[News, Northern Public Opinion and Mining and Pastoral News (Roebourne, WA), 09 April 1898]


The s.s. Albany arrived under canvas at the Cossack roads on Monday. Captain Odman reports having been caught in the middle of the storm. Up to March 30 the ship had a strong S.E. gale and heavy rain during her voyage from Derby to Broome. When she left Broome the weather was still boisterous, the barometer (having a summer range of 30.10) reading 29.80. At noon on Friday Bedout Island was passed about 6 miles out. The barometer then fell rapidly. The wind changed to the N.E., gradually increasing to cyclonic force. At 11 o'clock that night a fearful hurricane set in. the ship was headed N.N.W. and stood on the same course until 10 a.m. on Saturday, when she suddenly became becalmed with the barometer down to 27.80. This state of affairs continued 11 a.m. Reverse winds were then got into and blew harder than before. The barometer started to rise, and at noon stood at 28. The violence of wind did not show signs of decreasing until 4 a.m. on Sunday, though the barometer read 29.1 at 1 a.m. After it had moderated it was discovered that the steamer had lost her rudder, but no other damaged had been done. Notwithstanding that the hurricane was severer than that encountered by the Albany a few months ago, she shipped no heavy seas. The position of the ship was determined at 70 miles due north from Cossack. Her head was put southward and sails set to a fairly light sou'-wester. In the absence of the rudder the trysails and staysails were employed in steering. She arrived at Cossack at 8 a.m. on Monday morning. It is intended to bring the Albany into the creek to refit her with a rudder.

The lighthousekeeper states that the terrific squalls and body of water which struck the lighthouse caused one of the thick glass plates to give way. The water poured in from the dome and the open space and extinguished the light. There was 4ft. of water in the lamp room. All the stays of the lighthouse were loosened. A piece of corrugated iron was taken to a height of 70ft. and there lodged against the lighthouse. At the residential quarters two of the chimneys were blown down, the doors and windows were burst in and some of the iron was removed from the roof. The floors were flooded. The life boat disappeared, and the boatshed collapsed on top of another boat. The tramline from the water's edge to the lighthouse is torn up, and all the rations and goods in the store room destroyed. The following morning Mr. Lyons discovered the bones and skull of a human being lying on the beach. The stock jetty on the east side of Cossack creek is rendered useless.