29a["The Waratah", The West Australian, Thursday 09 December 1909, page 7]




Capetown, December 8.

Reuter's Agency states that the s.s. Sabine, which left here on September 12 on a special search for the Blue Anchor liner Waratah, returned to port last night without having found any trace of the missing vessel. The Sabine had a rough but uneventful voyage, during which she followed a zig-zag course within a circle of 400 miles in diameter. She visited Possession Island, but fogs prevented her from finding the other islands in the Crozet group (in lat. 46deg. south and long. 52deg. east, almost on a line between Capetown and Kerguelen's Land).

From Possession Island she proceeded to St. Paul (in lat. 38deg. 42min. south and long. 77deg. 32min. east, midway between Africa and Australia). She sighted a few vessels and also a piece of scantling with barnacles clinging to it, but nothing else worth noting. A powerful searchlight was in use at night during the whole of the voyage.

[The Waratah, bound from Australia to London, left Durban for Capetown on July 26 with 220 persons (including 100 passengers) on board. Captain Bruce, of the s.s. Harlow, reported that at 7.30 in the evening of July 27 he sighted a burning vessel off Cape Hermes (about 180 miles to the south-west of Durban), and that a few minutes later the vessel exploded and disappeared, and Captain Weir, of the Clan McIntyre, stated that he sighted the Waratah on July 27, at 8 a.m., in lat. 31.36 C., long. 29.58 E., which is (approximately) the position of Cape Hermes. The Waratah crossed from the starboard to port bow, and went out of sight about 9.30 a.m. The Waratah when sighted was proceeding fairly close to the shore at about 12 knots, the Clan McIntyre making about 10. The Waratah was seen to be steering a little more southerly than the other vessel, or taking a course further out from shore. Signals were exchanged in the Morse code at 6 a.m. The Clan McIntyre asked, "What ship are you?" The answer came, "The Waratah, for London." The Clan McIntyre replied, "I am the Clan McIntyre for London. What weather had you from Australia?" Back came the signal, "Strong south-west and southerly winds across." The Clan McIntyre upon this signalled, "Thanks, good-bye, a pleasant voyage." And then came this final message from the missing ship, "Thanks, the same to you, good-bye." The Clan McIntyre sailed on direct to London, having coaled at Durban. Both she and the Waratah left the port on the same day. The captain of the steamer Guelph stated that he sighted the Waratah at 10 o'clock on the night of July 27 off East London (about 100 miles south of Cape Hermes). The signals that passed between the Waratah and the Guelph were somewhat indistinct, but the captain of the latter vessel declares that they showed the terminal letters "t a h." The Waratah was not flying signals of distress when the Guelph sighted her.]

29b["The Missing Waratah", The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.), Monday 13 December 1909, page 5]




MELBOURNE, December 12.

Captain Tickell, the Victorial naval commandant, whose son is a passenger on the missing steamer Waratah, said yesterday that, in spite of the fact that the Sabine had returned from an unsuccessful trip, and that the Waratah was to be posted as missing on December 15 if no news was to hand, he still had hopes that she was afloat. The Sabine'e search only covered a little more than half of the ocean to Australia, and from Amsterdam Land to Australia remained unsearched. The Sabine was out 90 days zigzagging across the track of shipping. She had a powerful search- light burning at night, which would have made, her conspicuous at least 20 miles on either side in clear weather, yet they had only news of her being sighted once during the 90 days, and that was when she came north. By the report of the Sabine's search she could only go to Possession Island and the Crozets, being unable to get to the others owing to the fog. If she could not find islands that were marked accurately on the chart, she had a slender chance of sighting the Waratah, whose position she did not know.