Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Waratah - assimilating evidence for the Inquiry

The Mercury (Hobart) Saturday 26 March, 1910

MELBOURNE, March 24.
The British Board of Trade has communicated with the Registrars of shipping in Sydney, Melbourne, and Adeaide, the ports of call in Australia, of the missing steamer Waratah, asking that complete investigation be made into the, circumstances attending the departure of the vessel from the ports named. 
The Board of Trade registrars of shipping in Australia are the collectors of Customsin the several states. The communications from the Board have been referred by the Controller-General of Customs (Dr. Wollaston) to the Federal Crown Solicitor (Mr. Charles Powers) who is now conducting the necessary inquiries through the most likely channels. 
Mr. Powers stated to-day that the investigation would embrace inquiries into, among other things, the following matters : - Description ofcargo and weight loaded and unloaded at Melbourne, Adelaide, and Sydney, to ascertain the total weight of cargo on board the ship when she sailed, weight of bunker coal loaded at Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide from stevedores, as to cargo loaded and amount in each hold, and how and where stored and secured, and as to bunker coal, and where, also, as to weight and description, etc., of cargo or bunker coal if any, on deck, and how secured; the vessel's draught of water in saltwater, and freeboard when she left the different ports; whether the vessel was upright on leaving each port; the number, names, and rating of the crew, passengers, and other persons on board when she left the different ports ; reports from the pilots who took the vessel to sea ; on the vessel's general condition, trim, and state of sea behaving of ship, etc, ; also the evidence of Messrs. Richardson and Saunders, who sailed to Durban in the vessel, left there, and returned to Australia; as to deck cargo or bunker coal, behaviour of ship, etc. ; the evidence from four seamen who left the shipin Australia on the behaviour of the ship and generally, evidence from any persons available in Australia who travelled by the ship to Australia; extracts from letters received from passengers to Durban if any reference is made to the behaviour of the ship on the way, or to the complaints referred to in the report of the interview with Mr J Saunders at Durban.'
Such thorough ambitions which did not translate completely at the Inquiry.

Board of Trade offices, London

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