Diggers have torn the MV Tuhoe ship to pieces.
The 96-year-old vessel ran aground at the Waimakariri River mouth on Sunday afternoon. It was headed to Kaiapoi after receiving a $200,000 repair job in Lyttelton.
Demolition was expected to be complete by the end of Wednesday but the crew were unable to remove all of the wreckage before high tide set in at 4pm.
The historic ship MV Tuhoe is pulled apart at the mouth of the Waimakariri River.
March Construction founder Buzz March said the boat was cut into three separate pieces.
"Basically, it's going to get bust to smithereens," March said.
Regional harbourmaster Jim Dilley said only two thirds of the vessel was cleared because it took longer than expected to salvage the mast and bridge from the ship.
The stranded MV Tuhoe before demolition started.
"We made an early assessment and stopped just short of the engine room."
The rest of the rubble had been moved to the top of the beach out of reach from the waves.
Dilley said the open part of the vessel had been filled in with sand and was sealed off.
Waimakariri District Mayor David Ayers said it was a sad and difficult time for everyone.
"There are few river towns in New Zealand that would have a vessel of this size docked near the town centre. No one on board wanted it to end this way."
Four members of the MV Tuhoe Preservation Society salvaged some pieces from the ship. The society began intensive restoration of the ship in 1982.
"We worked hard and played hard on that ship, we have so many memories there."
Some onlookers walked 4 kilometres from the Spencer Park entrance to the site of the ship.
Kaiapoi school teacher Tracy Reed was at the site of the ship on Tuesday night and early on Wednesday.
"It was quite eerie last night to be honest . . . I am trying to document as much as I can so the kids hear the story."
New Brighton resident Mark Fitzgerald cycled 14km up the beach to watch the ship being dismantled.
"We used to be able to sneak on board the Tuhoe and look around but when they fixed it up it became the pride of Kaiapoi."
Ayers said the council would consider creating a feature on the land to acknowledge the MV Tuhoe.
Source: stuff. 30 September 2015