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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.




When on 12 February 1909 the Picton-Wellington ferry steamer Penguin (824 tons) struck Toms Rock, abreast of the Karori Stream, in Cook Strait, 75 of the 105 persons on board lost their lives. With a dangerous sea running, the lifeboats and rafts found the shoreward journey hazardous and several capsized or were smashed. The one woman who survived, struggled ashore with her dead infant child in her arms, after rescuing a 17-year-old youth, and watching her other three children drown. The cause of the disaster was an exceptionally strong flood tide, and in the view of the Court of Inquiry, the master, Captain F. E. Naylor, ought to have put to sea sooner.

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