GAZELLE, barque : Bound from Rocky Island to Lyttelton with a cargo of guano, the barque was wrecked west of Waikawa Bay, Current Basin, French Pass, early on the morning of February 3, 1894, with the loss of eight lives. The barque carried a crew of ten, and the two saved were the second mate, who was washed ashore about a mile from where the Gazelle struck, and a seaman who jumped over the weather side as the barque’s spars fell, and managed to keep afloat until daylight, when he reached the shore. They were later rescued by the steamer Lily and conveyed to Nelson.
The Gazelle sailed from Thursday Island on January 3 for Lyttelton. Captain Svendsen, who had commanded the barque, died on the island, and the command devolved on the mate, Captain Charles Rogers. Albert Viking, a native of Norfolk Island, was shipped as mate. Land was first sighted on the night of February 2, when all hands were called on deck. A fearful gale was blowing, and the decks were continually awash. All the sails were ultimately blown out of the bolt-ropes, with the exception of the flying jib, and apparently the exact position of the barque was not known. Under the tattered jib efforts were made to keep the Gazelle off the land. About 3.30 a.m. on February 3 land appeared all round, and the sea was very high. A little later the barque struck against a high cliff.
The Gazelle, No. 77,081, was an iron barque of 334 tons register, built at Linthouse, Govan, in 1877 by A. Stevens and Sons, and her dimensions were: length 143.5 ft., beam 27.1 ft., depth 13.4 ft. The barque, whose former name was George Knox, was owned by Mr. W. S. Waterstone, of Invercargill.