Monday, 28 March 2016


The Mercury, Hobart, Tuesday 30 November, 1909.

When asked concerning the distribution 
of weight on the decks of the
steamer, Mr. Merry stated that the
balance of the ship when loaded seemed
to be badly adjusted, as there was practically 
no weight in between decks, and
a large weight above and below.
consequently if she listed there would
be a tendency to dip sideways, and it
would be difficult for her to right herself 
if the bulwarks got below the water
level. There were occasions when the
bulwarks were only about 2ft. from the
water's edge, and it was extremely difficult 
to stand on deck. Very often
crockery would not remain on the
tables in the calmest weather owing to
the list.

Mr. Merry was refuted in the press as an 'exaggerator'. Waratah departed London on the voyage in
question with 3456 tons of coal. If a large portion of this coal was not stowed in the between decks
(reserve coal bunkers) where on earth was it stowed - in the dining saloon?

As for the rest of his comments, there was no consistent proof among passenger witness accounts to support the allegation that Waratah listed to this degree with only 2 ft. from bulwarks to the water's edge.  

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