WAS THERE AN ALTERNATIVE TO TURNING BACK FOR DURBAN?
The Advertiser (Adelaide) Wednesday 11 August, 1909.
The reason why the vessel did not put
into East London is that there is no landing
place there, and there is a dangerous
bar. Passengers have to be landed at
that port from steamers by the baskets
which are lowered into lighters. Then
repairs could not be carried out at East
London with the same facility as at Durban.
Repairs would include a more comprehensive fire-fighting deployment. With a storm of 'exceptional violence' approaching from the southwest, it would not have been feasible for the deeply laden Waratah, with fire in one or more of the bunkers, to hove to off East London.