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I Was There - Wahine Disaster

Television (Full Length Episode) – 2013

This 2013 TVNZ Heartland series saw veteran newsreaders present major moments in New Zealand history. In this episode Dougal Stevenson looks back at the Wahine disaster of 10 April 1968, when 51 people perished after the interisland ferry struck Barrett Reef near Wellington, in a southerly storm. Stevenson was a junior newsreader at the time. Along with archive footage, two eyewitnesses are interviewed: passenger William Spring, who recalls leaping from the capsized ship; and Roger Johnstone, who describes filming the disaster as a young NZBC cameraman.

Once the boat started to go, once the floor started to move, that's when all bets were off and people responded in all sorts of different ways, and there was a lot of panic at that point.
– Passenger William Spring recalls his experience of the Wahine disaster

Key Cast & Crew

Damien Christie

Writer, Producer

Dougal Stevenson

Presenter

Sofia Wenborn

Writer, Interviewer, Research

Tony Morley

Composer

Rachel Wood

Composer

Rhian Sheehan

Composer

See all 20 credits