1934: Barque Favell

Auckland Weekly News, 9 May 1934, p 9

Answering an SOS on the high seas: Intercolonial liner responds to the radio call of a lonely Finnish barque

“The Favell, as seen from the Monowai as the liner approached.”

Interesting snapshots taken during the recent voyage of the intercolonial liner Monowai across the Tasman Sea from Sydney to Wellington, where she arrived on Monday evening of last week.

The Favell's boat approaching the Monowai to tranship the sick man

“The Favell’s boat approaching the Monowai to tranship the sick man”

Late on the previous Saturday night the liner Aorangi, bound from Sydney to Auckland, picked up a wireless message from the Finnish barque Favell, en route from South Australia to England, via Cape Horn with a cargo of wheat, asking if the Aorangi could go to her aid and take on board a sick apprentice who was suffering from appendicitis.

To do this would have taken the Aorangi 200 miles off her course, and accordingly a radio message was sent to the Monowai, which was nearer the barque.

The Monowai, which was 200 miles from the Favell, had to go 180 miles out of her course, coming up with the barque early on the Sunday morning.

The sick man was transhipped and the Monowai headed for Wellington, arriving the next day four hours late.

– AM Henry

The Monowai, shipping a big sea over the bow as she steamed at full speed to answer the radio appeal for assistance

“The Monowai, shipping a big sea over the bow as she steamed at full speed to answer the radio appeal for assistance”

Source: Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries


The Finnish barque Favell as she appeared from the upper deck of the Union liner Monowai on Sunday morning when hove-to in the Tasman Sea to tranship an apprentice suffering from appendicitis

“The Finnish barque Favell as she appeared from the upper deck of the Union liner Monowai on Sunday morning when hove-to in the Tasman Sea to tranship an apprentice suffering from appendicitis.” Evening Post, 4 May 1934

Maritime historian Reuben Goossens writes that the sick apprentice from Favell was taken aboard through one of Monowai’s “gun port” doors:

She then sailed for Wellington where the cadet was treated at the Wellington hospital.

Monowai’s Captain, Arthur Davey, was awarded the honour of the “Knight of the White Rose” by the President of Finland for his services at a later date!

It’s very interesting that the barque Favell carried radio equipment. With the exception of the occasional cadet training ship, Finnish sailing ships of the twentieth century did not carry radio equipment. The only other windjammer sailing under the Finnish flag, that I know of, was the barque Viking, when she was used as a cadet training ship. In 1934 Favell was being used as a cadet training ship. On her return to Finland, late in 1934, she was broken-up.
– David Smith