Tuesday, 19 July 2016

QUICKSAND.

The Advertiser (Adelaide) Monday 20 December 1909.
THE WARATAH'S FATE.
A QUICKSAND SUGGESTED.
Speculation as to the fate of the Waratah has not been allayed by the fact of herhaving been posted missing at Lloyd's.Many are wiling to believe she is stillafloat, because, despite her long absence,not a trace of her wreckage has beenfound.

mariner of long experience whom I met atPort Elizabeth made a statement whichhas an important bearing on the question.He said that there were many indicationsthat the Agulhas bank, which extends forsome distance from the south-eastern andsouthern coast of Cape Colony, is a quick-sand If this be the case, it would swallow up the remains of any wreck that occurred in its immediate vicinity, and no trace of the disaster would remain to show what had occurred. 
This article and opinion drives into the heart of the often asked question:
Why, if the Harlow account is to be believed, has the wreck of the Waratah so close to Port St Johns, escaped detection ?
The answer to some extent can be explained by 'quicksand' or unstable sediment on the seafloor. The image of Port St Johns below illustrates the problem to perfection. The Umzimvubu River deposits tons of silt into the bay each year. This silt has the potential to cover objects on the seafloor, and being a dynamic process also causes a 'quicksand' effect.
The wreck of the Waratah lies beneath.



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