55a["The Wrecked Koombana", Broome Chronicle (WA), Saturday 13 April 1912]



Captain Dalziel, harbormaster at Broome, who was in charge of the search party organised by the Mayor, Resident Magistrate, Mr. Archie Male, and other prominent citizens, said he left Broome at midnight on the 25th March in the schooner Muriel. The other members of the party comprised Captain White and Bennie in luggers. Captain White had instructions to proceed along the coast, and search all shoals, and Capt. Bennie to a point 60 miles north of Bedout, and then on to Hedland. I went to Rowley Shoals arriving there on the 29th, and Clark Reef (middle shoal) on the 30th, spoke Gorgon that afternoon, and proceeded along north of Clark Reef, and down the east side of Impereuse Reef. At 2.30pm on the 31st spoke the Moira, and I intimated had searched the shoals and saw nothing. Then zigzagged down to Bedout by 16 mile tacks and sighted Bedout on the forenoon of the 3rd. At 6 p.m. that night boarded the Bullarra at sea, when Captain Upjohn reported he had found part of a boat with the company's badge on it, and a piece of ceiling panelling. I then proceeded to Turtle Island and searched, and arrived at Hedland on the 4th, satisfied that we had done our best, and as steamers were out in all directions decided to return. After leaving Hedland at 2 p.m. on the 5th again visited Bedout and lit the lamp and thoroughly searched, but saw no trace of wreckage. During the earlier stages it had been reported that the island showed no signs of a storm, as the glass was not encrusted. I was convinced, however, from the number of dead and maimed birds in the scrub, a severe gale had occurred. The glass not being encrusted goes for nothing, as one dewey night would clear that.

55b[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, Telegram, Wood, Resident Magistrate Broome to Premier Scaddan, Perth, Friday 29 March 1912]

106 Broome 29th 7 50p 80PDR Govt

Premier Perth

Bullarra arrived here 4 pm captain reports left Hedland 27th

2 pm circumnavigated Little Turtle no trace Koombana Chief Officer

landed big turtle 3 pm no trace reched Bedout 9 40 light out

extinguished anchored landed 5 30 am searched Island and adjacent

rocks no trace whatever do not think blow hard at Bedout glass

of lighthouse not encrusted and no indications disturbance made

a detour course to Broome via Beach not the slightest trace spoke

several luggers

Wood Magistrate

9 PC

55c[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, Report, William Moxon, A.S.S. Coy to Charles Irvine, Chief Harbourmaster, Fremantle, Saturday 30 March 1912]


s.s. "Bullarra" As you are aware this steamer proceeded from Point Samson to Broome for water supplies, calling off Port Hedland, and thereafter carefully searching the coast from the Turtle Islands up to Broome, including the 80 Mile Beach. I append Captain Upjohn's search report:-

Wednesday circumnavigation Little Turtle. No trace Koombana. Second officer and party landed Big Turtle. No trace. After dark arrived Bedout position by observation. Island light out. Anchored. Thursday observed Bedout Island South West 4 miles. Light extinguished. Chief Officer and party searched the Island and adjacent rocks. No trace whatever. Do not think it has been blowing hard at Bedout. No indications of disturbance. Made a detour course from Broome via the Beach. Spoke several luggers. No trace whatever.

Details of this apparently was communicated through our agents to the Resident Magistrate at Broome, and cable to the Premier. Regarding the "Bullarra's" future movements, we are in cable touch with the Captain, and will advise you later."