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New Zealand Drownings

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  • Mary Ann Wray (1841 - 1885)
    DROWNED IN THE RESERVOIR Mrs. Wray, wife of the Engineer of, the Waterworks, was drowned in the reservoir this morning. It appears that Mr. Wray went to the engines at about 8 o'clock as usual, and af...
  • Auckland Star (4 October 1890, p. 6).
    Capt. Peter Jonas (1853 - 1890)
    News was received in town on Sept. 17 of a mishap to an Auckland coasting vessel, the cutter Lark, in the Bay of Plenty, which cost the life of her captain, Mr Peter Jonas, a well-known coastal trading...
  • Allan Silas Jenkins (1932 - 2013)
    The 81-year-old man whose body was found on Pilot Bay yesterday is Allan Jenkins of Mount Maunganui. Allan's body was discovered by a member of the public in shallow waters on the beach near Grace Aven...
  • John James Broughton Epps (c.1838 - 1883)
    Death John Epps, a workman at the Waiau Bridge, fell off and was drowned on Friday evening. A party of men ran some distance along the bank, but could not save him. The body was found yesterday, two m...
  • William Moore (1843 - 1862)
    Witnessed the murder of his stepmother. Drowned in 1862 incident in an unsafe boat with two other men.

In New Zealand’s history drowning was known as 'The New Zealand Death' with river crossings especially hazardous. Pioneers often fatally misjudged the speed and depth of the rivers and streams they needed to cross. Later, bathing in our rivers, lakes and oceans became a national obsession and the lack of swimming skills meant many lost their lives.