“GO AHEAD” – STEAMER.
Built 1867 – by Thomas B. Seath & Co.
County of Lanark.
Length: 117 feet. Beam: 20.1 feet Depth: 9.2 feet
2 x 45 H.P. Engines.
Owned by: W.W. & C.J. Johnson – Wellington.
Went Ashore 2 Miles South of Kidnappers – Hawke Bay — 20th May 1887
EXTRACT FROM THE WAIPAWA MAIL – Monday 23rd May 1887
Loss of the “Go Ahead” – The Captains Story.
Captain Plumley, who was in comand [command] of the Go Ahead, gives the following account of the disaster:- We left Wellington on Wednesday evening. The weather was terribly thick and dirty, and continued so all along the coast, getting worse if possible as we went along. We sighted Cape Turnagain and Blackhead, but after that were never able to distinguish the land at all, everything being totally obscured by the thickness of the weather, at about quarter to 2 o’clock on friday morning we found ourselves in the breakers, no land being visible even at that time. The engines were at once put Full Speed Astern, but the vessel struck and remains fast. It was impossible to see the shore, but efforts were at once made to lower a boat, as the sea was breaking over the vessel, and it was feared she would break up. I had two narrow escapes, the first time a sea washed me clean overboard, but another one washed me back again and I caught hold of the rails. I had a hard fight, and I think if it had not been for the thoughts of those at home I should have given up, for I was nearly done. The vessel had a list to the land, which made it difficult for me to recover my footing, and I had to hang on with my hands while several seas swept over me. In the intervals I took fresh grasp, so to speak, and at last managed to put myself right. After that I was again swept off, but was caught and held by some of the crew. While we were lowering the boat it was pitch dark and there was nothing to be seen but the break under us and nothing to hear but the wind howling while the boat was being lowered a terrific sea came, and everything was carried away, boats and davits and all, not a bit left. It was a dreadful time, and we were not very hopeful.