The Wahine disaster

It’s 42 years since New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster – the sinking of the Wahine with the loss of 52 lives plus another who died later as a result of injuries.

When I was learning to scuba dive a decade later the instructor emphasised the importance of gripping our buoyancy vests by the neck and pulling them down as we jumped into the water. He ensured we remembered by telling us that some of the Wahine passengers had died of broken necks caused by the force of life jackets lifting when they hit the water.

The human story behind the numbers is portrayed realistialcly and sensitively in David Hill’s novel No Safe Harbour.

PM of NZ posts on Cyclone Giselle which caused the storm which sank the ferry, caused other deaths and widespread damage.

Keeping Stock posts Lest We Forget.

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