31a["Mr. Hugo Harper", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 13 April 1912]


Mr. Hugo Harper, who accompanied Capt. Bennie (in charge) on the former's lugger Mina in search of the Koombana, said they left Broome on the 25th March, and proceeded to a certain position as instructed by Capt. Dalziel about 80 miles due west of Bedout. After arriving there a stiff cock-eye came up, which sent us under Bedout for shelter. At 8 o'clock the light should have been visible. At 9 o'clock there was still no light to be seen, and we decided to stand away. Capt. Bennie was positive there was no light burning. In the morning we stood on our course again, and about 9 a.m., when about 10 mile off the island we picked up something that looked like a piece of wreckage. After close inspection we wre convinced it was a piece of the inside of a cabin. When we got to Hedland the police took possession of it, and we all decided until further proof to keep the matter quiet as the police said that possibly the wreckage may be from the Crown of England wreck off Balla Balla. This, as it afterwards turned out, was the first wreckage found from the Koombana. After seeing the settee and other portions of wreckage I am convinced the piece we picked up was portion of one of Koombana's cabins. We then decided that as a lugger would be useless for further search, we decided to leave the wreckage in Hedland, and I came back to Broome by the Minderoo.

31b[Wreck of the "Koombana" - photocopy of material relating to, Harbour and Lights Department, Western Australia, 1912, State Records Office of Western Australia. WAS1618 Consignment 5055 Item 001, Bennie, B.J., Abstract of Log, Searching for R.M.S. Koombana]

Abstract of Log Searching for R.M.S. Koombana

March 26th. 2 a.m. left Broome anchorage in Harper's lugger Mina.

29th. Arrived at a position 18 36' S. 119 12' E making a course

from Broome South 76 and West 179 miles.

From the above position steered a southerly course to pick up Bedout.

30th & 31st. Sailing round east side of Bedout and to the South of Island and thence to

Hedland direct after cruising in the vicinity of Turtle Islands.

April 1st. 1 a.m. Anchored in sight of Spit Point

6 a.m. Hove up and proceeded.

4 p.m. Anchored at Port Hedland.

2nd. Waiting instructions from Broome

3rd. Gorgon & Minderoo arrived at Hedland.

4th. Received wire from Broome to return. At 1 p.m. sent Lugger Mina to resume work outside and waited arrival of Schooner Muriel.

5th. Sailed in Schooner Muriel to Broome.

9th. Arrived Broome.