THE SINKING OF THE LAUNCH RANUI
MOUNT MAUNGANUI, BAY OF PLENTY, NEW ZEALAND
28 DECEMBER 1950
On Thursday 28 December 1950, the pleasure launch Ranui was returning from a trip to Mayor Island when shortly before 6pm, freak waves smashed into and overturned the boat. This was just off Mount Maunganui.
Many of the passengers were thrown in to the water and others went down with launch, trapped in the wheelhouse. Eyewitnesses walking around Mount Maunganui ran for help and tried to rescue those that they could. However the rescuers were soon cut on the jagged rocks and pounded by the surf.
Of the 23 people on board only one survived. He struggled ashore and was lifted by a large wave high over the rocks where he was pulled to safety.
The court of enquiry found no one was to blame and that an exceptionally high wave had capsized the boat when she was well out in the channel. The Ranui was a new vessel, built of Kauri and had only a few weeks of service.
A memorial to the passengers of the Ranui is to be found about 1/2 way around the Mount base walking track. Take a moment to think of those that perished that night.
|BARTZ||Albert Herman||69||Married||Gate Pa, Tauranga|
|BARTZ||Gladwell Paul||37 ||Single||Wanganui||Son of Mr A H Bartz|
|BARTZ||Idris Howard||24 ||Married||Welcome Bay, Tauranga||Son of Mr A H Bartz|
|BIGGS||Joy||22||Single||10 Moerangi St, Palmerston North|
|BURKE||Patricia Rita||19||Single||68 Stanley Road, Gisborne||Clerk|
|CARLSEN [CARLSON]||John Reading||72||Married||Norfolk St, Ponsonby, Auckland||Retired chemist|
|CARLSEN [CARLSON]||Olaf Blomfield||36 ||Married||5 Kawau Rd, One Tree, Auckland||Son of Mr J R Carlsen|
|DAVIS||Llewellyn Bernard||22 ||Single||5 Hakanoa St, Huntly||Fitter and turner|
|GOODYEAR||Margaret Ann||19||Derby St, Gisborne|
|HANDS||Margaret Evelyn||20||Single||109 Abel Smith Street, Wellington|
|HARNETT||Geoffrey||34||Married with 6 children||Fraser St, Tauranga||Skipper of the Ranui|
|HUNT||Gordon Hugh Grainger||43||Mount Maunganui||Temporary crew member|
|LANG||Lindsay Douglas||29||Single||Upland Road, Remuera|
|MOORE||Alan Albert||29||Married with 2 children||Waipawa, Hawkes Bay|
|MOORE||Ivan Clifford||30||Married||Waipawa, Hawkes Bay||Garage proprietor|
|NORMAN||Lindsay Edward Walter||46||Married||Te Hoe|
|PENWARDEN||Ivan Owen Duvall||43||Married||Mangakino||Joiner|
|PENWARDEN||Lloyd Wareham||30||Brother of Mr I Penwarden||New Plymouth||Mechanic|
|SMITH||Harry||42||Married||Cameron Road, Tauranga||Deckhand on the Ranui|
|UNGER||Ernest Guenther||24||Single||90 River Road, Hamilton||Dentist|
|WILLIAMS||Jack Keith||26||Married||Dinsdale Rd, Frankton Junction|
|WILLIS||Richard John||30||Married with 2 children||Te Puke||Yardman|
|SMITH||Phillip H G||19||Single||Cameron Road, Tauranga||Son of Mr Harry Smith|
Thanks to Val Gibbons for these photographs.
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