NEW ZEALAND DISASTERS AND TRAGEDIES
SINKING OF THE YACHT TEA ROA
2 JANUARY 1905
From the Evening Post - 3,4,5,6,9th January 1905.
On Monday 2 January 1905, the yacht TEA ROA sank at the entrance to the Wellington Harbour with a loss of three lives. During mountainous seas the small yacht foundered within view of Anders HANSEN, principal Pencarrow lighthouse keeper.
The three men had left Wellington on the 23 December for a sailing holiday to the Marlborough Sounds. They were
Hugh BRAMLEY was a clerk in Messer’s MacDonald, Wilson & Co’s offices. He was well-known in yachting circles and had been an enthusiastic yachtsman since he was a small boy. Hugh was a Quarter-Master Sergeant in the Submarine Miners and was a ‘capital’ swimmer. He had a widowed mother and fund was established for her benefit. Several of Bramley’s paintings were sold at a benefit concerts for his mother. Corporal Charles MORSE, of the Submarine Miners was to make the trip in the yacht but at the last moment circumstances arose which detained him in Wellington.
Horace William HOBDAY, son of Arthur Hobday of Wellington, was in Messrs Findlay, Dalziel and Co’s Solicitors office and had lately secured a partial pass for his solicitor’s examination. He would have been 23 years of age on the 12th of January. Hobday’s parents were on holiday in Nelson and had sent a telegram to Wellington asking if their son had arrived safely, and asking for an immediate reply.
Percy Noel WILSON was an ex student of Wellington College and was a member of the Old Boys’ Football Club. He was also a Sergeant of the Submarine Mining Corps and was a powerful swimmer, belonging to a local swimming club. Wilson worked in the office of Messrs Sherrett, Wylie and Weston for the past four years and recently passed his final solicitors examination. He was the son of A L WILSON of the firm of Messrs MacDonald, Wilson & Co. His brother Warwick St G R WILSON had also intended to make the trip right up to the last minute, but Hobday went in his place.
The coroners verdict found that "That deceased was drowned by a boating accident at Wellington Heads on 2nd January, 1905 … and that such death was by misadventure and without blame to any one." The following rider was added : "That it be a recommendation to the Port Nicholson Yacht Club to see that their regulations with regard to tho efficient equipment of yachts under their control with buoys, with the addition of lifebelts thereto; is rigidly observed ; also that they might extend their influence in this direction to, as far as possible, all owners of yachts and sailing boats. That the jury is of opinion that some limit of tonnage of privately-owned yachts should be fixed, below which they should not be allowed to cruise outside restricted limits without a special permit from the Marine Department."
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