SWALLOW, brigantine : Wrecked off East Head, at the entrance to Tory Channel, on June 28, 1879. The vessel left Lyttelton on June 26, bound for Newcastle. On the night of the 27th thick weather, with rain, was experienced, and at 12.30 a.m. the following day the master found his ship close in shore. Both anchors were dropped in order to save life and property; the crew then embarked in the boats and pulled out to sea, but returned to the brigantine at daylight. Some hours later a party of Maoris arrived and directed them to Picton, where they arrived on the afternoon of June 28. The crew later returned to the Swallow and found her a complete wreck. The Court of Inquiry found that the loss of the Swallow was caused through the gross neglect of the master in not sufficiently studying the tides or heaving the vessel to during thick weather. The master’s certificate was suspended for three months.
The Swallow, No. 63,910, which was under the command of Captain G. F. Davies, was described in Lloyd’s Register as brigantine-rigged, but in the Australian and New Zealand Shipping Register she was stated to be a schooner. The latter would be correct, as she had three masts. She was of 298 tons register, built at Sunderland in January, 1874, and her dimensions were : length 129.5 ft., beam 26.6 ft., depth 12.9 ft.