1968: Salvaging Wahine

Wahine wreck, floating crane Hikitia and dredge Kerimoana
Wahine wreck (right), floating crane Hikitia (centre), and dredge Kerimoana (left), 2 Aug 1968. Kerimoana and Hikitia were laying moorings for the coaster Holmpark which served as accommodation ship during the Wahine salvage. Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library

Wahine sank in 38ft of water and it was originally hoped that she could be refloated. A storm in 1969 broke the ship into three pieces, however, and from then on the salvors focused on simply removing the wreck from the sea bed.

Wahine lies on her starboard side, stained by oil escaping from her tanks
Wahine lies on her starboard side, stained by oil escaping from her tanks, 13 Apr 1968.
Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library
Derrick crane on Queen's Wharf, Wellington, destined for salvage work on the Wahine wreck
Derrick crane on Queen’s Wharf, Wellington, destined for salvage work on the Wahine wreck, 18 Aug 1968. This crane was to be set up on the hull of Wahine in order to remove cars from the wrecked ferry.
Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library
Crane positioned on the hull of Wahine
Crane positioned on the hull of Wahine, Wellington Harbour, 23 Aug 1968.
Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library
High seas over the Wahine wreck which is hidden beneath the waves
High seas over the Wahine wreck which is hidden beneath the waves. Only the crane fixed to her hull stands out in the storm. 8 May 1969. Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library
Floating crane Hikitia brings ashore a piece of the wrecked Wahine
Floating crane Hikitia brings ashore a piece of the Wahine’s bow, 1976. Evening Post photo, Alexander Turnbull Library

Raw video footage, including scenes from the salvage