Archaehistoria

WAITEMATA, wooden barquentine:
Early on the morning of 1 February 1898, when bound from Newcastle, NSW, to Auckland with a cargo of coal, the barquentine sank between Tiritiri Island and Rangitoto Reef as the result of a collision with the steamer Stella. The Stella left Auckland at midnight for Mangawai, and at about 3am the master saw the Waitemata close to his ship. No one on board the steamer saw the barquentine’s starboard light. As soon as Captain Kennedy, master of the Stella, saw the Waitemata he gave orders to port the helm, and tried to clear the sailer’s stern, but it was too late. The next moment the Stella struck the barquentine. The steamer did not run stem on, her bow struck the Waitemata at an angle and grazed along her side. The master of the barquentine hailed the Stella, saying that his vessel was sinking and asking him to stand by. The steamer stood by, lowered her boats, and took all hands, numbering 10, from the sinking vessel. In about 20 minutes after the collision the Waitemata sank about four miles south by west from the Tiritiri lighthouse.
The Court of Inquiry found that the loss of the Waitemata was caused by her being run down by the Stella, the collision being caused by the negligent navigation of the master of the Stella, Captain Robert Kennedy, whose master’s certificate was ordered to be cancelled. (See New Zealand Herald, 2 & 9 Feb., and Editorial 17 Feb. 1898.)
The Waitemata, No. 70,176, 365 tons register, built at Sunderland in 1875 by Richard Thompson. Length 146.9ft., beam 29ft., depth 12.9ft. The vessel, formerly named Fylde, was owned by Mr J.J. Craig, of Auckland, and commanded by Captain Frederick Ferdinand Nelson.

Text from New Zealand Shipwrecks, 8th edition (Hodder Moa, 2007). Used with permission of the publisher and authors.

 

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