Arrival in Wellington Harbor reported by the New Zealand Times, August 31, 1875

During the boat drill on board the Rodney yesterday a serious accident happened to a man named William Cooper. An eyebolt broke and the hook attached to it flew up and struck him, causing fracture and dislocation of the jawbone. He was immediately conveyed to the hospital.

Captain Louttit courteously afforded us the opportunity of viewing the very complete discipline which he has been enabled, by rare tact and firmness, to carry out on board his ship. At ten o’clock the Immigration officer, accompanied by the Harbormaster and several other gentlemen, boarded the vessel, and after some preliminary arrangement had been disposed of, the roll of the single girls was read over, the young women afterwards ranging themselves on the port side of the ship. After the single women the married couples and then the single men passed in review before the Immigration officer, the captain, the surgeon-superintendent, and the Health officer. All the immigrants appeared to be in excellent health and spirits, and expressed their cordial appreciation of the manner in which their comforts had been attended to by the captain and surgeon-superintendent. This necessary routine being disposed of, the Immigration Officer was conducted by the captain over the whole of the ship devoted to passenger accommodation, and the visitors were struck with the extreme cleanness of the arrangements, which was obviously the principal cause of the healthiness of the passengers during the voyage.

As was intimated in our issue of yesterday, the captain now seized the opportunity of showing to his visitors what can be done in the way of disciplining immigrants in what is technically called the fire drill and boat exercise. The order was accordingly given for the ringing of the fire-bell, immediately on hearing which the passengers took their respective places at the pumps, the hose was got in readiness, the buckets were manned, and everything was ready for deluging the ship with water. As however some of the visitors expressed their entire approval of the drill up to this point without its fruition in a copious rush of water, this latter was dispensed with, and it is to be hoped that the need may never arise on the good ship Rodney for the carrying out in stern earnest of the fire drill. The order was then given to man the boats, and in a very short time each boat was filled with its complement of men, each individual securing a reliable life-belt to his shoulders, and then came the order to lower the boats, which order was promptly carried out. The disastrous fate of the ship Cospatrick, with its human freightage of hundreds of emigrants, has written in terrible characters a protest once for all against the neglect of the precautions which have been so wisely and efficiently carried out in the Rodney. For in that case, as our readers will recollect, as many or more lives were lost by drowning as deaths by suffocation in the burning ship. But apart from the actual necessity for instituting these precautionary measures on shipboard, and especially on board an emigrant ship, there is this further advantage, that the discipline gives employment to the emigrants, thus enabling them to escape from the ennui which overtakes the indolent life on board ship.