It was though history was repeating itself and the anguish of waiting to hear what had become of the Carpentaria.
—Movements of Steamer.—
The Carpentaria is well known in Australian waters,
having traded to the Commonwealth continuously
since she was launched at the end of 1901. She is a steel
screw steamer of 5.766 tons gross measurement and
3,756 tons net register, and was specially designed
to meet the requirements of the Australian produce trade.
For this purpose four of her holds were insulated,
giving her 175,655 cubic ft. of space for
cargo requiring to be refrigerated in transit from
Australia to the United Kingdom.
She commenced loading for London at
Queensland in February, took in additional
cargo at Sydney and Melbourne, and completed
loading at Port Adelaide on March 30,
whence the sailed for Durban. She
arrived at the Natal port on the morning
of April 20, and would have left there in
the course of about 24 hours. She is a 12
knot vessel, and in ordinary circumstances
would steam between Durban and Cape
town in four days.
—Description of Vessel.—
She is what is known as a shelter-deck
steamer, that is, with a full sweep of decking
running right fore and aft, and possessed, (past tense suggests pessimism)
comparatively speaking, limited passenger
accommodation, and still less top hamper.
Lloyd's put her in their highest
class. Her length over all is 430.3 ft., beam
53.2 ft., and depth 29.8 ft. She was built
at Glasgow, and supplied with triple expansion engines
by Richardson, Westgarth,
and Co., Limited. Her owners are the
British India Steam Navigation Company,
limited, and she has been trading to Australia
under the auspices of the Federal
Houlder-Shire combine, of which Elder,
Smith, k Co., Limited, are the Adelaide
She was recorded as having passenger accommodation for three. However, she did carry up to 300 steerage, these poor souls not acknowledged as passengers! Note her narrow beam of 53 ft. which was not a problem in the context of minimal top hamper.
The Mercury (Hobart) Saturday 30 April, 1910
RUDDER STOCK BROKEN.
LONDON, April 28.
The steamer Carpentaria, belonging
to the British India Steam Navigation Co.,
was seen on Wednesday, the 27th inst.,
off Cape Morgan, between the Great
Kei River and East London. She was
then steering towards Durban, and signalled
that she did not require any assistance. The
Carpentaria has her rudder stock broken.
But note how close this vessel was to the port at East London, and yet her master decided to return to Durban. This decision mirrored Captain Ilbery's. Both vessels were simply too large for East London.