TASMAN, steamer: On May 12, 1921, the steamer sank off Matata, in the Bay of Plenty, her seven passengers and- crew of 14 being saved. At 4.10 a.m. the Tasman struck on a submerged rock near Rurima Rocks, a jagged reef extending to the mainland at Matata, and out to Whale Island, in the Bay of Plenty. The weather was squally, and a heavy rain was falling. The steamer struck bow on. She was backed off, and an attempt was made to beach her, but she made water rapidly, and the passengers and crew just got clear when the Tasman sank, going down in deep water, within half an hour of striking. The parties in the boats were unable to land at Tarawera outlet, so they headed along the coast, where public works drainage employees assisted them ashore. They were conveyed to Matata, and on to Whakatane, which was reached five hours after the steamer was wrecked.
The Court of Inquiry found that the master and chief officer did not exercise proper care in navigating the vessel. The chief officer was negligent in not taking steps to ascertain his correct distance from the land at To”n Point, and when the chief officer drew the master’s attention to the proximity of the Rurima Rocks the latter, in merely sending a message to the officer on the bridge to alter the course a quarter point to the south, did not take sufficient precautions for the safety of the vessel. The master was ordered to pay Â£20 and the chief officer Â£10 towards the cost of the inquiry.
The Tasman, No. 115,196, was a wooden, screw steamer of 179 tons gross and 87 tons net register, built at Auckland in 1903 by R. Logan, Senr., and her dimensions were : length 102.1 ft., beam 21 ft., depth 7.1 ft. Her engines were of 45 h.p. The steamer was owned by the Northern Steamship Company, and was commanded by Captain W. G. G rigg.