The Wreck of H.M.S. Orpheus - New Zealand's Worst Sea Disaster

By: Hetherington, Roy M.

NZ $32.00

Format: Second hand Hardback

Artybees Stock Number: 72170


On 7 February 1863 the British warship H.M.S. Orpheus was wrecked on a shoal at the entrance to Manukau Harbour. Although the disaster occurred in fine conditions, rising surf later prevented rescue boats from reaching the ship and, of the compliment of 258, the final tally of deaths was 189, establishing the wreck as the most tragic in New Zealand's history. The circumstances of the wreck were shrouded in doubt and rumour until Roy Hetherington presented the relevant details in one volume, enabling the reader to draw his own conclusions as to the causes.

Roy Hetherington has based his account on the personal narratives of three people involved in the wreck - Edward Wing, shore signal-man at the time, survivor James Mason, bosun on the Orpheus, and Thomas Bellhouse, a passenger on the rescuing steamer. Amongst other material pertaining to the disaster Mr Hetherington has included contemporary reports on the wreck and related events from the New Zealand Herald, and the full proceedings of the Admiralty inquiry.

The presentation is enhanced with photographs of historical interest, including persons concerned and the area of the wreck.

- from the inside cover.

Published by Cassell New Zealand, 1975.
Reasonable second-hand condition.