The Narrung (launched in1896) was a single screw steamer of 5078 tons purchased by the Blue Anchor Line in 1905. 400 ft long, with accommodation for 50 first class passengers and a significant number of emigrants, she serviced the UK to Australia route via the Cape of Good Hope. In 1902, she towed the 'Howard Smith' steamer Boveric to Fremantle, after the Boveric lost her screw (propeller) and had been drifting for 27 days.
|3,987 gross tons. Lb: 105.2 x 15.2 metres. Steel single screw steamship built by Russell at Port Glasgow for SS Boveric Co Ltd (Andrew Weir), Glasgow. Cargo only. Triple expansion engine. 1889 purchased by W H Smith & Sons Melbourne, arriving 1900 Australian waters. 1901 owner changed trading name as Howard Smith, Melbourne. Vessel retained original name until 1906 when renamed Cycle. 1916 chartered to British Government. Duties within WW1 unknown. 1919 sold to Rederiaktiebolaget Transatlantic, Gothenburg (G Carlsson) renamed Svarten. Broken up at Gothenburg May 1933|
Boveric was en route from Sydney to Durban with 965 horses for the Boer War. Only 52 horses were lost:
Sydney Morning Herald - 9 May 1902
On Boxing Day 1912, while in the English Channel en route to Australia the Narrung almost foundered in a severe storm in the Bay of Biscay. She issued an SOS distress call and managed to return to England.
Intentions as to the Narrung
(Press Assn. - By Telegraph. - Copyright)
London, January 1, 1912
"In the House of Commons Mr Farrell gave notice of his intention to question Mr Buxton as to whether the Narrung, during a storm in the Indian Ocean on her last homeward voyage, heeled over at an angle of 54 degrees, with such danger that the officers were on the point of lowering the boats, and whether the Waratah, a sister ship, capsized through top-heaviness owing to her bad construction, and whether the Board of Trade intend to allow the Narrung to continue to carry passengers on long voyages."
It seems very unlikely that the Narrung heeled over 54 degrees and managed to stay afloat. She was sold to the Mexico Steamship Company in 1913 and renamed the Mexico City. She remained perfectly seaworthy until 1916 when she was grounded after a torpedo attack. But it was only after a second torpedo attack by U-101, and not due to her tendency to list dangerously, that sounded her death knell, 15 miles from South Stack, Holyhead, Anglesey, North Wales, with the loss of 29 souls, including the Captain.