48[Court of Marine Inquiry, loss of s.s. "Koombana", Harbour and Lights Department, Western Australia, 25 April - 6 May, 1912. private collection, Annie Boyd, Testimony of Captain Harry Upjohn]

[Upjohn testimony p1]



You are the Master of the s.s. "Bullarra,"? - Yes.


[Upjohn testimony p2]


[Upjohn testimony p3]


When you went out, what length of time did you follow in the

"Koombana's" Course? - I followed out in her course, keeping

leads astern, somewhere about half an hour or three quarters.

And you last saw her? - About two hours after leaving.

Was she proceeding on her ordinary course to Broome? -

On the ordinary course to Bedout.

Was she in good trim? - Yes.

The top of her propellor, according to the plan, is about on

the 18' mark: You say she was well submerged? - Yes.

From the time you left Port Hedland until the time you lost

sight of the "Koombana", had the wind changed? - No.

Had the velocity altered? - No.

During that day, when did the direction of the wind change

first? - About 4 p.m.

Where were you bound? - South to Balla Balla.

You were going in the opposite direction to that taken by the

"Koombana"? - Yes.

What time did the wind change its direction first? - Some-

where between 2 o'clock and 4 o'clock. It is very carefully noted

in the log book. The wind was E.N.E at 5 o'clock. Commenced

to flicker and went back again. (portion of log book put in).

When did the wind change? - Between 2 and 4 o'clock.

Coming back to the time you left Port Hedland? - At 6.20am

we commenced swinging, at 10.40 cast off. There was a strong

N.E. wind, cloudy.

Mr. DOWLEY. You say the wind changed from E.N.E. From what? - There was a

strong breeze which changed from N.E.


PROSECUTOR. At what time did you lose sight of the "Koombana" - about

12 o'clock? - A little before, when the sea became rough.

When did you notice the sea change to rough? When you left it

was a nice pleasant breeze and smooth? - Yes, it

freshened later.

[Upjohn testimony p4]

When the wind freshened and the sea became rough, was the

Koombana still in sight? - Yes, but I lost sight of her shortly


Did you notice what weather she was making? Did you see her? -

I saw her but could not tell how she was behaving.

The next entry is in regard to the weather? - Heavy N.E. gale,

heavy sea, 4 o'clock.

You were still on your course for Balla Balla? - Yes. At 4.2.

p.m. I slowed the engines.

At 5 o'clock you altered your course from S 50 W to N.E? - Yes.

What other note have you? - Put screens up and tarpaulins in

main weather rigging and round poop, took soundings and found

25 fathoms.

You were then steering out to open sea after doing this? -


The next entry? - At 8, heavy gale, high seas, ship laboring

heavily and heavy rain.

At that time what did you think of the weather? - That it was

bad and getting serious. This was between 8 and 10 p.m.