A large collection of shipwrecks in the world, with photos and description.
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Tuesday, 13 August 2013
SS Gairloch Oakura, Taranaki, New Zealand
This rusted crescent of iron, the Gairloch, rising from the rocky foreshore at Weld Rd has been a Taranaki landmark for 100 years.
When on a voyage from Onehunga to Kawhia, Raglan and Wanganui, with general cargo and timber, the steamer was wrecked on 5 January 1903 on Oakura Reef at 11.40pm on a dark moonless night.
Built in Glasgow by Messrs Blackwood and Gordon in 1884 especially for the Waitara trade, the Gairloch was a steel, twin-screw three-masted steamer of 373 tons. After being lengthened by 17ft 6ins (5.2m) in 1886 she became 164ft overall with a beam of 23ft and drew 8.7ft. She was powered by two 85hp engines and had a maximum speed of 11 knots.
The days after the stranding saw the Gairloch battered by stormy seas, which left her deck cargo of timber strewn over local beaches.
Most of the Gairloch's general cargo, which included a large amount of sugar and flour, cement, drain pipes and two carriages, was successfully salvaged. Horses and drays were backed out into the sea alongside the wreck and the cargo and usable equipment brought ashore.
The boiler is visible at low tide and what is left of the stern section is almost at the high tide mark.
Date of Shipwreck: 5th January, 1903
Type of Boat: Steamboat
Military or Civilian: Civilian
Cause of Shipwreck: The ship ran aground. The court found that Captain Austen had committed an error of judgment in hugging the land so closely on a dark night and suspended his certificate for three months. He was ordered to pay £10 towards the cost of the inquiry.
Off State Highway 45, the Surf Highway, lower end of Timaru Rd or Weld Road. Located 6km south of Oakura. Walk along the beach and you will see it.
You can see the boiler at low tide.
Diving Permitted: Not Listed
Only log the site if you have visited it personally.
Floating over a site does not qualify as a find if it is a wreck that requires diving - you must have actually visited the site - therefore photos of the site are good.