NAMBUCCA, steamer: When bound Iron Blenheim to Wellington with a cargo of wool anc chaff the steamer struck a rock near Sinclair Heac during thick weather on the night of January 16 1905, and became a total wreck. No lives werc lost. The Nambucca encountered a thick fog whet abreast of Cape Terawhiti. The fog shut out al lights, and the master vainly attempted to pick ul the land. The vessel was hauled up a point, anc the captain found his ship in the vicinity of Tom: Rock, which had brought so many vessels to grie in Cook Strait. The Nambucca struck the outer fringe of rock, and, being at full speed, was car vied well out of the water on to the rocks Although the forward part of the steamer wa! quite dry when the crew left, the after part wa; submerged.
The steamer carried five passengers and the captain’s wife and child were also pt board, all being in their berths. There was litth commotion, and as the sea was smooth there wa-1 no difficulty in embarking the passengers and crev in the boat. Hugging the shore, the boat made for Island Bay, and the party landed there abou midnight. The Nambucca struck on the reef inside of Toms Rock, about half a mile west of Sinclaii Head, her head pointing south. Later the Nambucca slipped off the reef, and the hull was completely submerged. The passengers and crew lost all their personal effects.
The Court of Inquiry found that the master committed a wrongful act in continuing at full speed when uncertain as to his position, and was in default in not taking soundings to try and verify his position. His certificate was suspended for three months, and he was ordered to pay the cost of the inquiry.
The Nambucca, No. 106,191, was a wooden, screw steamer of 166 tons gross and 94 tons net register, built at Balmain, N.S.W., in 1898, by David Drake, and her dimensions were : length 101 ft., beam 24.2 ft., depth 7.4 ft. Her engines were of 24 h.p. nominal, and 120 h.p. indicated. The steamer was owned by the Marlborough Steamship Company, and she was under the command of Captain William George North.