Login: Lost Password? SIGN UP
Ship Photo Search
Photo Search - Advanced Search


Full Screen - Add Comment - Bookmark this photo - Edit Info
Get thumbnail code to post in forum, blog or homepage
Photo Details
Photographer:Gordy [View profile]Title:TAHITIAdded:Mar 05, 2014
Location:Wellington, New Zealand
Photo Category: Cruise Ships and Liners built before 1950
...shown here in Wellington NZ

Tahiti 1904-1930. (Pass-cargo ref) USSCo. 1911-1930.

IDNo: 1117715
Year: 1904
Launch Date: 19.4.04
Type: Passenger/cargo (ref)
Date of completion: 7.04
Flag: GBR
Starke: V1904 #525
Tons: 7,585
Link: 1554
Yard No: 403
LPP: 140.2
Country of build: GBR
Beam: 16.9
Builder: Stephen
Location of yard: Linthouse
Number of
Speed(kn): 2T-17

Owner as Completed: Imperial Direct West India Mail Service Co. Ltd. (Elder Dempster)

Subsequent History:


Disposal Data:

Foundered 26.27S/166.05W 17.8.30

Built in 1904 by Alex Stephen and Sons Ltd of Linthouse, Glasgow.
GRT 7585 Net 3841 She was twin Screw Twin Triple Expansion Steam Engines of 9000 ihp with 3 single and 3 double boilers at 180 psi giving a service speed of 17 Knots.

She was launched 19th April 1904 and delivered to Elder Dempster in July and was named Port Kingston. She was put on their Avonmouth, Bermuda, Kingston run but proved to big for this service.
January 14th 1907 while at anchor in Kingston she was driven ashore by an earthquake. The vessel grounded twice. She was refloated by tugs and also aided by Elder Dempster’s vessel Delta. She was then used as a hospital ship.

1910 Laid up in Avonmouth when Imperial Direct lost the mail contract.

1911 Purchased by Union Steam Ship Co and renamed Tahiti. She was considerably modified for their needs and placed on their Pacific service making her first sailing on this route from Sydney December 11th 1911 replacing the Moana

1914 She was chartered by the N.Z. Government for war service. Was converted in Port Chalmers into HMNZS Transport No 4 Making her fist sailing on October 16th 1914 Wellington-Egypt. She trooped mainly to Gallipoli and Marseilles

1915 February this year became HMNZS Transport No 15 and in June same year became HMNZS Transport No 25.

She had a couple of near misses during her period with the navy. She was missed by a torpedo in the Mediterranean and was chased in the English Channel by UC 17, but drove off her attacker by return gun fire.

1919 May 3rd. Left London for Auckland with 1,700 troops aboard and handed back to her owners on 4th July sailing for Vancouver on August 11th for overhaul and refit. At this time she was converted to oil.

1920 In April of this year she was returned to service.

1921 Placed on the San Francisco run.

1927 Nov 3: At Sydney she collided with and sank the wooden harbour ferry Greycliffe, with 42 dead. Tahiti was moving at 12 knots and the ferry captain took his craft in front of Tahiti, assuming that she was moving at the harbour speed limit of 8 knots. The Court of Enquiry found Greycliffe 3/5 to blame and Tahiti 2/5--she was speeding.

1930 August 15th at 04.30 hours when 460 miles from Rarotonga the Tahiti's starboard propellor shaft snapped unseating the engine and tearing a hole in the hull stern plating. The crew battled for 60 hours to stem the flow of water to no avail Tahiti remained afloat for 2 days enabling all her 103 passengers plus their baggage along with the 149 crew and their belongings to be taken off.
The mail and bullion was also saved
August 17th 1930 when Captain Tolten left his vessel the stern was awash and the Tahiti slowly went down stern first.

Vessels that went to her aid were USSCo.'s Tofua, Matson's Ventura and Brynmor's Penybryn.

Photo Credits: The Alexander Turnbull Library NZ
Vessel Identification
Technical Data
Vessel type:-

Additional Information
AIS Information
AIS information: N/A
More Of This Ship
Got photos of this ship? Register and Upload them now!
More Of: This Photographer - This Ship

Photo Comments (4)

Comments sorting method :
P.F. KERR on Apr 08, 2021 08:42 (3 days ago)
There appears to be some sort of black-out covering the front of the bridge. Maybe this photo is one of her converted to a troop transport.
Gordy on Mar 06, 2014 15:29 (7 years ago)
Ty Ty Tony and Mr Dot, I love all the pics I can get of the Tahiti, what a plagued life she had
Tony Conroy on Mar 06, 2014 03:12 (7 years ago)
Full of atmosphere this one
Mr. DOT on Mar 05, 2014 20:03 (7 years ago)
holy smokes, how impressive is this post! mrdot.
Please Login to add a comment!

This photo has been shown 1,201 times since it was added to the site.

Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved View live flights at!