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SS Elingamite

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SS Elingamite was an Australian passenger steamer of 2,585 tons, built in 1887, and owned by Huddart Parker. The ship was wrecked on 9 November 1902 off the north coast of New Zealand carrying a large consignment of gold. Now the Elingamite wreck is a favourite site for adventurous divers because of the drama associated with it, and wild tales of lost treasure.

History
NameSS Elingamite
OwnerHuddart Parker
BuilderC.S. Swan & Hunter, Newcastle upon Tyne, England
Yard number129
Launched6 Aug 1887
CompletedSep 1887
FateSank 9 November 1902
General characteristics
TypePassenger steamer
Tonnage2,585 GRT
Length320 ft (98 m)
Beam40 ft 9 in (12.42 m)
Depth22 ft 3 in (6.78 m)
PropulsionWallsend Slipway & Engineering Company triple-expansion compound steam engines
Sail planSchooner-rigged
Speed11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)
Capacity200 passengers
Armament
  • Capable of being fitted with:
  • 4 × 36-pounder Armstrong guns
  • Machine-guns

Contents

Elingamite arrived at Sydney, on 22 November 1887, having departed from Newcastle upon Tyne in England on 24 September, where she had been built by C.S. Swan & Hunter. She was a steel-hulled screw steamer 320 feet (98 m) long, 40 feet 9 inches (12.42 m) in the beam, with a depth of 22 feet 3 inches (6.78 m). She was powered by triple-expansion compound steam engines, built by the Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company, which gave her a top speed of 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph). There was accommodation for 100 passengers in 1st class, and another 100 in steerage. The Victorian government had selected her for use as an armed cruiser, and she had fittings in place for four Armstrong 36-pounder guns (two forward and two aft), and machine-guns amidships. She was schooner-rigged on two pole masts.

The sinking

Elingamite left Sydney early on Sunday morning, 5 November 1902, on the regular Tasman Sea run between Sydney and Auckland. Captain Ernest Atwood was in charge. On board were 136 passengers and 58 crew, and a consignment of 52 boxes of coins for banks in New Zealand, including 6,000 gold half-sovereigns.

The voyage was uneventful until mid-morning on the 9th when the ship suddenly encountered thick fog. Captain Atwood took necessary precautions, but the vessel struck West Island, one of the islands in the Three Kings group, about 35 nautical miles (65 km) north of Cape Reinga on the northern tip of mainland New Zealand.

The vessel foundered and sank within 20 minutes, but those on board managed to escape in lifeboats and rafts, some taking survivors to King Islands and some to the mainland. One lifeboat was never seen again. 45 people were killed (28 passengers and 17 crew) when the ship foundered. A party of 75 people from three boats landed on a rocky ledge on the middle King Island and after two days were picked up by the SS Zealandia and taken to Auckland. A raft and a fourth boat reached the Great King island and a fifth boat with 52 people on board sailed to Houhora on the North Island, 80 miles away.

A survivor aboard HMS Penguin

A court of enquiry into the sinking began at Auckland on 28 November and lasted about two months. Captain Atwood was found guilty of grossly negligent navigation (and on other matters), and his master's certificate was suspended.

Eight years later the Australian Naval Station reported that the Three Kings were wrongly charted. In 1911, the Terra Nova surveyed the area and established the Three Kings group to be a mile and a quarter south, and a third of a mile east, of their position shown on Captain Atwood's chart.

The enquiry was reopened and the court found that the sinking would never have happened had the chart been accurate. Captain Atwood was cleared of all charges and later became a ship surveyor at Wellington.

Over the years there have been exaggerated claims that there was unregistered bullion aboard, and inflated tales about the true value of the coins on board when she sank. It was worth £17,320 (approximately equivalent to $2 million in 2004 US dollars) which was a lot of money, but less than claimed by urban legends. For almost 30 years the Elingamite wreck has been a favourite site for adventurous divers and although widely dispersed and now relatively scarce, some coins have been recovered. The late Kelly Tarlton ran several salvage expeditions to this wreck, during which explosives may have been used to free non-ferrous metals from solidifying precipitate and ferrous corrosion.

The wreck is now privately owned, having passed through several hands after auction of the rights to the wreck by the original insurance company.

  1. "SS Elingamite (1887)". www.tynebuiltships.co.uk. Retrieved23 May 2017.
  2. "Elingamite shipwreck, 1902". New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved29 January 2017.
  3. "THE ELINGAMITE". The Sydney Morning Herald. National Library of Australia. 23 November 1887. p. 10. Retrieved12 December 2012.
  4. Robb, Douglas (1967). Medical Odyssey. Collins Bros & Co., Ltd. pp. 3–4.
  5. Te Ara: Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966 – Elingamite

Coordinates:34°11′10″S172°01′54″E /34.186047°S 172.031590°E /-34.186047; 172.031590

SS Elingamite
SS Elingamite Article Talk Language Watch Edit This article needs additional citations for verification Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources Unsourced material may be challenged and removed Find sources SS Elingamite news newspapers books scholar JSTOR March 2011 Learn how and when to remove this template message SS Elingamite was an Australian passenger steamer of 2 585 tons built in 1887 and owned by Huddart Parker The ship was wrecked on 9 November 1902 2 off the north coast of New Zealand carrying a large consignment of gold Now the Elingamite wreck is a favourite site for adventurous divers because of the drama associated with it and wild tales of lost treasure HistoryNameSS ElingamiteOwnerHuddart ParkerBuilderC S Swan amp Hunter Newcastle upon Tyne England 1 Yard number129Launched6 Aug 1887CompletedSep 1887FateSank 9 November 1902General characteristicsTypePassenger steamerTonnage2 585 GRTLength320 ft 98 m Beam40 ft 9 in 12 42 m Depth22 ft 3 in 6 78 m PropulsionWallsend Slipway amp Engineering Company triple expansion compound steam enginesSail planSchooner riggedSpeed11 knots 20 km h 13 mph Capacity200 passengersArmamentCapable of being fitted with 4 36 pounder Armstrong guns Machine guns Contents 1 Ship history 1 1 The sinking 2 Aftermath 3 Salvage 4 See also 5 References 6 External linksShip history EditElingamite arrived at Sydney on 22 November 1887 having departed from Newcastle upon Tyne in England on 24 September where she had been built by C S Swan amp Hunter She was a steel hulled screw steamer 320 feet 98 m long 40 feet 9 inches 12 42 m in the beam with a depth of 22 feet 3 inches 6 78 m She was powered by triple expansion compound steam engines built by the Wallsend Slipway amp Engineering Company which gave her a top speed of 11 knots 20 km h 13 mph There was accommodation for 100 passengers in 1st class and another 100 in steerage The Victorian government had selected her for use as an armed cruiser and she had fittings in place for four Armstrong 36 pounder guns two forward and two aft and machine guns amidships She was schooner rigged on two pole masts 3 The sinking Edit Main article Awanui Elingamite tragedy Elingamite left Sydney early on Sunday morning 5 November 1902 on the regular Tasman Sea run between Sydney and Auckland Captain Ernest Atwood was in charge On board were 136 passengers and 58 crew and a consignment of 52 boxes of coins for banks in New Zealand including 6 000 gold half sovereigns The voyage was uneventful until mid morning on the 9th when the ship suddenly encountered thick fog Captain Atwood took necessary precautions but the vessel struck West Island one of the islands in the Three Kings group about 35 nautical miles 65 km north of Cape Reinga on the northern tip of mainland New Zealand The vessel foundered and sank within 20 minutes but those on board managed to escape in lifeboats and rafts some taking survivors to King Islands and some to the mainland One lifeboat was never seen again 45 people were killed 28 passengers and 17 crew when the ship foundered A party of 75 people from three boats landed on a rocky ledge on the middle King Island and after two days were picked up by the SS Zealandia and taken to Auckland A raft and a fourth boat reached the Great King island and a fifth boat with 52 people on board sailed to Houhora on the North Island 80 miles away 4 A survivor aboard HMS PenguinAftermath EditA court of enquiry into the sinking began at Auckland on 28 November and lasted about two months Captain Atwood was found guilty of grossly negligent navigation and on other matters and his master s certificate was suspended Eight years later the Australian Naval Station reported that the Three Kings were wrongly charted In 1911 the Terra Nova surveyed the area and established the Three Kings group to be a mile and a quarter south and a third of a mile east of their position shown on Captain Atwood s chart The enquiry was reopened and the court found that the sinking would never have happened had the chart been accurate Captain Atwood was cleared of all charges 5 and later became a ship surveyor at Wellington Salvage EditOver the years there have been exaggerated claims that there was unregistered bullion aboard and inflated tales about the true value of the coins on board when she sank It was worth 17 320 approximately equivalent to 2 million in 2004 US dollars which was a lot of money but less than claimed by urban legends For almost 30 years the Elingamite wreck has been a favourite site for adventurous divers and although widely dispersed and now relatively scarce some coins have been recovered The late Kelly Tarlton ran several salvage expeditions to this wreck during which explosives may have been used to free non ferrous metals from solidifying precipitate and ferrous corrosion The wreck is now privately owned having passed through several hands after auction of the rights to the wreck by the original insurance company See also EditList of New Zealand disasters by death toll Awanui for description of the shipwreck and rescue attemptsReferences Edit SS Elingamite 1887 www tynebuiltships co uk Retrieved 23 May 2017 Elingamite shipwreck 1902 New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Retrieved 29 January 2017 THE ELINGAMITE The Sydney Morning Herald National Library of Australia 23 November 1887 p 10 Retrieved 12 December 2012 Robb Douglas 1967 Medical Odyssey Collins Bros amp Co Ltd pp 3 4 Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand 1966 ElingamiteExternal links EditPicture from the State Library of Victoria The Shipwreck from the Christchurch Public Library Programme of a charity concert for victims New Zealand Graphic photos raft Zealandia at Queen Street wharf with survivors lifeboat approaching SS Zealandia survivors boarding SS Clansman at Hohoura occupants of the dinghy occupants of Captain Attwood s boat Coordinates 34 11 10 S 172 01 54 E 34 186047 S 172 031590 E 34 186047 172 031590 Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title SS Elingamite amp oldid 958105197, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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