Wednesday, 17 May 2017


Kalgoorlie Miner, 27 October, 1904.
BRISBANE, Oct. 26.
Messrs. Howard, Smith and Sons'
steamer Peregrine, 'which left here
at 1 o'clock yesterday, returned to
port this morning and reported a fire
in the hold. At about 8 o'clock on
the previous evening, when the vessel
was off Double Island Point, smoke
was seen issuing from the hold. The
chief officer. Mr. Girling, and the second
officer, Mr. Forsyth, descended to
ascertain the extent of the fire, but
were overcome by smoke. They 
revived, however, on being brought to
the deck. Every effort was made to
extinguish the fire, 'but after an hour's
futile work, the vessel's head turned
for 'Brisbane. ' The hold was partially
flooded from the fire hoses on board.

Note, again, that smoke was the greater danger and hindered the assessment of the source and extent of the fire. Peregrine turned back for Brisbane, which is what I assume Captain Ilbery did - attempting to return to Durban. Flooding holds would have had a negative impact on stability - free water effect - and in particular in the case of a heavy steamer with reduced freeboard. 'Futile work' about sums up the chances of subduing many fires at sea.

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