56[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, Handwritten report from Dalziel, Broome wharfinger, to Irvine, Chief Harbourmaster, Fremantle, Friday 12 April 1912]

Broome, 12th April 1912

The Chief Harbour Master



Report on search for R.M.S. Koombana.

At the request of the Resident Magistrate and in accordance with your cablegram I organised a search for the R.M.S. Koombana.

I chartered the lugger McLhennan and put Captain White in charge with orders to proceed along the coast, searching the 80 mile beach and the shoals up to Bedout Island and thence into Port Hedland. I also got the lugger Mina, which with Captain Bennie in charge was ordered to proceed to a point 60 miles north of Bedout Island, thence down to the East of the island and into Port Hedland.

I took the schooner Muriel and proceeded to Rowley Shoals and then zig-zagged into Port Hedland.

We got away on the evening of March 25th and I reached Mermaid Reef on March 29th. I proceeded along the South of the Reef and up the East side to the North End and then down to Sandy Island Clark Reef arriving there at noon March 30th. At 2 p.m. on same date I spoke Gorgon who reported having searched Imperieuse Reef and saw nothing.

I then proceeded across the North of Clarke Reef and down the East side of Impereuse Reef.

At 2.30 p.m. I spoke to s.s. Moira who reported also searched the shoals and sighted nothing.

I zig-zagged down making 16 mile tacks and picked up Bedout Lighthouse on the forenoon of April 3rd.

I had a flat calm all day and at 4 p.m. sighted smoke to the N.E. This turned out to be s.s. Bullarra.

I boarded here at 6 p.m. and Captain Upjohn reported as per my wire from Port Hedland.

I then proceeded to the South of Bedout Island and searched round Turtle Island and thence into Port Hedland arriving there at 9 p.m. on April 4th.

Captains White & Bennie were in Port Hedland, and being satisfied that we could do nothing further, I instructed them to return to Broome.

After wiring report to you, I left Port Hedland at 2 p.m. on April 5th and proceeded to Bedout Island.

I landed on the island at noon on April 6th and found the light extinguished, but evidently in good order.

To gain admittance I had to remove one of the larger panes of glass in the outer lantern. The lamp inside was apparently in order and the automatic gear working satisfactorily. I put a match to the jets and they lit immediately. I then replaced the pane of glass and made a thorough search of the island but found no trace of wreckage of any description.

I then got under weigh and at 8 p.m. I was about 16 miles distant from the island and the light was plainly visible and working well. In removing the glass I disturbed as little putty as possible, and on replacing the glass I screwed the brass battens on.

I arrived at Broome at 3.30 a.m. on April 9th and reported myself by wire to you.

Enclosed are copies of reports by Captains White and Bennie

[signed] Oswald C Dalziel