Shipwreck of the SS Progress
Eighty years ago, on May 1st 1931 an act of incredible bravery saved the life of a seaman whose ship had run aground on rocks at Owhiro Bay. The steamer SS Progress was making its way from Lyttleton to Wellington before running aground on rocks in a howling southerly. Policeman Wally Hammond tied a rope around his waste and swam out to sea to help. He managed to get a Finnish seaman, Fritz Degerholm safely to shore, but 4 other seaman died. Descendants of the Degerholm and Hammond families gathered at Owhiro Bay this weekend to mark the 80 anniversary of the grounding of the SS Progress. Wally Hammond's son Ken helped organize the event and he is on the line with us.