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Encyclopedia > Wahine disaster

The TEV Wahine was a New Zealand inter-island ferry that foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in a storm on 10 April 1968, and capsized near Steeple Rock. Of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 51 people lost their lives. The Pride of Rotterdam, One of the P&O Ferriess Flagships operating the Hull-Rotterdam Route A ferry is a boat or a ship carrying passengers, and sometimes their vehicles, on scheduled services. ... Map of Wellington Harbour entrance showing Barrett Reef The cluster of rocks that is Barrett Reef (often known as Barretts Reef) is one of the most treacherous reefs in New Zealand. ... Wellington (Te Whanganui-a-Tara or Poneke) is the capital of New Zealand, the countrys second-largest urban area and the most populous national capital in Oceania. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1968 calendar). ...


The wrecking of the Wahine is by far the best-known maritime disaster in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse with far greater loss of life. New Zealand television news broadcast the drama as it happened, within a short distance of shore of the eastern suburbs of Wellington. From the latin maritimus, maritime refers to things relating to the sea. ...


In the early morning of 10 April, two violent storms merged over Wellington, creating a single storm that was the worst recorded in New Zealand's history. Cyclone Giselle was heading south after causing much damage in the north of the North Island. It hit Wellington at the same time as another storm which had driven up the West Coast of the South Island from Antarctica. The winds in Wellington were the strongest ever recorded. At one point they reached a speed of 275 km/h. In one Wellington suburb alone the wind ripped off the roofs of 98 houses. Three ambulances and a truck were blown onto their sides when they tried to go into the area to bring out injured people. April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... A roll cloud associated with a heavy or severe thunderstorm over Enschede, Netherlands A storm is any disturbed state of a planets atmosphere, especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying severe weather. ... The CYCLONE, an early computer built in 1959 by Iowa State University, was based on the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) architecture developed by John von Neumann. ... North Island The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island. ... The South Island The South Island is one of the two major islands of New Zealand, the other being the North Island. ...


As the storms hit Wellington, the ferry Wahine was crossing Cook Strait on the last leg of her overnight journey from the port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch, to Wellington. At 5:50 a.m., with winds gusting at between 130 and 150 km/h, Captain Hector Robertson decided to enter the harbour. Twenty minutes later the winds had increased to 160 km/h, and the ship lost its radar. A huge wave pushed the Wahine off course and in line with Barrett Reef. The captain was unable to turn back on course, and decided to keep turning the ferry around and back out to sea again. For 30 minutes the Wahine battled into the waves and wind, but by 6.40 a.m. had been driven back onto the rocks of Barrett Reef. Passengers were told that the ferry was aground, to put on their lifejackets and report to assembly points around the ship. A view of from the summit of Mount Victoria, Wellington - Cook Strait stretches to the right (west). ... Lyttelton on a sunny day Lyttelton (43. ... Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand and the third largest urban area in the country. ... This long range radar antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll[1]. Radar is a system that uses radio waves to detect, determine the distance of, and map, objects such... A lifejacket is an article of protective clothing that is designed to keep the wearer floating above the surface of the water. ...


The storm continued to grow more intense. As the winds increased, the Wahine dragged its anchors and drifted into the harbour, close to the western shore. The weather was so bad that no help could be given from the harbour or the shore. A ships or boats anchor is used to attach the vessel to the bottom at a specific point. ...


At about 11.00 a.m. a harbour tug managed to reach the vessel, and tried to attach a line and tow the ferry, but the line gave way. Other attempts failed, but the deputy harbourmaster managed to climb aboard the Wahine from the pilot launch, which had also reached the scene. TUG is a three-letter acronym which can stand for: Graz University of Technology in Graz, Austria the TeX Users Group The Ultimate Group, an entertainment production company, founded by Chris Stokes Tie Up Games (a form of bondage) For the word tug, see Tug (disambiguation). ... In many countries, a harbourmaster is an official responsible for enforcing the regulations of a particular harbour or port, in order to ensure the safety of navigation, the security of the harbour and the orderly operation of the port facilities. ...


At about 1.15 p.m. the combined effect of the tide and the storm swung the Wahine around, providing a patch of clear water sheltered from the wind and the sea. As the ferry listed more and more, Captain Robertson gave the order to abandon ship. Only four lifeboats could be launched. One lifeboat was swamped when it hit the water and people were lost into the sea. Some managed to hold onto the boat as it drifted across the harbour to the eastern shore. Other boats were also swamped but many of the passengers were able to reach the rescue boats which by now were surrounding the vessel. The tide is the cyclic rising and falling of Earths ocean surface caused by the tidal forces of the Moon and the Sun acting on the Earth. ... For the 1944 movie, see Lifeboat (film). ... Rescue refers to operations that usually involve the saving of life, or prevention of injury. ...


At about 2.30 p.m. the Wahine rolled completely onto her side. By then the first of the survivors were reaching the western shore. Over 200 survivors drifted across to the rocky, unpopulated eastern side of the harbour.


On the eastern side the only road was blocked by land slips, and it became impassable due to the huge seas breaking over it. Some of the survivors reached the shore only to die of exhaustion. Fifty-one people died, most of them middle-aged or elderly, from drowning, exposure or injuries from being battered on the rocks. Look up exposure in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Ten weeks after the sinking, a court of inquiry found errors of judgement had been made, but stressed that the conditions at the time had been difficult and dangerous. The build-up of water on the vehicle deck was the reason the ferry finally capsized. The report of the inquiry stated that more lives would almost certainly have been lost if the order to abandon ship had been given earlier or later. The storm was so strong that rescue craft would not have been able to safely help the passengers from the ferry any earlier than about 12.30 p.m.. A court is an official, public forum which a sovereign establishes by lawful authority to adjudicate disputes, and to dispense civil, labour, administrative and criminal justice under the law. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


Attempts were made to salvage the Wahine, but later storms broke up the wreck, and she was finally dismantled where she lay. Salvage may refer to: Look up salvage in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Today the Wahine Memorial Park marks the disaster, near where survivors reached the western shore at Seatoun. This park has a memorial plaque, the Wahine's anchor and chain, and replica ventilation pipes. The Wahine's fore-mast is part of another memorial in Frank Kitts Park in central Wellington. Seatoun is a suburb of Wellington, the capital city of New Zealand. ...


References

  • Max Lambert and Jim Hartley, The Wahine Disaster (1969)
  • Kevin Boon, The Wahine Disaster, Petone, N.Z. : Nelson Price Milburn, 1990. ISBN 0705514781
  • T.E.V Wahine (O.N. 317814), Shipping casualty, 10 April 1968. Report of Court and Annex Thereto, November 1968. This is the official report of the Court of Inquiry. It is extremely detailed and recommended for those who wish to do serious research into the disaster.
  • C.W.N. Ingram, New Zealand shipwrecks : 195 years of disaster at sea, Auckland, N.Z. : Beckett (1990). ISBN 0908676492. This is the latest edition of a book first published in 1936. Arranged chronologically, the section on the Wahine gives an excellent hour-by-hour account of how the sinking happened as well as details of the Court of Inquiry which followed the disaster.
  • Shang-Chin Lai & Hannah Blair Stephenson, The Wahine: Did It Really Happen? (2005)
  • Alice Markby, Believe Me!(1987)
  • The New Zealand Maritime Record: TEV Wahine Web Site is a detailed account of the ship, including the sinking, with many photographs.
  • New Zealand Disasters Shipwreck: Wahine - A chronological listing, with photographs.
  • Police Response to Disaster - Part of an exhibition that explores how the ability of the police to respond to disasters has developed in the post-war period.
  • The day the Wahine went down - Wirarapa Times-Age report of recollections of Hoppy Hodges, a young police constable involved in the rescue.
  • Deaths from the sinking of the T.E.V. Wahine lists those who perished in the disaster.
  • The Wahine Disaster gives a good account of the sinking, with links to Hurricane Giselle and other New Zealand disasters.
  • Revell & Gorman-The Wahine storm is a research paper published in the New Zealand Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research. This paper (available in pdf format) is an academic evaluation of the meteorology of Hurricane Giselle.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Wahine disaster - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1112 words)
The TEV Wahine was a New Zealand inter-island ferry that foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour in a storm on 10 April 1968, and capsized near Steeple Rock.
The wrecking of the Wahine is by far the best-known maritime disaster in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse with far greater loss of life.
As the storms hit Wellington, the ferry Wahine was crossing Cook Strait on the last leg of her overnight journey from the port of Lyttelton, near Christchurch, to Wellington.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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