The issue of Captain Ilbery 'pressing' the Waratah came up at the Inquiry. It related to Waratah's increased consumption of 15 tons of coal per day. The extract below is drawn from a letter written home by Mrs. Hay, describing the passage from Australia to Durban. According to Mrs. Hay's account, Waratah averaged 13.75 knots per day, which was marginally faster than her registered speed of 13.5 knots. It was argued that increased distillation of water accounted for the increased coal consumption, but why would this amount be any different from previous voyages? No, I believe the increased coal consumption related to a very heavily laden steamer.
The Advertiser (Adelaide) Wednesday 29 December, 1909.