MV Tanea - earthquake at Sea - 1962

When I was at sea, 18th April 1962, I was shot out of my bunk at 5.43 a.m. The ship shuddered to a stop. One hell of a shock in the middle of the ocean. Reminded me of depth charges. The incident did not have the character of hitting a submerged object or whale. We were soon under way again, and I reported to Wellington Radio (still the morse code days at sea). The operator told me "We've just had quite a shake". Soon after, I received a report from the Seismic Centre to say that, from our position, they had judged us to have been at the epi-centre.

This diagram shows how yesterday"s earthquake, centred about 100 miles south of Wellington off-shore, was recorded by a seismograph in the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, The Terrace, Wellington. The quake lasted two or three minutes and was felt in Christchurch, Kaikoura and Nelson as well as Wellington. The Shell tanker Tanea was steaming through the area when the earthquake occurred. Two lighter, localised quakes were recorded in Wellington in the previous 12 hours


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Last revised: June 01, 2003.