46["Interview with Captain Mills", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 06 April 1912]


Captain Mills, of the s.s. Minderoo, which was in port yesterday, kindly consented to give our representative a few particulars. He said:

"While at Carnarvon I received instructions to make a thorough search for the missing ship. I proceeded to Barrow Island and Montebello and Ritchie Reef back to Scholl Island, and from there on to Cossack, after searching the whole of the Dampier Archipelago. From there we proceeded to Depuch, and then back to my former position off Ritchie Reef which was searched through in 80 miles latitude and 140 longitude a little north of Port Hedland. The first wreckage was picked up 70 miles west of Bedout--a smoking room settee--at 9.30 in the morning; also a bottom board of a boat which was recovered about 4 p.m., 55 miles west of Bedout, and recognized it from a number on it. I was then satisfied she had gone and abandoned the search."

We understand that Captain Mills traversed the ocean for 1500 miles in the search, during which time he scarcely left the bridge.

In conversation with the Chief Engineer of the Minderoo (Mr. Jamieson) it was ascertained that his comrade on the Koombana (Jock Innes) was a fine stamp of a Scotchman, and it was only just prior to her last trip they met in Fremantle, when Jamieson asked for a photo of the old ship. "I have only one left, but you are welcome to it. It now hangs in the Chief Engineer's cabin on the Minderoo. He also gave Jamieson the last photo he had of himself.

During Tuesday Mr. Hugo Harper who went with the search party from Broome on the lugger [unclear] arrived at Port Hedland and at once wired his brother (Gilbert) that he had found nothing, and if Captain Dalziel or Captain White did not bring in any news the search, so far as they were concerned, would be fruitless.

On Wednesday Mr. Gilbert Harper received the following from his brother:--"Fear worst, found some wreckage myself but did not place much importance on it. Gorgon in Hedland with cabin door, Minderoo has bottom of lifeboat, cabin fittings and smoke room Morocco settee. Personally now fear disaster. Returning to-night by Minderoo."