Toia was an Admiralty Saint Class tug. they were built 1918 -19 fulfilling a need for capable tugs. Alas the war ended and so did the need. She was built by Fleming and Ferguson Ltd Paisley and was gifted tot he RNZN in 1925. She departed Leith 18 April 1926 and arrived in Wellington via the Mediterranean and Melbourne three months later.
She was kept at Wellington and leased by the Navy for one pound per year but available at short notice to the RNZN. Auckland had declined the offer.
The intention was to have a decent salvage tug on the coast.
The Saints were very capable tugs 143 x 29 x 12 Coal fired Scotch boiler Triple expansion steam (of course) 1250 hp.
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Alas, she waited in vain at Wellington for the major disaster that thankfully never came. She was laid up in 1948. Commissioned into the RNZN and brought to Auckland going into reserve while proposals to convert her to oil firing were studied.
They came to nothing and she made the one way trip to the Viaduct for scrapping in January 1955.
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There were at least seven serious ship fires in Wellington in WW2 on freighters carrying munitions. Toia was equipped with a Merryweather steam fire pump -well up to the job.
She took part in any notable salvage jobs
Opua coaster ashore at Tora Wairarapa 10/26 total loss
Pakura coaster ashore at Tora 11/31 refloated and towed to Wellington
Golden Harvest freighter aground on Barrett Reef 5/33 reflected
Port Bowen freighter ashore Castlecliff Wananui 7/39 not reflected
Armidale freighter assisted to port after collision 31/7/40 Cape Campbell
Kaiwarra freighter aground 12/42 Motunau Is Nth Canterbury not refloated
Trocas Shell tanker; severe fire 9/43 assumed tow from Auckland tugs
J Sterling Morton Liberty ship lost rudder and prop 12/43. 6 day tow.
Port Waikato coaster towed to Wellington from sea 11/44 and towed from Chathams with machinery trouble 2/46
Karepo freighter aground Cape Foulwind Westport 1/46 refloated
Wanganella reflected from Barrett Reef after 18 days 2/47