargo safe at Seatoun. #3 under the command of a Quartermaster was navigated up hrbour to land its passengers at Eastbourne.

    The liferafts proved quite capable of supporting life even when the deployed upsidedown or incompletely and were successfull until they reached the east coast.

    More lives would have been saved if the small boat skippers had been aware and able to mobolise quicker. Most ofthe 51 lost were on the east coast.

    cheers

    Martin



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  9. #9
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    This memorial is the aft mast of the Wahine and was erected in 1990 on the wellington waterfront near the Interisland wharf where she would depart at 8pm for Lyttelton.

    Martin

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    should read "Inter Island Wharf"

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    Very interesting pics, Martin. Thanks for posting them.

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    Great photos, Martin.

    I've always intended to look more closely into the NZ inter-island ferries - one of Harold Lowe's brothers reportedly captained one for a number of years.

  13. #13
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    thanks Inger and Senan for your support. I plan to post more as I am able to. I feel a certain debt after the generosity of my friends in the UK and Erie who have post images for me.

    you no doubt know about the Princess victoria disaster, esp you Senan. The Wahine was similar to that and the connection between the two is that the PV design flaws led to the design of stern door on the Wahine which was later found to be watertight after the ship sank.

    Inger, if you have any more detail about that Titanic connection I'd love to know more. Any questions about the NZ ferries do post them and I'll have ago.


    cheers

    Martin

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    Hello Martin
    Thanks very much for sharing those interesting photos. They are excellent. Have you ever met a Wahine survivor?
    Thanks
    Mike

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    Harold Lowe himself was a big fan of NZ, Martin. It was no wonder one of his brothers settled there. There are a few other family connections as well. I'll see if I can send you some information on the inter-island ferry link.

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    Hi Michael,

    Yes I have met survivors both crew and passengers. I am involved in ongoing research for a writing project/Book and have interviewed a number of them. the transcripts of the Inquiry and its papers are also readily available.
    There are more photos where they came from.

    Martin

  17. #17
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    HI Martin
    This is excellent news! I definitely can't wait to read your book. I have a tv special on tape and I felt so bad for the mother who hit her little girl for not wanting to go in the lifeboat and the little girl ended up drowning. Then there was the newlywed who jumped overboard and she recalled looking up and seeing her husband just standing there. Perhaps you could do a preview article for ET as well?
    Good luck and best wishes!
    Mike

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    I, too, look forward to reading it, so best of luck with the project!

  19. #19
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    Thanks Jim and Mike,
    I have met the Mother you mention. She comes to Wellington every year. She lost two of her children. Alma, on the day and Gordon who died 21 years later as a result of the brain damage caused by his near drowning. Shirley Hick looked after him for as long as it took and that required a lot of strength. She is an amazing person and my first impression when I met her was of great strength.

    Personally the most sobering fact is the fate of Colin Johnson, 6 y.o.. He is listed as drowned. he was the same age as I was on the day and when I saw his death certificate in the Archives it really stopped me in my tracks as I had recently travelled on WAHINE as well.

    There, but for the grace of God, go I.

    Martin

  20. #20
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    Wahine Memorial Seatoun Beach

    This is a place I visit often and watch the ships pass. I still see the Wahine out there even though she is not.

    Martin

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    Hi Martin

    Thanks for your stuff on the Wahine - very interesting. Just wondering - do you know what ever happened to the Aranui?

    Thanks and Regards


    Kevin

  22. #22
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    Aranui was sold and sailed for the same compay as the Aramoana. NadjII and III.
    Both went up the beach at Alang.

    Martin

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    Such a shame such symbols of N Z domestic maritime history had to end up in a place like that


    Kevin

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    Hi Martin

    Can you advise if and where I can get a copy of the inquiry into the Wahine sinking?

    Appreciate any help


    Thanks

    Kevin

  25. #25
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    Kevin,

    Where abouts are you in the world?

    Martin

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    Hello Martin

    I'm based in Melbourne - I do get across to NZ frequently though

    Cheers


    Kevin

  27. #27
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    Kevin,
    If you like I can can keep an eye out and see if I can pick up a second hand copy for you.
    If you are happy w/ that please advise either here or by PM.

    Martin

  28. #28
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    I am researching the Wahine Ferry Disaster.
    My three focus questions are:
    1. What was the backround and cause of the disaster?
    2. What happened during the disaster?
    3. What were the consequences of the disaster for the people involved?

    Have you got any memories or recollections you could share with me?

    Have you got any newspaper clippings or articles you could photo copy and send to me?

    Do you know any one i could contact and interview about this disaster?

    Do you know of anyone in or around dunedin i could meet with and discuss this disaster?

    My email address is: bevstephen@xtra.co.nz
    My postal address is: Raechel Hunt, 19 Stirling Crescent, Mosgiel, Dunedin.

    Thank you
    Raechel Hunt

  29. #29
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    Thanks Martin

    That would be great and appreciated very much. My email is kevin.mccormick@bendigobank.com.au and as soon as you advise cost etc I will immediately do a bank transfer. Again I appreciate your assistance

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    Hey I'm doing a research topic on the Wahine and was wondering if you knew of anyone in the Chch area who would be able to help me with stories etc? I have to find a lot of different sources for this topic such as newspapers, survivor stories, internet sites etc. Do you have anything that could help me?
    Thanks
    Alyssa

  31. #31
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    Hi,Kevin

    If I am lucky you'll hear from me, the hunt has begun on it.

    Hi Alyssa,

    If you are in Christchurch you might want to check out Lyttelton. It was the scene of alot of activity over the decades with those ships. I think they have a local museum. This would be a good start. ask around as there may be people who have stories of the time.

    cheers

    Martin

  32. #32
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    On the eve of the 40h anniversary of this disaster a new website has been created by the Godson of the ship's captain.
    It is well worth the time recquired to read it.

    http://www.thewahine.co.nz/wahine.html

    It deals very much with the story of Captain Robertson and the ship he commanded

  33. #33
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    On April 9 at 8.30pm a BBC documentary will go to air on Maori TV in New Zealand.

    This film is about the the events of April 10 1968 and hopefully will be seen overseas as well.

  34. #34
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    From the New Zealand Herald:

    TV Review: Still seeking answers 40 years after ferry tragedy

    quote:

    Television documentaries that come heralded by promos promising answers to unsolved mysteries so often prove to be windy and overblown affairs.

    But last night's re-examination of the Wahine interisland ferry sinking in April 1968 (Inside Story: The Wahine Disaster, TV One, 9.30) navigated its way solidly around the sensationalist reefs on which so many of the lightweights run aground.

    For the rest go to, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/15...ectid=10501220
    Jason D. Tiller
    "To be happy is to be contented in your own mind"...Harold Godfrey Lowe
    43 44' 01" N, 79 24' 16"W
    Author of an upcoming biography on Arthur G. Peuchen

  35. #35
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    Evening all,

    I met a chap from New Zealand working in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, yesterday. He is aged about 30 and has never visited the North Island. Worse still, he has never heard of the Wahine. Amazing, I thought. Then again, I shouldn't be so surprised. During my research into the Herald of Free Enterprise, many people I know confused the Zeebrugge disaster with the Marchioness or the Estonia and some had never even heard of it at all.

    I was always shocked at how some of my friends made it through each day seemingly completely oblivious to what was happening in the world. I often thought my possibly obsessive interest in historical events was a burden but, nah, I guess I'm just helping to keep the memory alive.

    Cheers,

    Box

  36. #36
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    http://www.thewahine.co.nz/index.html?Home&#43;Page.x=72&Home&#43;Page.y=7

    this is the updated link to Murray Robinsons' excellent website about the Wahine.

    I rate it ***** out of 5

 

 

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