NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
WEDNESDAY 03 SEPTEMBER 1975
Carrying a general and refrigerated cargo of meat and dairy products and with a crew of twenty-nine and eight passengers on board, the Noumea-registered Capitaine Bougainville sailed from Auckland bound for Sydney, Port Moresby and ports in the Solomon Islands.
On the Wednesday 03 September 1975, during an easterly storm with a 12-metre swell, a fire broke out in the engine room directly below the lifeboats.
With the fire raging out of control, Captain Jean Thomas made the call to abandon ship at 3:40am. The combination of wind, mountainous waves and a powerful current made launching the lifeboats perilous. The disaster claimed sixteen lives.
Also see the book New Zealand Shipwrecks (Various editions C W N Ingram A H & A W Reed).
The following names are taken from - Captaine Bouganville Monument - Whananaki South Northland, New Zealand
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