Thomas Bryan 1928
THOMAS BRYAN, steam trawler : In thick black, dirty weather, an ENE. gale blowing, the steamer went ashore at 11.30 p.m. on June 10 1928, on the rocky coast outside Coromande’. Peninsula, half way between Port Charles and Waikawau Bay. She lay on her beam ends, wit; her holds full of water, and was high and dry a1 low water. The crew had a trying experience when the vessel went ashore. A rope from the rigging was made fast to a rock on the reef, and down this the crew scrambled to safety. They landed a1 the foot of high cliffs, some five miles from Port Charles, in an uninhabited part of the country In places the cliffs are 400 feet in height, and the men had no alternative but to spend the night at their foot, but at the first streak of daylight the) commenced an arduous climb to Port Charles reaching the post office there at 10 a.m.
The trawler was abandoned to the underwriter on June 17. A very large hole had been made in the seaward side through pounding on the rocks and water was pouring into the hull. Later in the week a fierce gale and heavy seas caused further damage, the vessel ultimately becoming a tota wreck.
The Court of Inquiry found that the Thoma; Bryan left the trawling grounds at 10 a.m., and at 9.30 p.m. she was off the Old Man Rock, and al that point the master stood his course for a quarter of an hour. He then set the proper course to pick up the Channel Island light. After doing this he went below for a rest, having been on duty for 16 hours. The master, before going below, gave instructions to the man on the lookout to call him if the weather became thick, and the lookout failed to call him before the vessel struck the rocks in the vicinity of Charles Cove. The cause of the wreck was the failure of the helmsman and the lookout to keep the ship on her proper course and call the master when the weather became thick. The master acted as a seaman should after the wreck.
and the evidence proved that the crew owed their lives to the measures he took. The court considered that in vessels of this class two certificated officers should be carried, and also that the shipping of the men should be done by the master, and he would then have an opportunity of employing competent men. Tile master’s certificate was returned, and no order made as to costs.
The Thomas Bryan, No. 145,298, was a steel, screw steamer of 215 tons gross and 93 tons net register, built at Aberdeen in 1917, and her dimensions were: length 115.4 ft., beam 22.1 ft., depth 12.1 ft. Her engines were of 74 h.p. The trawler was owned by Messrs. Sanford Ltd., of Auckland, and was under the command of Captain James Holt. The Thomas Bryan was one of the Strath class of North Sea trawlers, a number of which were used as minesweepers during World War I. She was purchased by her owners in England and arrived in Auckland waters in August, 1927. (See plate 102.)