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Wahine sinking 50 years on: Commemorations today in Wellington for New Zealand's worst modern maritime disaster


Today, Wellington remembers the 53 people who died in New Zealand’s worst modern maritime disaster, 50 years after the Wahine sunk in Wellington’s harbour.

The inter-island ferry went down during a storm in Wellington Harbour, with the loss of 53 lives. Source: Breakfast

For more on this story, watch 1 NEWS at 6pm. Source: 1 NEWS

Commemorations will be held tomorrow to remember the 53 people who died. Source: Seven Sharp

Commemorations begin at a dawn service at Muritai School in Eastbourne, having moved from the Wahine Mast Memorial in Eastbourne due to poor weather.

This will be followed by a community choir performing "Songs they Sang" at Wellington Railway Station between 7:30-8:30am.

A display at the Wellington Museum on Wellington's waterfront will be open to the public between 10:00-5:00pm.

Learning from the lessons of the day, today's search and rescue experts host the 'P.S. Are you Prepared?' display at Shed 6, Queen's Wharf, to show us how to best prepare for disaster on land and sea.

Wahine disaster, 1968 Source: 1 NEWS

The Salvation Army, who provided Wahine survivors with dry clothing, warm food and drinks; will be offering cups of tea to those attending between 11:30-4:30pm

At the Wahine Memorial at Frank Kitt's Park, the Orpheus Choir will perform a choral tribute as a flotilla of smaller boats will sail past in the harbour at midday.

Other commemorative events will be happening around the Wellington region, details can be found at The Wahine 50 Charitable Trust website here.

1NEWS will have extensive coverage at 6pm.