The Lyttelton-Wellington ferry went down in Wellington Harbour. The boat hit the Barrett Reef. The call came to abandon ship, and unfortunately 53 people of the 734 on board died.
At that time New Zealand was struck by the most ferocious storm in modern maritime history. Tropical Cyclone Giselle combined with a storm from the Southern Ocean in Cook Strait, leaving a trail of destruction for those on sea and shore.
The late Sean Joyce who lived in Pukekohe was one of the crew on board the Wahine the day it went down. In 2016, The Post shared his experience of the disaster.
“As far as I’m concerned, the crew did a wonderful job, and the captain in my book, should have been knighted. That was the opinion of 99 per cent of the men on board,” the late Sean said. “The sea was atrocious, and suddenly, when he gave the abandon ship signal, the sea seemed to calm for a few minutes almost as if he knew the moment to give the call. That day will be remembered for the bravery of the crew, leadership of the Captain and the courage amongst the passengers.”
His full story cam be read below;