Friday, 12 February 2016


The SS Waratah was the fifth vessel to be given the name of NSW's state emblem blossom.

Waratah (Telopea) is an endemic, Australian genus of five species of large shrubs or small trees, native to the southeastern parts of Australia (New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania). The most well-known species in this genus is Telopea speciosissima, which has bright red flowers and is the NSW state emblem. The waratah is a member of the plant family Proteaceae, a family of flowering plants distributed in the Southern Hemisphere. The key diagnostic feature of Proteaceae is the inflorescence, which is often very large, brightly coloured and showy, consisting of many small flowers densely packed into a compact head or spike. Species of waratah boast such inflorescences ranging from 6–15 cm in diameter with a basal ring of coloured bracts. The leaves are spirally arranged, 10–20 cm long and 2–3 cm broad with entire or serrated margins. The name waratah comes from the Eora Aboriginal people, the original inhabitants of the Sydney area.

Wreck of the ship Waratah, A. D. Volum, commander, bound toSydney.- Thirteen lives lost.(Extract from a private letter published in the Hobart TownCourier.)We cleared the Lizard on the 19th of February, after which weencountered a succession of severe gales from the southward andwestward. When off Ushant, the gale increased to such violence,that the captain found it necessary to heave the ship to under aclose-reefed main topsail.On Friday evening last, about 12 p.m., the gale became soterrific that the captain was compelled to order the main-topsail tobe furled. About half an hour afterwards, a tremendous sea struckthe ship, washing overboard our much-to-be-lamented commander,together with the first officer, boatswain, seven seamen, and threeboys, as nearly as we can at present ascertain.Immediately after this dreadful catastrophe we climbed on deckthrough the cabin skylight, and perceived to our horror that theship was dismasted, and the decks swept fore and aft. When daylight dawned the pumps were started, and we found nearly six feetof water in the hold. Part of us instantly set to work pumpingwhile others were busily engaged in clearing away the wreck. Atabout one o'clock on the same day we saw a vessel on the weatherquarter bearing down upon us, which proved to be the Norwegianbrig Preciosa, Captain Jacobsens, bound to Dartmouth to refit, inconsequence of having lost her main topmast, and, much riggingduring the gale of the previous evening. The captain of the abovevessel finding the awful position we were placed in, very considerately offered us all the assistance in his power, and although the seawna then running very high, lowered a boat, and took us on board;but in doing so, on account of the heavy swell, the boat struck hisvessel's side, and was consequently rendered unfit to return againto the wreck that afternoon. The day was too far, advanced tolower another boat, and Captain Jacobsens then decided on layingto all night, hoping that the weather would moderate to enable himto rescue the remainder of the passengers and crew on the followingday ; but much to our disappointment, it blew harder than it did onthe previous day; but not at all daunted, Captain Jacobsens'sanxiety being so great, that at daylight he ordered another boat tobe lowered, which twice broke adrift, perilling the lives of his seamen, who were'providentially saved by " life lines", but his boatwas completely lost.The captain had now only one boat left, and determined to wait bythe wreck another day, still in the hopes. of saving our fellowsufferers, but his vessel and his crew being, so disabled, and the seacontinuing to run very high, he found it utterly impossible to renderany further assistance, having kept in company with the wreckforty-eight hours. He deemed it prudent to try to speak her, togive the second mate the latitude and longitude, and he then madesail for Dartmouth.
13 lives were lost.

The steam collier Waratah, which wasstranded on the beach at Bulli yesterday, isnow embedded hard and fast in sand, and allhope of getting her off is abandoned. The  tug sent from Sydney could not get near thestranded vessel on account of the heavy  swell, and it is expected that the Waratah willsoon break up. There is 5ft. of water in the engine room, and the rudder and the stern post are gone. All the movable goods and fittingsin the vessel have been landed by means ofslings and baskets. The vessel belongs tothe Waratah Coal Company, and is fullyinsured in the Australian General Company,but about 400 tons of coal on board is notcovered.
The net register of the vessel is 268 tons,and her gross measurement 425 tons. Shewas built at Aberdeen in 1874, and wasregarded as one of the smartest colliers onthe coast.
The West Australian, Wednesday 13 March, 1889.

[By Telegraph.]    
(From OurCorrespondent.)  
Roebourne. March 12.
The latest news about the blow to thewestward is that Ah Wee's Lily with AhWee and three Chinese, are missing. TheIvy is ashore, and the Annie Taylor is both    ashore and dismasted. The natives employed have come onto Cossack.  
The Amy has been chartered to completethe season.    
Messrs. McRae and Pearse's lugger,number 3 F. is a total wreck. JamesClark's lugger, Waratah, has been foundwrecked off Cape Preston. All hands arelost. James Clark & Co's, lighters and steamlaunch have been seriously injured.

By the steamer Chingtu last night the crew of thebarque Waratah arrived in Sydney. The vessel waslost at Rocky Island on the night of the 20th of lastmonth, under the following circumstances. Shewent to the island to load 280 tons of guano forLaunceston. On Friday, the 19th, she was lying offthe reef waiting a chance to load, when it cameon to blow, and increased to a hurricane from theS.S.W. The second anchor was let go, anda 10m. coir hawser put on the starboardchain as a spring to ease the vessel inthe short heavy sea running. Lying off the islandthere were also the barque Ganymede anda steam launch and a cutter. The two lastmentioned were dashed ashore early in thestorm, and the fireman on the launchwas drowned. All night of Friday theeight men composing the crew of the barqueWaratah anxiously watched their anchors. Thestorm was a fearful one, but the light barque rodethe night out, and daybreak brought a feeling ofrelief to the worn-out and terrified mariners. Noabatement of the gale, however, and the glass continued to fall throughout Saturday. To haveattempted to launch a boat and abandon theship would have been little short of suicidalin the sea then running, so all Saturday the menwatched, wishing that sundown might see a moderation of the storm. It was not to be. As darknessset in for the second night the howling of the elements became fearful to listen to and everyonemade preparations for the worst. In the way thebarque was labouring something must goshortly. No chain could stand the strain caused byher ranging about. At 10 o'clock that night the portchain parted. Then the ship commenced to yield tothe fury of the wind and sea. Nothing then couldsave her, and it became but a question of time. By carefully paying out the starboard chain the vessel was guided awav from tho reef, on which she appeared at first likely to be dashed, and by knocking out the shackle on the cable at the right moment, she was carried clear and went up on a sandy beach. Itwas the first of the ebb tide, so that in a few hoursshe was left well up in the sand. With the breakingof the seas and the bumping she soon became a totalwreck, and all that was left for the crew to dowas to save provisions and their effects.

What were the Lunds thinking when they named their latest flagship, Waratah??

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