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  #421  
Old 11-02-2015, 10:59 PM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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^ I think one of the enduring mysteries of the sea is the disappearance of the SS Waratah into the seas around the South African coast in July 1909. 211 passengers (many Australian) and crew were lost. It was often referred to as 'Australia's Titanic' but it is more puzzling than the sinking of the Titanic. No bodies were ever found, nor was there a trace of wreckage although search parties were out for weeks afterwards. There have been several search expeditions in modern times but no-one knows the Waratah's final resting place.
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  #422  
Old 11-03-2015, 07:23 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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About 15 years ago it was announced that the Waratah had been found, but later investigation showed that the wreck didn't match the size and shape of the Waratah. I also seem to remember that at least one other ship disappeared on the Durban - Cape Town run, leading to later claims that the area was a new Bermuda Triangle.

Waratah was an unlucky name for a ship, as prior to this one's disappearance at least three other similarly-named ships had sunk during the 19th century.

Graham
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  #423  
Old 11-03-2015, 09:50 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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There were some passengers who left the ship at Durban, including an engineer who had a nightmare about the ship for three nights before he decided to leave her. He testified at the London hearings about the disappearance.

The general feeling seems to be that "Waratah" had some problems about her ability to quickly regain her equilibrium when in a heavy sea. On a previous voyage one of the passengers had been a respected professor of physics who noted this and tried to tell the crew (he was basically respectfully told to not mind it). Given the storm she entered that last night, it is not too difficult to figure out what happened to her.
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  #424  
Old 11-03-2015, 05:16 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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Due out in December, In the Heart of the Sea-the true story about the sinking of the Essex after its battle with a sperm whale, the possessor of the largest brain on Earth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-H35Mpj4uk
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  #425  
Old 11-04-2015, 12:09 AM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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Oh, yes I think the consensus is that the Waratah was top-heavy (though this was fiercely disputed at the subsequent Inquiry) and sank in a storm, though other vessels managed to plough through the heavy weather and survive.

The mystery is more where is she now, as she has never been found, and the fact that not one body, not one scrap of wreckage was ever sighted. There have also been several interesting theories as to how she actually sank.

There are one or two stories with a supernatural element involving this ship. Not just engineer Claud Sawyer's dreams, with a strange figure urging him to leave, but also the captain of the last vessel to have contact with the Waratah, who stated that he had seen an old fashioned sailing ship following in its wake. Shades of the Flying Dutchman!
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  #426  
Old 11-04-2015, 12:02 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosella View Post
Oh, yes I think the consensus is that the Waratah was top-heavy (though this was fiercely disputed at the subsequent Inquiry) and sank in a storm, though other vessels managed to plough through the heavy weather and survive.

The mystery is more where is she now, as she has never been found, and the fact that not one body, not one scrap of wreckage was ever sighted. There have also been several interesting theories as to how she actually sank.

There are one or two stories with a supernatural element involving this ship. Not just engineer Claud Sawyer's dreams, with a strange figure urging him to leave, but also the captain of the last vessel to have contact with the Waratah, who stated that he had seen an old fashioned sailing ship following in its wake. Shades of the Flying Dutchman!
There were odd reports of ships thinking they saw floating bodies, and sailors told by officers it was refuse from a whale in the distance. In any case, if the passengers were inside the ship due to the storm, few would have been cast into the sea, and in that really bad stormy sea few would have floated very long. As for wreckage - it could have come ashore but was ignored (this happens).

One might say that in 1909 (without wireless telegraphy adopted around the globe) such a total disappearance could only have happened up to that year. Then one recalls we are just over a year and a half since the Malaysian airliner vanished (probably a couple of thousand miles off Australia) and we only have some wreckage that came ashore on Reunion, clean on the other side of the Indian Ocean.
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  #427  
Old 11-04-2015, 08:01 PM
GUT GUT is offline
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Hey I'm in the Indian Ocean at the moment enough shipwreck stories already.
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  #428  
Old 11-04-2015, 09:22 PM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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Delete

Last edited by Rosella : 11-04-2015 at 09:25 PM.
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  #429  
Old 11-04-2015, 09:24 PM
Rosella Rosella is offline
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Gut, welcome back after your little break. I hope you're well? On the Indian Ocean eh, and very nice too! At least if you get shipwrecked the water's warm. Just ignore the sharks!
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  #430  
Old 11-04-2015, 09:25 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GUT View Post
Hey I'm in the Indian Ocean at the moment enough shipwreck stories already.
Sorry GUT. Glad to hear from you and hope you've been having a good time.
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