56a["The Loss of the Waratah", The West Australian, Saturday 25 February 1911, page 11]



London, Feb. 23.

The "Globe," commenting upon the verdict of the Court of Marine Inquiry in connection with the loss of the Blue Anchor liner Waratah, remarks:--"The fault must have lain in a hidden defect. The Court was clearly of opinion that all the facts were not revealed. It would be remarkable if with a vessel of a new type the captain's correspondence with the owners contained only trivial details. The Court's remark that the inference is unfavourable to the owners is a very severe censure upon which comment is unnecessary."

The "Shipping Gazette" states:--"While the Court apparently believes that the owners' evidence was less complete than it might have been, it must be remembered that the owners in such cases are facing a position of considerable difficulty for there is always the question of legal responsibility to be considered. It was, perhaps, inevitable that the inquiry would have a somewhat in definite result; but it is impossible to suppose that, however inconclusive the judgment, the moral of the case will be altogether lost to naval architects, ship builders, and shipowners."

56b["Cablegrams", The Hedland Advocate (Port Hedland, WA), Saturday 04 March 1911]

Waratah Inquiry

Judgment Delivered

Builders and Owners Censured

Vessel 'Tender' On First Voyage

London, February 23.

The judgment of the Court of Inquiry, which recently investigated the circumstances surrounding the loss of the Blue Anchor liner, "Waratah", was delivered today.

The Court decided that the vessel on her final voyage was properly equipped and manned, her cargo was properly stowed, while she had sufficient stability and was in every way seaworthy. It concludes, "The vessel capsized in a gale of unusual violence, the first great storm she encountered."

In discussing F. W. Lund's assurance that Captain Ilbery did not report upon the Waratah's maiden voyage, the Court declared itself unable to understand the Captain's silence concerning the vessel's stability, as it was contrary to the whole practice of shipowners and shipmasters to treat such a matter with the indifference with which Lund and Ilbery appear to have treated it. "The inference, unfavorable to the owners, is greatly strengthened by correspondence between them and the builders. The Court accepts the conclusion that the vessel was 'tender' on her first voyage, and considers neither Lund's nor the builder's account of the interview between them on April 23 complete. We can only leave the matter there."

Lund's use of the word "bluff" in regard to statements made in his letters to the builders was sharply commented upon by the Court.