Sometimes just left to rot, other times as a result of navigational errors or warfare, wrecked ships tickle our fancy. Â In some case, real treasure may lie within, whereas other times, it’s more technical and historical information that can be gleaned.
Not related to these images, but the Orpheus was the wreck with the greatest loss of life in New Zealand waters. It sank on 7 February 1863 when it struck a sandbar near Auckland. Of the 259 people on board, 189 died.
In more recent times (10 April 1968), a cyclone met a southerly front, and this produced very strong winds. The Christchurchâ€“Wellington ferry Wahine was hit by this storm and struck Barrett Reef near Wellington Harbour. A propeller was knocked off and one engine stopped working. The ship leaned to one side, so only half of the lifeboats could be launched. Many of the life rafts flipped over in the wild seas. Of the 734 people on the ship, 51 died.
One still a little too fresh in our mind is the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior that was blown up and sunk in Auckland by French secret-service agents in 1985, when one person was killed. The ship was towed to Northland and re-sunk, and it is now a place for divers to explore.