removed they could not be launched at all. If the witness statement was true it would go a long way to answering a reader's question; 'why, if there was indeed a fire on board, did Captain Ilbery not attempt to launch lifeboats and save passengers?'. It would not have been possible in an emergency situation, taking into consideration the notorious sea, currents, and unforgiving reefs. Fix this text
Fire drill was never practised during the
voyage and so far as he knew no positions
had been allotted to officers or crew in
event of a fire.
A harsh allegation, if true, would have further compounded the above crisis.
John Taylor Anderson, of the Victorian
Stevedoring Company, Melbourne, said that
cargo had been stowed well and securely.
Every precaution had been taken to
prevent shifting or chafing. There was no
coal or cargo on deck except a cow in a box built on deck.
James Power, foreman of the Victorian
Stevedoring Company, said the cargo had
been properly stowed.