Wednesday, 12 July 2017



'Mr. Shanks, Lund and Sons' superintendent engineer, stated that the coal consumption of the Waratah was 15 tons per day more on the second voyage, due to the distillation of drinking water and weather conditions.'

Immediately a question is raised regarding the distillation of drinking water. Why would it be any different from the first voyage? In fact, there were about 700 emigrants (full capacity) on the first outbound voyage which surely placed maximum demand on water consumption.  The comment about the weather could be true to some extent. The maiden voyage took place during the Southern Hemisphere summer months - reduced incidence of rough sea conditions off South Africa and in the southern Indian Ocean. But would this equate to an extra 15 tons per day - a 19% increase?

There is a further far more plausible explanation. The newly stabilised Waratah, final voyage, was very heavily laden, which would account for the increased coal consumption. Note how Mr. Shanks avoided this highly sensitive issue which was never explored at the Inquiry.

Waratah in undoubtedly tender condition, early days before final voyage.

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