City Of Auckland.......
From, NZ Shipwrecks.
CITY OF AUCKLAND, ship: The ship went ashore on the Otaki Beach at about 9
p.m. on October 22, 1878, and became a total wreck.
At the time of the casualty, a north-west gale was blowing and the weather was very thick,
causing the master to mistake Kapiti Island for Stephen's Island, and alter
the ship's course so as to run through Cook Strait. The ship was under
topsails when she struck close to the wreck of the"Felixstone". She had on
board 256 immigrants and had nearly completed her voyage from London to
Napier. A certain amount of panic ensued among the passengers, but this was
promptly quelled by the master, who revolver in hand, threatened to shoot
the first person rushing the boats. The following morning, all hands were
landed in perfect safety, a line being attached to the stern of each boat
and slackened oft as it progressed towards the shore. In this way they were
kept fore and aft and prevented from broaching to and capsizing in the
heavy surf running. The English settlers and Maoris from Otaki rendered
yeoman service in assisting the passengers ashore, and afterwards were most
liberal in their hospitality to the shipwrecked complement. The immigrants
were forced to tramp to Waikanae, about 12 miles further south, to board
the Government steamer Hinemoa which conveyed them first to Wellington. and
then to Napier. From the first, it was apparent that the City of Auckland
would become a total wreck, as very soon her, sternpost and forefoot gave
way in consequence of the sea breaking against her, and she had also buried
herself in the sand to a depth of eight feet.
At the Court of Inquiry, the nautical assessors disagreed, and the chairman later gave an independent decision, in which he stated that though there was an error of 14 to 15
miles in the course marked on the chart, negligence could not be proved
against any officer, and all certificates were returned. The ship was
commanded by Captain George Ralls.
The, City of Auckland No. 60.964, was a full-rigged ship, of composite
build, of 780 tons register, built at Sunderland in 1869, and her
dimensions were: length 172.2 ft., beam 33.1 ft., depth 19.1 ft. She bad
sailed from London on July 13, with a general cargo consigned to the New
Zealand Shipping Company, at Napier. On January 24, 1871, the ship caught
fire at Auckland, and when other methods to quell the fire failed, she was
taken cut into the stream and scuttled, being refloated two days later.
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