Wednesday, 10 May 2017


The Register, Adelaide, Monday 20 January, 1913

Awful Experiences.
Many Passengers Drowned.
LISBON, January 17.
The latest advices show that the English
liner Veronese, 7,063 tons, belonging
to the Liverpool, Brazil, and River Plate
Steam Navigation Company Limited.
which went on the rocks in a gale off
Leixoes, a seaport near to Oporto, has
become a total wreck.
Enormous seas washed the decks as the
vessel lay a wreck, and it was impossible
therefore, for hours to make use of the 
rocket lines. The breeches buoy arrived
on board from a party of rescuers at
shore at 7 o'clock in the grey morning.
The steamer, when wrecked, had 375 
passengers and crew on board. Eighty-four
passengers have been saved, and the work
of rescue is proceeding slowly. Sixteen 
persons were drowned by the breaking 
of a cable.

LISBON, January 18.

As the gale increased in fury the work
of rescue at the wreck of the Veronese
is being greatly hampered. One hundred
and seventy still remain on board the 
vessel, which is 300 yards from shore. A
heavy sea is sweeping over the wrecked

Twenty English passengers are still on
the steamer. The Veronese was on her
voyage to Brazil. One hundred and fifty 
emigrants embarked at Vigo. Many of the
victims are children.

Gunboats have been dispatched to assist
in the rescue work.
A breeches buoy is a pair of canvas
breeches depending from on annular or
belt-like lifebuoy, which is usually of cork. 
This contrivance, enclosing the person to 
be rescued, is hung by short ropes from a
block which runs upon the hawser
stretched from the ship to the shore, and 
is drawn to land by hauling lines.

Lampert and Holt Line's SS Veronese, built by Workman, Clark and Co, was launched 1906. 7877 gross tons, she measured 464 ft. in length, with a beam of 59 ft. which was virtually the same as Waratah (465 ft.; 59.45 ft.) and a draught of 29 ft., similar to Waratah's 30 ft. 4 1/2 in..  Powered by a single triple expansion she could make 12 knots. Compare the images below: although Veronese had a similarly prominent top hamper, her funnel was far lower than Waratah's and her navigation deck incorporated into the boat deck, both reducing the top heaviness and wind catchment factors. Veronese operated safely over the course of 7 years before this incident.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 January, 1913.

LISBON, Jan. 16.
The English liner Veronese (7063 tons),
bound for Brazil, with 374 passengers aboard,
has been wrecked in a gale on the Portuguese
coast. The vessel is said to have broken in half.

Veronese broke in half which in part must have been due to the forces of the gale and rocks on which she foundered. But there is another additional factor; like Waratah, Veronese's top hamper did not span more than 50% of her overall length which would have reduced structural strength. One does wonder if the heavily loaded Waratah which disappeared so quickly before the eyes of Captain Bruce and his chief engineer Alfred Harris, 'broke in half'. If Waratah had taken a glancing blow off the St Johns Reef and sustained hull damage due to increasing fire damage, this might very well have been the final outcome. Against this theory must surely be the dearth of wreckage washed up on shore along the coast, if the Harlow account be true. 

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