A Royal Commission stated in an 1812 report that there would be considerable difficulties in turning the island (together with Linosa and Pantelleria) into a supply base for Malta. The Commission found Fernandez's situation to be very strange, and the Treasury demanded an explanation of his conduct. In November 1813, the sloop HMS Partridge was infected with yellow fever, and was sent to Lampedusa until convalescence. This caused most of the population to flee back to Malta, leaving only 50 to 60 people on the island. The Governor of Malta, Sir Thomas Maitland, visited Lampedusa and found that Fernandez was running a business venture, so on 15 September 1814 he announced the withdrawal of British troops stationed on the island. The same notice also stated that "it is not the intention of [the British] Government to have any further concern or connection with [Lampedusa]". At this point, Greek privateers deposited provisions and took refuge at Lampedusa while being pursued by Tunisian vessels.