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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Two shots of New Zealand ferries on the Clyde;the first shows the launch in July 1965 of WAHINE which sadly foundered in a storm in 1968 in Wellington Harbour.
Ironically,her Tyne built replacement,RANGATIRA was laid up in Glasgow in 1977/78 and the second shot shows her as such.She became an accommodation ship after that,also served if I remember rightly in the Falklands in 1982 and last I heard of her was a Mediterranean ferry as QUEEN M
 

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For those with access to the latest copy of "Sea Breezes" (Sept '04), there is a letter in "Slop Chest" giving a personal account of the WAHINE disaster.

Sea Breezes is also on line at www.seabreezes.co.im althought not for the latest edition.
 

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On a personal note I can well remember the shock of her sinking in Wellington harbour.
I had just returned to Sydney on the "Himalaya" following a cruise in Pacific waters and everyone on board was horrified at what had happened. We were aware very quickly of the incident but the tale of the various rescues and survivors experiences became quite harrowing as time went on. Part of our shock was simply not understanding how such a modern and well cared for vessel could have got itself into such difficulties so quickly and also in not understanding just how bad the weather conditions actually were at the time. A sad ending for such a ship in addition to the lives that were lost in the incident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Likewise.I was returning home from work and saw the photo of her on her side on the front page of our local evening papers.Couldn/t believe it at all.
 

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A total of 51 persons lost her life in those tragedy.Subsequently the ship,
broke in three piece in mountainous seas whipped up by hurricane force winds
during wreck removal activity in may 1969.the last part of the wreck was removed from the site in 1973!!!!!!.
 

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Would be interesting to know what ultimately happened to the Rangatira, she certainly disappeared into the shadows after the Falklands War, no doubt been scrapped many years ago now!!.
 

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Wahine

I think everybody remembers where they were that day. Due to the weather, (the storm affected most of the country) my school was closed so I was at home.
To this day, the storm that hit that day is still known as the "Wahine Storm".
She was so unlucky - ten minutes either side and she would have safely berthed........
 

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Thanks for that Flyer, yeh she was unlucky...but arent they all, you can invariably put up an arguement like that...the sad fact remains that the odds were against them and what happened happened. Also in hindsight looking at some of the engine controls and equipment that she had if she had been built probably a year or so later she might well have survived as there were a raft of things just coming in that might have made a difference...but there you go..another one of those arguements!!
 

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I worked for the Union Co in Head Office at the time. I was 21 and my best friend was Chris Morrah the assistant purser who was lost. Some years later I married his sister. My father in law as Electrical Supt of the Union Co and Bill Waters the naval architect who designed "wahine" was a close personal friend of the family so the disaster had big ramifications within our family. I ended up looking after a ward at WLG Hospital and it was my first experience of death close at hand and the related grief and anger. I never cease to be amazed whenever I look out at to sea at Seatoun to the location where she went down. Part of our maritme history now......
Selwyn
Cassim
 

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If memory serves me correctly, I think that the complete bow section of the Wahine was stood upright on the quay in Wellington, not far from where we berthed. It would have been mid 1970 or possibly 71 when I saw it.....would I be correct in thinking this....?.
 

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Thank's yet again David......rather macarbe but interesting to see it again. Did they scrap the bow section or use it as a memorial in some way..? I remember that it had the name section across it. look forward to seeing that
 

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I can recall several large chunks of her coming ashore. The bridge was impressive and a large slice of the E Deck accomodation was landed at Taranaki St Wharf and I had the bizarre experience of standing in the same cabin as I had been in when travelling on the ship. The cabin numbers were made of Formica and still easily visble. The smell of rotting shellfish was really strong. Her aftermast is a memorial down in Frank Kitts Park on the foreshore in the city. I believe her foremast is still around too. They have a memorial around at Seatoun near where she sank which is quite impressive. It features a ships cowled ventilator and some anchor chain stretched seaward towards an anchor. I went to the 30th? anniversary commemorations and met some of the survivors that i had not seen since that day. One lady even recognised me when I spoke to her! I have some photos that were taken just after the wreck but they are out on loan at the moment. Will post them when I get them back.
Cheers
Cassim
 

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Wahine

Attached a photo of the bow sections on Taranaki Street Wharf, Wellington.
After being cut up, they were transported to Auckland and melted into reinforcing rods.
Apologies for photo quality - it is a photocopy of an original image by Vic Young and produced in a "Wahine Resource Kit" by the Wellington Maritime Museum.
 

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"Wow" !............that's just transported me back 35 years in an instant.
Thats exactly as I remember it......I was stood in the bow section where the crane is...just looking in absoulute awe as Mo (Maurice Peachman) and Ray the steward's told me the story of what happened that day. It was 1970 and I was sixteen at the time on my first trip to sea, so it was quite an experience for me to see something like this.

Many thanks for posting that picture for me David.....brings back many memories.
 

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Wahine Day as it is known will never be forgotten, I had recently returned from the U.K. and remember hearing the news that she was in trouble very early on the radio, the weather had to be lived through to be believed! Walked to work as the buses were not running only to find we had no power and listening to the news on transister was our only occupation and gathering on the ground floor of my workplace as we had lost our roof. The rescue operation was indeed full of unsung heroes, a friend of mine was a steward who was washed ashore at pencarrow [his first ship] in front of him was a rather large woman who was exhausted and was struggling to make the shore so he pushed her by her backside up the beach saving her life. Many months later a parcel arrived for him at the union office it container a jersey that she had knitted for her hero, upon trying on the said garment he found it was down to his knees and the sleeves were about a foot too long, she must of thought he was a very big strong man to have pushed her to safety!
During the summer of 73' I was stewardess on the Aramoana and we used to pass the Holmpark anchored over the salvage site on every crossing, whenever this happened the passengers used to go very quiet, nobody forgot "Wahine Day"
 

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Hi

I have posted in "Ferries" a photo of the Seatoun Wahine memorial.
I would be interested to read your thoughts about the encroaching vegetation near the anchor as I am considering an approache to Parks and Reserves about this.

many thanks

Martin
 
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