how many lifeboats were on the wahine

Usage of Titanic Lifeboats. Geoff Gawler's prized – if somewhat neglected – possession is almost certainly one of the lifeboats from the Wahine, which sank at the entrance to Wellington Harbour 50 years ago on Tuesday, killing 53 people. The three other lifeboats made shore. It's a piece of Wellington's maritime history – and it's just sitting in a garden by the side of the road in Wairarapa. At about 2:30 pm the Wahine rolled completely onto her side. With the port side high out of the water, only the four starboard side lifeboats were usable. Only the four starboard lifeboats could be launched, and crewmen struggled to get as many passengers aboard them as possible. only the four on the starboard side able to be launched.

Although the Wahine was close to Seatoun, the wind pushed the lifeboats the other direction to Eastbourne where there were rocks. Small boats in Wellington could not reach the Wahine because of the storm. Single $2.20 'Lifeboats Make Land' gummed stamp. At 26 feet (7.9 metres) in length the two forward lifeboats, mounted on their davits just abaft and below the port and starboard wings of the bridge, were smaller than the remaining six. Many people were confused about where they should go after the order to launch the lifeboats had been given. One lifeboat capsized shortly after launching, and many of the passengers on this lifeboat drowned in the rough seas. There were 16 life boats but to carry all passengrs there would have have to have been over 50. At 2.30pm, the now-abandoned Wahine capsized east of Steeple Rock, sinking in just 11.6m of water. Four lifeboats were launched from the ship and many of the 734 passengers and crew ended up floating in Wellington harbour, ending up either in Eastbourne or Seatoun. Amid the confusion, people went to the high side of the ship from which it was impossible to launch the lifeboats. Even at full capacity - 99 for the three main lifeboats and 50 for the motorised lifeboat - they could carry less than half the Wahine’s 734 passengers and crew. The captain and deputy harbour master were the last to leave after checking that no one remained on the ferry. Many of the fatalties were of elderly people and young children who struggled to swim in the best of weather let alone rough seas. The Wahine was within sight of the shore and a large number of other vessels, including a smaller ferry, the Aramoana , stood by to pick up those in rafts.
As the Wahine listed heavily to starboard the lifeboats on the port side of the vessel became inoperable, leaving just four starboard lifeboats able to be launched.
The rush to the lower, starboard lifeboats produced a slight but sudden shift in weight that was sufficient to cause the ship to lose any remaining stability. Many local people and police were heroes, wading into the sea to rescue survivors. Captain Robertson commanded 17 ships over the next 14 years until his appointment as Master of the Wahine on 31 October 1966. Throughout the 1950s he was master of a succession of cargo vessels and colliers most notably the 3,543 ton Komata, first of a number of freighters built for the Union Steam Ship Company after World War Two for moving export cargoes to Australia.

51 people, some of them children, did not survive. More than 400 were forced to swim – some lifeboats could not be launched – and the scenes on-board were chaotic. With fewer people than that actually sailing, there was more than adequate provision for everyone; there was no reason at all for anyone to jump into the sea. It was not thought life boats for all were needed because it had so many water tight bulkheads.

Consequences following the Sinking of the Wahine First and most importantly lives were lost in the disaster, 51 to be correct. due to the lack of lifeboats, hundreds of passengers and crew were forced into the rough waters. The Wahine sinking.

The The others land safely on the beach at Seatoun. Although only half of the Wahine’s lifeboats could be used, there were also 30 inflatable life rafts aboard, with a total capacity for 750 persons.

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