Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Waratah - "A Staunch Ship".

"C. R. C. Lloyd, R. G. Miller, F. C. Saun-
ders, G. S. Richardson, other passengers,
and Morley Johnson, able seaman, made
similar depositions as to the ship being
stable, well fitted, and well found."

"A. G. Hill spoke as to conversations in Sydney
with officers of the Waratah, who spoke
well of her."

"The pilot who took the Waratah
from Port Melbourne to Port Phillip
Heads considered her a staunch ship, in
every way fitted for the voyage, and he
saw nothing while on board to alter that

"He saw no sign of list, and neither
did the vessel appear to be tender."

"As Captain Ilbery was an old friend of his he
took particular notice of the vessel and
her behaviour. The captain and officers
spoke cheerfully about the prospects of the
voyage home, and made no complaint about
the vessel."

"G. D. Shaw, able seaman, who also went
out to Sydney in the Waratah on her
second voyage, described her as staunch,
well found, and, so far as he knew, always
on an even keel."

"There was boat drill once a week;
the boats were quite sound
and strong, and there was not any difficulty
about swinging them out or lowering them."

"He did not hear any complaints about their
leaking when put into the water."

"R. T. Richards, a butcher on board the
Waratah, declared that there was nothing
peculiar about her, and that she did not
roll heavily."

"T. J. Berrin, pantry man on
the Waratah on her first round voyage, and
steward on her second outward voyage to
Sydney, agreed with witnesses who had
spoken as to the satisfactory behaviour of
the vessel."

In this report we have a clean sweep in favour of the Waratah even going so far as to describe the life boats easily mobilised and lowered. It is alleged that some officers on the Waratah took out life insurance before she departed Australian waters on her second return voyage to England. It would be interesting to establish if taking out short term life insurance before a lengthy voyage was routine or did it indeed reflect misgivings about the safety of the ship?



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