Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Waratah - 9000 tons of cargo!

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Wednesday 18 May, 1910.

The Collector of Customs (Mr. T. N.Stephens), in his capacity as registrar ofshipping in South Australia, for some timehas been engaged in collecting evidence inconnection with the missing Lund linerWaratah. Depositions have been taken byhim as a justice of the peace. Some ofthe witnesses have been traced with difficulty, and there are still some to obtain.The principal evidence obtained is givenbelow. Nothing of a sensational nature,however. is disclosed in it.
Mr. J. C. Neill, Port Adelaide managerfor Messrs. George Wills & Co. (agents forthe steamer), stated that while the Waratah was at Port Adelaide on her inwardpassage in June she loaded 1,000 tons oflead concentrates, which were put amid-ships in No. 3 hold. It was not unusualto take in dead weight at Port Adelaide.
This confirms that lead concentrates were primarily used for ballast and to increase weight lower down in the vessel, improving metacentric height stability. This was required after cargo was discharged at Adelaide.
When she returned from the eastern Statesshe loaded cargo at Ocean Steamers' wharfand at the Outer Harbor, and in additiontook in 180 tons of bunker coal, which wasplaced in the bunkers. She had no coalon deck when she left the Outer Harbor.
He estimated the total dead weight ofcargo on board at 9,000 tons, and that herdraft was 28 ft. 3 in. forward and 29 ft.5 in. aft.
This figure of 9 000 tons of cargo was repeated over and over in the press. Not 6250 tons!

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speedbird said...

Awnings like those on Waratah weren't uncommon. The German liners Breman and Europa had similar setups, and so did many British and American warships well pas the Second World War. To consider them dangerous is a non-starter as they wouldn't be used continuously, either in port or on calm daysonly. There is no reason to think Waratah would be in any sea state with both large awnings up.

As for the cargo tonnage, could it be possible the article is also including coal in the figure? Perhaps I'm reading it incorrectly.

andrew van rensburg said...

Thank you for the insightful comment. I agree about the awning. However, if a strong wind came up, I'm sure that it would have taken considerable time and effort to take the awning down. I don't think it was dangerous, but could have contributed to a list. As for the 9000 tons, the commentary specifies cargo. It would, however, make more sense including the coal component of roughly 2000 tons. Under these circumstances, the reserve coal bunkers (roughly 1800 tons) could accommodate most of the balance - roughly 311 tons cargo and 340 tons coal stowed on the spar deck. Personally, I don't believe we shall ever learn the complete truth about the loading of the Waratah. Andrew