Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Star of the East - Kaipara (Fanny Channel) January 1855

The Star of the East was a vessel (of undetermined type) owned by the firm of Marsden & Mathews. She had loaded timber at Mangawhare. Adverse conditions meant the vessel was kept waiting inside the Kaipara Heads, for some two weeks before she could finally attempt to cross the bar and out into the Tasman bound for Sydney. On January 30th 1855, between 10 and 11 a.m. the vessel struck trouble and ended up being wrecked in the Fanny Channel. No loss of life occurred during the incident.

The Star of the East was loaded with timber, and ready for sea, at Kaipara, on the 22nd inst; she expected to sail the next day for Sydney.
 - Daily Southern Cross 26 January 1855
  LOSS OF THE "STAR OF THE EAST." We regret having to record the loss of the ship "Star of the East," Captain A. Ashmore, which occurred off Kaipara, on the morning of the 30th January. The following are the particulars, as far as we have been able to ascertain, of the unfortunate occurrence :—:
  The "Star of the East" was timber laden, and had been waiting for some days for a fair wind to enable her to proceed to sea ; on the morning of the 30th ult. a strong breeze set in from the North, and the Capt. immediately made all sail in order to get to sea, unfortunately before the vessel was clear of the outer shoal, the wind fell light, with puffs from the S.E., there being no hopes of getting the ship through the main channel, the Pilot recommended that an attempt should be made to get to get to sea by the Fanny Channel.
 Owing to the lightness of the wind, and the ebb tide, the attempt did not succeed, and the vessel struck in the Fanny Channel. The boats were cut adrift, the long boat filled, and was washed overboard ; one of the gigs was also stove, twenty men got into the remaining boat, while the Captain was stunned, by a blow received from some of the falling rigging ; on recovering he found two lifebuoys, one of which he fastened on, he handed the other to the Chief Officer, who had remained on board, they then jumped overboard and swam to the remains of one of the boats which was floating bottom upwards, where they remained until the crew having reached the long boat, and bailed her out, came to their assistance, in about an hour and a half afterwards.
 During the time the Captain and Chief Officer were on the bottom of the boat, they saw three sharks swimming round them. After some time all hands reached the North Head, and eventually Mangawhare, the residence of H Atkins, Esq., where they were hospitably received ; and the tale of the unfortunate catastrophe was immediately forwarded to Auckland.
 - Daily Southern Cross 6 February 1855

The wreck and her cargo of timber was put up for auction in Auckland on the 9th of February 1855. She still remains to this day in the Fanny Channel where she was wrecked.

For the Benefit of whom it may Concern, THOS. WESTON & CO., Will Sell by Auction, at their Stores, Shortland Street, on Friday, 9th Feb., at 11 o'clock, THE wreck of the ship STAR OF THE EAST, - as she now lies in the Fanny Channel, Kaipara Heads, French carvel built, 6 oar gig, and 2 anchors, long boat, carvel built, both secured at the landing-place Kaipara, 2 life buoys. Terms — Cash. On Account of whom it may Concern. THOS. WESTON & CO., Will Sell by Auction at their Stores, Shortland- street, on Friday next, 9th Feb., at 11 o'clock, THE Cargo of Timber, 451 Loads, shipped on board the STAR OF THE EAST, at Mangawhare, Kaipara, and supposed to be still remaining in the wreck of that vessel at Kaipara Heads. Terms — Cash. 
-  Advertisements Daily Southern Cross 6 February 1855

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