Shonas Wrecks - Waitara

This page is an entry in Shonas Wreck Guide.


Type: Iron Sailing Ship
Builders: J. Reid & Co., Port Glasgow
Owners: D. & J.Macdonald, Liverpool
Launched: 1863
Dim: 182.4 x 34.2 x 20.9 feet
Tonnage: 883
Passengers: c.200 emigrants.

Waitara at anchor
Waitara at anchor

1873 purchased from British & Eastern Shipping Co, she was sold to C.W. Turner for NZS service and first registered at London in his name on 26.8.1873. She has the honour of being the first vessel purchased for the new company. 1874 renamed Waitara 1881 The Waitara was lengthened to 191 feet. 1883 The Waitara was lost in the English Channel

 A Hamilton bottle and green glazed plate
A Hamilton bottle and green glazed plate on the wreck

The Waitara was sailing up the channel in hazy weather on the 26th June 1883, bound for Wellington when the Hurunui (also owned by the New Zealand Shipping Company), Bound for Dunedin, collided with it off Bill of Portland. The Waitara sank in about four minutes, and twenty- five of her passengers and crew were lost. The Huranui rescued sixteen, including Captain Webster, and the chief officer.

 Approaching the first deco stop
Approaching the first deco stop

In an Era when many sailing ships met with a sorry end, the Waitara was to be The companies only total loss. A direct result of this loss was that passenger embarkation was shifted to Plymouth.

 Spidge from dive
Spidge from Waitara