24["Western Australia", The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 01 March 1893, page 8]
(From our Correspondent.)
A TREMENDOUS GALE.
A NUMBER OF CUTTERS MISSING.
Further particulars of the gale at Hamelin Pools state that on Saturday night the heaviest weather known for the past l8 years was experienced. It commenced with severe squalls, and culminated in a tremendous gale at midnight, almost every habitation suffering to a greater or less extent. The tide was the highest in the recollection of the present inhabitants. There was a foot of water in and around the police station, and had the flood risen a few inches higher the whole camp would have been swamped. At daybreak it was seen that out of 30 cutters 20 had either dragged their anchors or parted their chains, and eight were missing altogether, viz, the Pearline, Folly, Hilda, Dot, Just-in-time, Sarah Louise, Sister Sormell, and Star of the North. Several others also sustained a lot of damage. Fortunately, all of the crews were ashore during the blow. The cutters Helena and Gafle have gone out searching for the missing boats. It is feared that all the boats anchored off Dirk Hartog Island, being on a lee shore, will have become total wrecks.
According to the news from Monkey Miah, the storm seems to have been felt much more there. The cutters Swallow, Lilly, Charlotte, Tilly, Petal Rose, Gem, Derringer, and Two Sons have either gone ashore or sunk at their moorings. The wind continued blowing with great force all Sunday, but has now moderated.
Carnarvon states that reports have been received from Sharks Bay to the effect that 11 cutters were missing. There were 11 in. of water in the police quarters and 4 ft. in the police stables. The police had everything packed ready for moving. At Onslow a heavy blow set in on Friday and continued till Saturday night during which time 3 in. of rain fell. The hulk Sea Ripple was blown ashore and has become a total wreck.
Severe weather prevailed at Fremantle all Sunday night and all day yesterday. Early yesterday, the barque Alaster, which was moored alongside the pier at Fremantle Jetty, parted all her fastenings, and drifted towards the south beach. The S.S. Saladin, which was on the weather side of the jetty, cast off her springs and steamed out to sea. The next vessel to get into difficulty was the S.S. Flinders, which rose nearly to the top of the fender piles, and with each roll threatened to do serious damage by a series of violent collisions against the jetty. Not having steam up she had to signal to the steamship South Australian, which had just put off from the jetty, for assistance in towing her out. The tow-line got onto the Flinders after difficulty, and the South Australian proceeded out to sea. When abreast of the head of the jetty the tow line parted. Both steamers were pushed against the fender piles with great force. The South Australian struck heavily on her port quarter and stove a plate in just above the waterline. The Flinders bumped heavily. The shock of each sea against the Flinders shook the jetty seriously, the displacement being so perceptible that it was for a time feared very grave damage would result. After some delay a second line was got on the Flinders, and she was safely towed off. All vessels in port last night were riding out the gale at anchor. In the streets of Fremantle huge columns of dust were blown all over the town, and the same occurred in Perth, the principal parts of which were enveloped in vast clouds of dust.
The gale was of excessive violence the greater part of the day, and was the worst storm known at Perth and Fremantle for a long while.