Volunteers recover a Wahine liferaft

Volunteers recover a <em>Wahine</em> liferaft

This photograph shows volunteers recovering a liferaft from the Wahine which had been blown onto the eastern shore. Some people who had survived everything else died when dashed against the rocks.

Community contributions

3 comments have been posted about Volunteers recover a Wahine liferaft

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Emma Burns

Posted: 08 Apr 2015

The two of the boys watching the life craft being helped ashore, standing in the middle back are my father and uncle. Grandpa is the man in the water hunched over in the dark jacket. They lived at the house in the background and Grandpa worked on the buses.

Bruce Mitchell

Posted: 30 Jun 2012

The photo on this page and the accompanying text are inappropriate for a website that purports to report history. The liferaft was empty and it's "resuers" as well as the spectators were at the Eastbourne Bus Terminus, nowhere near Hinds Point where the survivors were actually rescued. Regretfully, little has been said of the conditions faced by 5 particular Policemen and 7 particular locals as they faced and managed the significant trauma at Hinds Point that day.
The "community contribution" on the page however is honest. The family member refered to is likely to be the young Assistant to the Purser who was with me as he died of injuries sustained in the effort of getting passengers ashore. Following the 40th anniversary I was approached by a member of the extended family and familiar with medical trauma. I was able to let that person know the crew member was not alone as he passed.
There are three reasons little is recorded of the events at Hinds Point. There is the trauma experienced by the rescuers themselves, the fact that the events were something best treated discretely, and the third is the effort made by members of the Police to supress negative publicity and culpability for the mismanagement of rescue operations.
The photo you have displayed on the webpage is testament to that.
With respect, it should be captioned properly. "Members of the Lower Hutt Police stand around watching Volunteers from the Eastbourne Fire Brigade recover an empty wind-blown life raft, all with their back to the coastal area where the tragedy was actually occurring. Regretfully, the 5 Policemen from outside the District sent round the coast that day were not given a radio to take with them."
The main reason the events at Hinds Point never came to the attention of the Offical Enquiry can be attributed to actions by Police such as a group arriving at the door of an 18-year-old youth after 8.30pm on a Sunday night demanding to know whether the youth had "any complaints against the Police in respect of the events at Hinds Point on the day of the Wahine disaster" - I still remember the question today.
I trust this is helpful. Bruce Mitchell


Posted: 11 Jun 2008

My dad's brother died on the wahine he was only 17 his named was Robin and he was part of the crew and i never got to meet him at the time the ship sank my dad was only 9-10 year old