Saturday, 11 July 2015

Waratah - only the letters 'WAR' deciphered.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Friday 3 September, 1909
On Thursday afternoon the F.H.S. linerSurrey arrived at Port Adelaide fromLondon. No traces of the missing Waratah were seen by those on board. Thesteamer passed the Cape on August 10, andthe same day was signalled to by asteamer. They did not catch all the mes-sage, but made out that a boat, the nameof which began with "War," was missing.This was the first intimation they had ofa probable shipping disaster, and it wasnot until Port Adelaide was reached thatthey learnt of the prolonged absence ofthe Waratah. The easting was run downin latitude 38, and fair weather was experienced across the Indian Ocean.

This report is interesting in that it demonstrates that signal messages by lamp in adverse weather conditions could be incomplete. It gives pause to reconsider the Guelph communication.

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