DIVE SS WAIRARAPA SHIPWRECK
A TRUELY HISTORIC WRECK DIVE
The SS Wairarapa was the third-worst shipwreck in New Zealand waters, 121 lives were lost when the Union Steam Ship Company steamer SS Wairarapa struck Miners Head, on the northern tip of Great Barrier Island, 90 km north-east of Auckland.
The SS Wairarapa was a well-known steamer plying the route between Auckland and Sydney.
DIVE TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
The SS Wairarapa was a well-known steamer plying the route between Auckland and Sydney. Only weeks before this tragedy the ship had crossed the Tasman in record time. On the fateful trip the SS Wairarapa was carrying 170 passengers and 65 crew.
In thickening fog, Captain J.S. McIntosh maintained 13 knots (24 kph), nearly full speed. A number of crew and passengers were concerned that the ship was going too fast. Shortly after midnight the steamer slammed against the cliffs of Great Barrier Island. As water began to flood in through a hole in the hull, the Wairarapa listed to one side. Many of those on board slid off the deck into the sea; others were swept away by heavy seas. Horses, sheep and other cargo were also swept overboard, adding to the confusion and risk for those in the water. Two lifeboats rescued 50 people from the sea, but other boats were smashed or swamped when they hit the water.
The passengers and crew left on board clung to the rigging or climbed to the bridge. When daylight arrived a steward swam ashore with a line. Passengers were then hauled through the water. The survivors huddled on the rocks for more than 30 hours before being rescued by local Māori. As the island’s only contact with the outside world was via a weekly steamer, news of the shipwreck took three days to reach Auckland
In all, 101 of the 186 passengers and 20 of the 65 crew died. The resulting Court of Enquiry found that Captain McIntosh’s actions were the primary cause of the tragedy. As well as maintaining excessive speed, he was judged to have taken the wrong course from the Three Kings Islands and not made allowance for currents.
DIVE TOUR DETAILS & INCLUSIONS
Our single day charters include two tank dives from our boat Midnight Diver. Dive gear is provided to all of our customers.
If you are excited about wreck diving then why not book our unique Great Barrier 3 day liveaboard tour. Up to four dives a day are possible. Food and accommodation are included in the price.
If you are interested in taking your Wreck Diver certification then please contact us and we will be glad to help you
DIVE CHARTER ITINERARY
To enquire about this charter, contact us via email or call us on 09 422 3599, alternately why not join our Great Barrier liveaboard charter, the SS Wairarapa is a dive site destination for this trip.
WHAT TO BRING
Remember to bring an appropriate change of clothes, lunch or snacks, water and sunscreen. Dive gear is provided.
To learn more about diving shipwrecks take a wreck diving course and experience the excitement of the SS Wairarapa
ADVANCED DIVER COURSE"Elite Standard of Training, Thank you NZ Diving Looking forward to working together on the next step of my overall objective.
SCUBA DIVE CHARTER"Neil and his crew were fantastic!! An awesome day with awesome people. Totally recommend!!
WEEKEND WRECK CHARTER"We were well looked after on our Wreck Dive and had a great time with top notch banter from Neil and his team"
OPEN WATER COURSE“ Completed 3 day course a month ago with my 18yr daughter. Would absolutely connect with this company in the future to dive again!! Thanks Neil!!”
HAMMERHEAD EXPERIENCE“ Professional, Informative, Amazing and Fun, What more could you want!? ”
ENQUIRE TODAYPlease contact us using the enquiry form below, if you would like to know more about any diving options featured on our website. Interested in a particular course? Need help with finding suitable diving equipment? Or, any other questions that you may have? Please use this contact form to get in touch with us.
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