Saturday, 24 June 2017


The Mercury, Tuesday 19 April, 1910
Captain Frederick Tickell, whose sonwas a passenger on the Waratah on herlast voyage, states that he saw the vessel leave Port Melbourne on July 1, 1909.She was perfectly upright, and had nosign of a list. He saw the Waratah proceeding astern of the Pilbarra, on whichhe was a passenger from Port Adelaide,down river to Largs Bay on July 6. Hewatched her with a professional eye, andat no time did she give him the impression of a tender ship. She remained perfectly upright oven when going roundthe bends, and at a time when the rudderwas over, and the tug which was assistingher was broad on the bow.
Captain Tickell's account remains one of the most important eye witness testimonies from the time. This was a man who had lost his only son with the Waratah. If there was going to be a witness, experienced seaman, with a grudge against the flagship, surely it should have been he? 
Captain Tickell commented on a vessel, ready for sea, which was completely stable from a metacentric height point of view. If Captain Tickell resented the loss of his son on a ship which had acquired a reputation of top heaviness, he did not allow this to cloud his judgment and account.
Of all the myriad accounts, this one probably gives the clearest and most accurate account of the Waratah, which did not go to sea top heavy and 'light' during her final voyage.

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