April 10, 2006

Thirty eight years ago, the Wahine went down. One of the worst storms in Wellington's history, with two cyclones colliding over the city, whipped up winds reported between 160 and 270 km/h in the Cook Straight and Wellington harbour; the overnight ferry from Lyttleton to Wellington sailed into the mess with tragic results.
  • . That's more than I'd ever learned about the Wahine before -- so many mistakes. Why on earth did the ferry proceed across the Strait and into the harbour instead of diverting west into the relatively calm Sounds?
  • The first I'd heard of this sad event. For some reason the presence of one stowaway amongst the drowned brought home the vagaries of fortune more than just a bald death toll.
  • A very compelling story.
  • A very similar ship, the Queen of the North, recently sank near here. Fortunately, due to the time of year, the number of passengers was limited and only two souls were lost. Despite modern advances in technology, the sinking appears to have been caused be some sort of horrendous navigation error.
  • Ach, this is a sad tale! Always regarded cyclones or tornados as inland phenomena, but I assume these were more similar to what we in North America call hurricanes.
  • It must be a very awful experience to be a stow away on a sinking ship.
  • That's how I feel all the time!!
  • Here's a few more answers to why the rescue was so delayed and unorganised.
  • And we'll try that link again, shall we?