White Wings Vol II. Founding Of The Provinces And Old-Time Shipping. Passenger Ships From 1840 To 1885
The Fifeshire was an unlucky boat from the start. During the voyage fever broke out, and seventeen passengers died, their bodies being buried at sea. Until the scourge began to abate, the passengers were in a most melancholy state, as they did not know where it was going to end. When navigating Cook Straits the ship nearly came to grief. The pilot took her between Stephen's Island and the mainland, and the wind failing at a critical moment, it looked as though she would go ashore, but Captain Arnold sent away a boat with a kedge, which dropped in the nick of time, and the ship hauled off into safety. After disembarking passengers and discharging cargo, the ship cleared for China.
On the morning of February 27, in charge of a pilot, she got under way. The wind was very light, so that she did not reach the entrance until the tide had been ebbing some time. She had, however, nearly passed through the narrow entrance, when the wind failed, and the tide carried her on to the Arrow Reef, named after the brig of the expeditionary fleet. Strenuous efforts were made to get her off, but it was useless. She lay right across the reef, being nearly dry fore and aft at dead low water. Her hull could not stand the strain, and her back was badly broken. She was condemned, and sold for breaking up. Mr. Poynter, afterwards a magistrate, was the purchaser, and he is said to have done very well out of the venture.