Yolande Inquiry

Description: BOT Wreck Report for 'Yolande', 1897
Creator: Board of Trade
Date: 1897
Copyright: Out of copyright
Partner: SCC Libraries
Partner ID: Unknown


(No. 5615.)


Shipping and Seamen's Act, 1877.

Wrecks and Casualties.

REPORT on a Shipping Casualty to the "YOLANDE," Barquentine.

To the Honourable the Minister having charge of the Marine Department of New Zealand.

I, the undersigned, Stipendiary Magistrate in and for the Colony of New Zealand. having been on the 26th day of August 1897 applied to by John Mills, Esquire, Collector of Customs at the port of Westport, for a formal investigation, pursuant to section 240 of "The Shipping and Seamen's Act, 1877," and other provisions of the said Act, respecting a shipping casualty to a certain British ship, called the "Yolande," of the port of Wellington, on the 20th day of August last, at Westport, did duly proceed with the said investigation, to wit, on the 3rd and 4th days of September instant, and had before me and examined on oath divers persons and witnesses, to wit, Murdock McDonald, Peter Sutherland, Mathias Olsen, John Terry, Mark Ferneaux, Alexander Stuart Ewan, John Duncan, John McDiarmid, John Barrowman, William Matthews, Richard Richardson, and William Robertson, the original depositions of whose evidence are hereunto annexed, signed by me, being assisted therein by Edward Wheeler, master mariner, holding a certificate of competency, No. 6,160, from the Board of Trade, and Alexander James Murray, master mariner, holding a certificate of competency, No. 09,315, from the Board of Trade, who were duly appointed by Minister of Marine to act as assessors; and, upon such investigation and examination of witnesses as aforesaid, I find and report as follows, that is to sa

1. That the official number of said ship, called the "Yolande," is 85,785, of which Murdock McDonald is master, who holds a certificate of competency, No. 254, and which ship belonged to John Alexander Sinclair Murray, of Clarence River, New South Wales, timber merchant.

2. That the loss or damage herein more particularly mentioned happened on the 20th day of August 1897, at about half-past two o'clock in the afternoon, at Westport Bar.

3. That the loss or damage appears by the evidence to have been caused by the parting of the towline while the tug "Mana" was towing the "Yolande" into Westport Harbour.

4. That the nature of the loss or damage done was a total wreck. That the vessel was insured in the South British Insurance Company, Auckland. That the "Yolande" was barquentine rigged. Her port of registry Wellington, New Zealand. Her registered tonnage 394 tons. That no lives were lost through the casualty.

And I, the said Stipendiary Magistrate, further state my opinion on the matter aforesaid to be as follows:

That the wreck of the "Yolande" was caused by a sudden and almost unprecedented roll of the sea towards the bar from the W.N.W. at the time the tug "Mana" was approaching the bar with the "Yolande" in tow, which roll or swell took charge of the two vessels completely whilst on the outer bar, causing the hawser to part, and leaving the "Yolande" at the mercy of the sea.

That Captain Furneaux committed an error of judgment in taking the tug too much to the eastward on approaching the bar with a westerly sea running, as it appeared to be on this occasion.

There is no blame to be attached to the master, mates or seamen of the "Yolande."

Rider.-I am further of opinion that the Harbour Board should cause to be erected a telephone instrument at the signal station, and that there should be a private signal arranged when the signalman wishes to speak with the harbour master at the telephone.

Given under my hand this fourth day of September one thousand eight hundred and ninety-seven, at Westport, New Zealand.


H. A. STRATFORD, Stipendiary Magistrate.

I concur in the above report.


E. WHEDLER, Assessor.

I concur in the above report.


ALEXR. J. MURRAY, Assessor.

(Issued in London by the Board of Trade on the 18th day of November 1897.)


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