Star of the Evening 1867

Star of the Evening 1867

STAR OF THE EVENING, steamer : The steamer was wrecked on a reef off Puawha (Pouawa), about 12 miles to the northward of Gisborne, Poverty Bay, on February 13, 1867, when on a passage from Napier to Auckland. Six lives were lost-her three passengers, and three members of the crew-and the survivors were rescued by the schooner Donald McLean and taken to Napier. The Star of the Evening left Napier at noon on February 12 and rounded Portland Island at 8 p.m. A course was then shaped to take the steamer to a position off Bull Rock, between Portland Island and Table Cape, and at 9.20 p.m. the ship was kept away due north, a course which should have taken the vessel mid-channel between the Ariel Rocks and the Gable End Foreland. At midnight the weather was thick and hazy, with showers of rain and the wind increasing. At 2.15 a.m., during a thick squall, the ship struck, being then under full sail, and travelling at eight or nine knots. About 30 minutes after striking, the Star of the Evening broke in two near the engine room. When she parted the forepart was carried further in towards the shore and within a cable’s length of the inner reef. One of the crew succeeded in reaching the shore with a line at daybreak, but it parted, and, finding there was no possibility of getting a second line ashore, orders were given to all those on board who could swim to strike out for the shore, and those who were unable to swim were ordered to jump overboard and lay hold of hatches and such other pieces of wreckage that were floating towards the shore. The first person drowned was a seaman who had almost reached the shore when he sank. The cook and steward jumped overboard and they, too, were soon drowned. The captain and four others also jumped overboard and swam ashore. Two passengers were next to attempt the dangerous passage, but neitherreached the shore. The third passenger became exhausted, dropped from the forestay into the water, and was drowned. Five persons were left on board, and they were rescued under great difficulties the day following the wreck; they were in an exhausted condition through exposure on the wreck for 53 hours during a strong south-east gale and heavy rain.

The Star of the Evening, No. 46,468, was an iron, screw steamer, rigged as a three-masted schooner, of 220 tons gross and 166 tons net register, built at Low Walker, Northumberland, in 1863 by J. W. Richardson. Her dimensions were: length 130.4 ft., beam 21.5 ft., depth 9.3 ft. She was owned by Mr. Robert Macintyre, of Dunedin, and commanded by Captain A. G. Turner. In addition to a general cargo the steamer carried 1,300 sheep.

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