Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
The Making of New Zealanders
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.
To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.
Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.
Originally laid down as KURUTAI with her name changed during the build she was one of the larger ships ordered by the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, built in 1951 she went on to serve the USSCo Ltd for around 20 years before being sold on with the advent of containerisation ships which the traditional derrick cargo ships just could not compete with, another sturdy built ship that plied the waters of New Zealand and she was a familiar sight in port.
She was sold on first to a company in the Philippines in 1972; she was then sold on again in 1977 and renamed Sky Luck, whilst under this somewhat colourful name she arrived in Hong Kong harbour after a voyage from Singapore with 3,000 Vietnamese refugees onboard. A journey which should have taken around 5 days took about 27 days which would account for all the refugees being loaded onto her.
When she arrived in Hong Kong harbour the authorities refused her landing permission so she had no option but to sit around at anchor for about 4 months, in which conditions must have got pretty bad, one night the ship mysteriously drifted into shore and ran aground where the majority of the stranded passengers proceeded to disappear, later investigation was to show that her anchor cable had been cut, the ship was impounded and demolition was ordered, so she was broken up at Lamma where she had run aground in 1981.
As the ship "Sky Luck" aground on the rocks at Lammu, Hong Kong where she was demolished where she lay in 1981. A sad end for this fine ship.
We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info
or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.