Ann Gambles 1878
ANN GAMBLES, barque : The vessel sailed from Gravesend on January 26, 1878, and the South West Cape was sighted on May 15, the wind then blowing with hurricane force. The weather was very thick and the barque was close inshore. Great difficulty was experienced in clawing offshore, and at one time it was feared that the vessel would strand. The Ann Gambles escaped, however, and passed the Solanders at noon on May 16. As she drew up with the Bluff, sail was shortened, and as the night was bright with moonlight, and quite clear between squalls, the master decided to enter Bluff Harbour.
As the Ann Gambles rounded Starling Point, the foresail was taken in and both anchors let go, the foretopsail being still set. A heavy squall then struck the vessel, and before the anchors could bite, she was driven on to the rocks at Tewais Point, the tide swinging her broadside on. Although no signal had been made for him, the port pilot had observed the barque, and putting off to her, found her hard and fast on the rocks. When the Ann Gambles was boarded it was high tide, and the water was flowing into her. The vessel was full from aft to the forepeak bulkhead. She was fitted with two bulkheads, but the after one gave way under pressure. The weather at Invercargill on the night of the wreck was described as dreadful, and was stated to be even worse at Bluff, but no lives were lost. After much preparation, several attempts were made about the middle of August to refloat the Ann Gambles, and were rewarded with some success, but all the work was nullified on November 23, when, as the result of a heavy southerly sea, the barque broke up. The following day she had almost entirely disappeared, a centrifugal pump valued at Â£500 also being lost.
The Ann Gambles, No. 28,813, was an iron barque of 424 tons register, built at Harrington, Cumberland, in 1862, and her dimensions were length 149 ft., beam 26.6 ft., depth 17.1 ft. She was owned by Mr. John Gambles, of Worthington, commanded by Captain R. Morgan, and carried a crew of 14 all told, including four apprentices. Her cargo was valued at Â£10,000.
The Court of Inquiry found that the master was guilty of rashness in attempting to enter port at night without a pilot, and suspended his certificate for six months.