MV Tiri – Radio Hauraki
I received an email over the weekend from Denis O’Callahan, owner of the classic launch Tasman asking for some help from the woodys – I’ll let Denis tell the story.
“I was sorting some memorabilia recently in preparation for the 50th anniversary of Radio Hauraki when I came across the old newspaper cutting above ex my mother’s scrap book.
As well as the MV Tiri and the Widgeon there is a nice woody and there must have been another vessel from which the photo was taken but I’m damned if I can remember either of them.
So can any Woody identify the launch and maybe even the photographer and his boat?
I certainly remember that day, our first out in the gulf (Nov 1966) before we had raised any kind of broadcasting antenna and here is the true story.
It was glassy calm and Captain Fred Ladd landed nearby with David Gapes and some newspaper reporters on board. Unfortunately when restarting, an engine flooded and cranking it flattened the 12 volt battery.
The Tiri had 24 volt batteries and we had lots of heavy cable on board so two of us rowed out to the plane in a dinghy and I climbed onto the wing. The cable hanging in the water pulled the plane in toward the ship so the guy in the dinghy had to tie the painter around a tail strut and row hard to keep them separated. Captain Ladd directed me to the battery compartment and I signaled to the Tiri crew to connect their end to the ship’s batteries. In a short time we had enough juice in the Widgeon’s battery to start the engines and we cast off the cable and the dinghy. So there I was on the wing with the plane taxiing around ready for take off. I had no option but to dive in and swim back to the Tiri.”