A 40th anniversary documentary looking at the sinking of the passenger ferry in Wellington Harbour on April 10, 1968. Fifty one of the ship's 735 passengers and crew died after they were forced to jump for their lives as the Wahine rolled over just hundreds of metres from houses in suburban Seatoun.
Animations show for the first time the incredible sea conditions faced by the Wahine as she entered the harbour as the worst recorded storm in New Zealand history hit the capital. Wind gusts that day reached an amazing 276 kilometres an hour, with gust in excess of 160 kilometres an hour blowing over a four-hour period. The computer-generated graphics show the Wahine entering the harbour and being overtaken by the storm. Based on data from NIWA, eyewitnesses and expertise from former Cook Strait ferry master Captain John Brown, the animators have recreated the sea conditions. The animations show the massive following sea, which was racing at an incredible 30 plus kilometres an hour. They then show the giant wave, which picked up the 9000 tonne Wahine and flung her sideways on to the sea.
Among those interviewed for the documentary are a Canterbury farmer and his wife who were dumped against rocks on the Pencarrow coastline, a Wellington businesswoman who as the last person rescued from the water and a Wahine crew member who had to quell a mutiny on one of the life boats
Narrator: Peter Elliott
Director: Jill Graham
Producer: Jill Graham
Producer: David Lomas
Director of Photography: Chris Terpstra
Editor: Bryan Shaw
Researcher: David Lomas