A new book by Lynton Diggle, released in October 2009, features the most recent research on N.Z. shipwrecks. 130 pages lavishly illustrated in colour and includes many wrecks and images previously unpublished.

This book builds on years of research that produced the 8th edition of New Zealand Shipwrecks which, due to the inclusion of some 175 new shipwrecks and word restrictions, much additional information on known shipwrecks was not included. This Companion edition addresses that and adds yet another 86 new wrecks, most previously not recorded. Side-scan and magnetometer images of the Boyd provide the first ‘look’ at this infamous 1809 wreck and a recently discovered letter, written in 1842 by a survivor, describes in graphic detail the wreck of the Falcon at Maketu in 1840.

While the book is essentially maritime history, it also gives an insight into our early social history, such as the entry for the Volunteer wrecked in 1865 at the Fox River, where ‘A sailor, dead for seven summer days was placed on the bar room floor of Kelly’s hotel awaiting the coroner. The patrons continued drinking, one even astride the body. ….’

An entry by Dr. Robin Watt, forensic anthropologist, on the recent discovery of the skull of a European woman found in the Wairarapa on the banks of the Ruamahanga River, suggests the intriguing possibility of a pre Tasman shipwreck. The Ruamahanga skull was carbon dated at around 300 years.

With a very limited print run, this book will become a collector’s piece and will interest the lay reader, maritime enthusiasts, and genealogists alike. The perfect companion to the 8th edition of New Zealand Shipwrecks. This book is now sold out.


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