Alexandra 1865

Alexandra 1865

ALEXANDRA, steamer: The Alexandra, a Government transport, was wrecked on the rocks off Pukearuhe, Taranaki, on August 8, 1865. It was stated that the steamer was in charge of the pilot at the time of the casualty, and in consequence of being kept too close to the land the vessel struck on a sunken reef and had to be quickly abandoned. The Alexandra left New Plymouth on August 7 for Pukearuhe, where she arrived the same day and anchored for the night abreast of Parahinihini, about a league from the shore. At daybreak the steamer stood in for the anchorage, the wind being light at the time. The water gradually shoaled to three fathoms, and the vessel was considered to be in the passage between two reefs through which vessels passed to the anchorage off Pukearuhe.

The water shoaled to two and a half fathoms, and shortly after the engines were stopped the Alexandra touched slightly. The engines were immediately reversed, but in clearing off the steamer struck aft and then amidships on a sunken rock. She was then a mile from the shore. The steamer’s head canted offshore and she stood out for two miles, when it was found that she had six feet of water in the hold. Under these circumstances there was nothing for it but to run her on shore, which the captain immediately decided on doing. When about half a mile from the nearest point of land the fires were extinguished by the water, and the Alexandra sank just before reaching the land. The passengers reached the shore safely, but the casualty was too sudden and complete to allow of anything being saved. At high water the sea was over the main deck up to the forecastle. The mainmast had tc be cut away, as it had started from the main deck about ten inches. It was stated that the person engaged as pilot at New Plymouth was not in a fit state to take charge of the vessel.


The Alexandra, No. 47,294, was an iron, screw steamer, barque-rigged, of 349 tons gross and 273 tons net register, built at Renfrew, Scotland, in 1863, by Messrs. Henderson and Company, and her dimensions were: length 162 ft., beans 24.3 ft., depth 12.2 ft. Her two engines were of 90 h.p.

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