Thursday, 27 February 2014

Waratah - 'body of a little girl clothed in a red dressing-gown'.

"THE LATEST STORY.
EXTRAORDINARY REPORT BY STEAMER'S OFFICER.
BODIES SEEN IN THE SEA."
Wellington (N.Z.), Feb. 25, 1910.

"An extraordinary story bearing on the loss, or disappearance, of the big steamer Waratah was made the other day to the Press Association's agent at Westport, New Zealand, by Mr. Day, late second officer of the steamer Tottenham, which called recently at Westport for bunker coal, and sailed for Ocean Island."

"He says the Tottenham left Durban about 10 days after the Waratah,, and steamed over the same course, bound for Antwerp. While off East London at noon one day, an apprentice at the wheel reported to the third officer, who was in charge of the bridge, that he saw float past the ship the body of a little girl clothed in a red dressing-gown."

"The officer looked round but did not see the body. He, however, went down, to the chart-room, where the captain and second officer were laying off the ship's position, and reported that bodies had just floated past."

"The captain and second officer rushed on to the bridge, and the second officer said he saw something white floating on the water. The captain gave the order, "Hard a-starboard," and the vessel steamed round in the vicinity of floating objects."

"They did not catch sight of the body reported to have been seen fully dressed, but saw what appeared to be portions of human bodies. The weather being very heavy, the steamer was unable to make a thorough examination, so she proceeded on her voyage."

"Nothing to Report."

This must surely be one of the most chilling reports associated with the disappearance of the Waratah.



to be continued....


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