Emma Sims 1907

Emma Sims 1907

EMMA SIMS, ketch: On May 18, 1907, the ketch stranded on the south-east end of Mana Island and became a total wreck. The vessel was on a passage from Havelock to Lyttelton with a cargo of timber and had sought shelter at Mana Island from a heavy sea and a south-easterly gale. The casualty was caused through the ketch dragging her anchors and driving on to the rocks. The Court of Inquiry considered that the master did all that was possible to save his vessel.

The Emma Sims, No. 101,135, was an auxiliary ketch of 61 tons register, built at Blackwall, Brisbane Water, in 1895 by R. Davis, and her dimensions were: length 77.2 ft., beam 20.7 ft., depth 6.3 ft. She was owned by Mr. E. G. Pitcher,of Wellington, and commanded by Captain James Macdonald.

The ketch had had an eventful history. When entering the Hokitika River early on the morning of July 6, 1903, the vessel was struck by a heavy sea which broke on board, disabling. the tiller, and washing the master, Captain Darragh, overboard, besides injuring the man at the wheel. The ketch became unmanageable, and swung broadside on to the seas, finally stranding on the North Beach, undamaged. Captain Darragh, after swimming about a quarter of a mile, almost halfway to the shore, was drowned. He was only 32 years of age and had previously commanded the ketch Kestrel and the scow Southern Isle. It was his intention to leave the Emma Sims on the completion of her voyage to study for a foreign trade certificate. On March 19, 1904, the Emma Sims was being towed out of Karamea with a cargo of timber for Wellington when the tow line parted and she stranded. She was refloated undamaged. The ketch was chartered by a salvage party which left Wellington in September, 1905, on an expedition to the scene of the Elingamite wreck. Earlier in the same year she was chartered by a party from Dunedin for the purpose of making an excursion trip to the West Coast Sounds. After sailing she was delayed nearly a week at Otago Heads through engine troubles, in addition to which her benzine fuel took fire and had to be jettisoned hurriedly to save the vessel.

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