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Sister ship of the Chengtu I

ID /IMO No.1136692.
Type Cargo/passenger.
Gross Registered Tonnage 2,217 grt. 1,338 nett.
Builder Scotts' S & E. Co. Ltd., Greenock. Yard No.458.
Delivery date June 26th. 1914
Hull Steel, clincher construction.
Decks 2
Length 285.0 ft. F'c'sle 36.0 ft. Bridge 65.0 ft.
Width 44.0 ft.
Depth 20.0 ft.
Passengers 1st class 2. 3rd class, 48 Chinese.
Engine Builder Scotts S.& E.Co. Ltd.
Engine Type Steam, triple expansion.
Engine cylinders 3, 19 ins.dia. 31.5 ins.dia. 53 ins.dia.
Engine stroke 3.25 ft.
Engine Power 139 nhp. 1,100 ihp.
Propulsion mode Single Screw
Speed 10 kts.
Rigged Schooner.
Displacement 4,540 tons.
Deadweight 2,959 tons.
Bale capacity 120,798 cu.ft.
Block coefficient (Cb) 0.76
Power Steam.
Condenser cooling surface 930 sq.ft.
Steam expansion ratio 12.i
Boiler Main, 1 Circulating (scotch)
Boiler pressure 190 psi.
Boiler dimensions (total) 16.58 ft. high, 12.5 ft long.
Heating Surface (total) 3,752 sq.ft.
Grate Area (total) 82 sq.ft.
Steam space volume 612 cu ft.
Fuel Coal
Furnace 4
Furnace dimensions 3'9" dia.
Draught Forced.
Generator 1
Generator power 7 Kw.
Generator voltage 100 V. DC
Propeller Right hand, 13.75 ft.dia. 13.76 ft. pitch.
Propeller blades 4
Propeller formation Solid.
Propeller material Cast bronze.
Built classification society B.O.T.
Keel laid Oct 14th.1913.
Launched June 5th. 1914.
Original owner China Navigation Co.
Auxillary boiler, Cochrane vertical 7.5 ft.dia. 16.25 ft.high. Pressure 100 psi. Heating surface 720 sq.ft., Grate area 32 sq.ft.


On the evening of 2-3 October 1932, while en route to Shanghai from Yantai (Chefoo), the Chusan ran aground, wedging on rocks of an outer island near Half Moon Bay. Maritime accidents in China’s coastal waters were rarer by 1932 than they had been in the nineteenth century, when the Chinese Maritime Customs Service was still developing its lighthouse network, but they still occurred.

News reports of the time are not very clear as to the exact cause of the accident, but it seems likely the Chusan ran aground after hitting a reef. Its Captain, George Alfred Evans, a twelve-year veteran with CNCo, was immediately dismissed, suggesting that he was found to be at fault; the Chief Officer was promoted. The North China Herald had reported that ‘the spot upon which the vessel ran aground is probably that known as the “Pinnacle”, which has on its crest a lime-washed piled of stones […],’ which suggests the area’s risks were not unknown.

More than a hundred passengers and crew, most of them Chinese, were on board the Chusan when the accident happened. Assistance was provided by the British Royal Navy warships HMS Kent and HMS Medway. These warships picked up the Chusan’s S.O.S. signals and came to rescue the passengers. They were taken to Weihaiwei and later transferred on to the Shuntien I to Shanghai, arriving there on 6 October. After saving the passengers, attention turned to recovering the cargo onboard. About one hundred packages were reported saved. The crew was taken off the ship on Monday 4 October and, like the passengers was first moved to Weihaiwei and then moved to Shanghai onboard the Tungchow I.


Built for the China coast trade.

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