Saturday, 19 September 2015

Waratah - lifeboat sightings.

WAS IT FROM THE WARATAH!
SHIP'S BOAT PASSED
BOTTOM UP IN THE SOUTHERN
OCEAN.
Following quickly on the report fromthe Tyser steamer Tomoana of the passing of a ship's boat in the Southern Oceana few week's ago, comes a story of thesighting of another derelict craft, bottom up, about the same locality.
The steamer Thistleroy, a trampsteamer of 4,027 tons, arrived in PortJackson on Thursday from the Tyne viaAdelaide, and the captain, on landing,made a report to the effect that he hadpassed an upturned boat on January23. The Thistleroy was in lat. 39 deg.south, long. 21 deg. east, when the boatwas reported. The steamer was howling along before a south-west gale, andactually passed the boat before it wasobserved by the lookout on the bridge.An examination through the glassesconvinced the captain that it had beensome time in the water. It was painted white, but covered with marine growth, and though a good look-out was kept, there was no appearance of any wreckage in the vicinity .
In view of the mystery surroundingthe disappearance of the Waratah, Captain Stanley, of the Thistleroy, wouldhave liked to have made an examination of the derelict craft, but the weather conditions were so bad that this was found to be impossible. With a south-west gale blowing and heavy searunning, and the steamer, which wasin light trim, rolling and pitchingviolently, the captain was compelled tokeep on his course for Australia.
It was on January 8, two days beforethe vessel rounded the Cape of GoodHope, and about 500 miles distant fromthat headland, that the Tomoana passeda drifting ship's boat, painted white,the stern portion of which was submerged. A sailor reported the matter to the chief officer, but by this time the Tomoana had forged so far ahead that the boat was almost indistinguishable. It was evidently a large lifeboat,  and had been in the water for a considerable time. There is, of course, no evidence to connect the drifting derelict with the disappearance of the steamer Waratah, although it is, of course, possible that the boat belonged to the liner, all her boats being painted white.


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