Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
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. Not all ships could be considered "Lucky Ships" as the sea is a very unforgiving place.
Kokiri was the last in a series of six AC class colliers built for the Union Steam Ship Company.
She spent almost all of her life with the USsCo, Ltd shipping coal from Greymouth to Wellington, although other ports were visited on occasion. She had some alterations done to her and in the mid 1950s she had her two aft derricks removed, then in 1958 while approaching the breakwater at the Port of Greymouth she hit rocks and this required the replacement of around 20 of her shell plates, which were riveted.
All welded ships had not quite taken over in the early 1950s, as can be seen from the above photograph.
Two men were killed when a mystery explosion rocked the fore hold of the vessel as she was arriving at Wellington on 13 March 1965. Believed to be caused by a build up of coal gas.
She was then sold on to a company in the Philippines, in 1968.
The ship went missing during typhoon Elaine whilst on passage from Tanjong Mani to Hong Kong.
5th of October 1971 she was never heard from again.
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.