White Wings Vol I. Fifty Years Of Sail In The New Zealand Trade, 1850 TO 1900
The White Rose
The White Rose.
Partially Dismasted—A Trying Experience for Passengers and Crew.
the White Rose, like many other ships leaving England with a large quantity of iron on board, experienced an eventful voyage. Owing to her cargo shifting during a heavy gale, and the vessel sustaining serious damage, she was compelled to put into Mauritius for repairs.
the White Rose, a sister ship to the Tintern Abbey, was built at Quebec in 1874, and was on her maiden voyage. She was a ship of 1557 tons, owned by Messrs. Ellis and Sons, London, and chartered by the Shaw, Savill Co. She sailed from Plymouth on February 21, 1875, with 166 Government immigrants, and crossed the Equator on March 19. Nothing worthy of note occurred until April 14, when the Captain, T. G. Thorpe, was found dead in his berth, having died suddenly from apoplexy. Mr. C. W. Best, chief officer, then took charge, and shortly after the vessel encountered a succession of gales, with very heavy high seas, the ship rolling violently at times, during which some of the railway plant got adrift. On May 10 another heavy gale was encountered, and the vessel shipped large quantities of water, the sea literally sweeping the decks, a heavy sea carrying away the fore upper topsail yard. The following day the main topmast broke in the middle and settled down. Finding that the railway plant was still adrift, and constantly rolling about, proving utterly impossible to secure it properly, Captain Best deemed it advisable to bear up for Port Louis, Mauritius, in order to save lives, property, and cargo. Port Louis was reached on May 22, and the necessary repairs having been effected the vessel proceeded on her voyage on June 10. After passing St. Paul's Island further heavy gales were encountered, with most boisterous weather. On the 23rd, whilst travelling under a heavy north-east gale, the vessel shipped a big sea, which washed her fore and aft, besides doing considerable damage to running gear. On July 9 a fire broke out in the lower foremost hold amongst the cargo, and all on board had a trying experience. The crew and passengers worked strenuously, and the fire was eventually got under.
When the vessel left Mauritius tropical fever and ague existed, and during the voyage one man died from fever and plague. When the vessel reached Lyttelton there was apparently no disease on board, but the authorities decided to land the passengers at Ripa Island. They were released after a stay of seven days.