New Zealand: Nightmare at Sea

All night the gleaming oceangoing ferry Wahine battled gale-force winds and violent seas on its regular run between South and North islands in New Zealand. As it entered Wellington Harbor, only a mile from its destination, the two-year-old ship was blown onto a reef. Water gushed through a hole in the hull. Then, after the Wahine floated free, it suddenly lurched over on its side into the water. Panic seized the 676 passengers and crewmen.

Many simply slid down the wet decks into the water. Women screamed for their children. People careened along the corridors toward the lifeboat stations. A...

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