Thursday, 7 November 2013

Waratah - Guelph signaller the last witness?

The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957)  Previous issue Tuesday 10 August 1909

THE MISSING WARATAH
SIGHTED AFTER LEAVING PORT.
NO SIGNALS OF DISTRESS.
OWNERS HOPEFUL.
LONDON, Aug. 10, 1909

"Yesterday brought no news regarding the
fate of the missing Blue Anchor liner
Waratah, and is nine days overdue on
the voyage from Port Natal to Cape Town."

"The Times" this morning states that the
owners of the vessel are still hopeful of her
safety."

"The White Star liner Runic arrived in
Cape Town, but had nothing to
report.  The Runic took the outward
course from Durban, but saw no trace of
the Waratah."

"The agency at Durban states that
the officers of the Union Castle liner
Guelph, which is in port, sighted
the Waratah eastward of East London
on the night of the 27th July,
the day after her departure."

"The position of the Waratah at that time showed that
she was eight hours late.  Communication
between the vessels was attempted, but the
result was unsatisfactory. The Waratah was not flying
signals of distress"

This remains one of the most misleading clues as to the disappearance of the Waratah. Famously the signaler only managed to decipher the last three letters of the name of the mysterious steamer - TAH. There were no other steamers with the last three letters TAH. If it had been the Waratah it is strange that she was only a few miles offshore - not within the outer steamer track - and if so, that she was not overhauled by the Clan MacIntyre. Further to this if the Waratah was in fact 8 hours behind schedule attempts would have been made to communicate difficulties.







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