May 1905. Sold with her sister "Woosung I" to Diederischsen, Jebson & Co. of Hamburg. Renamed "Plan". Continued in the Far East trades.
Nov 1905. Became " Taiwan" in the Wing Fat S.S.Co. of Hong Kong.
1910. Now owned by Sun Wah S.S.C. of Hong Kong.
Dec 31st.1913. Sold to Goshi Kaisya Hachiuma Shokia, Dairen. Renamed "Taiwan Maru".
1919. Owner listed as K.Hachiuma, Jensen, Korea.
Oct 24th. 1919. Grounded in the Hainan Straits, subsequently refloated. Lloyds register indicates a wreck.
Built for the China Coast service.
Events / Stories
TAIWAN. 1883. Voyage 1
Northern Territory Times 15th September 1883 Arrivals. 8th September.- The China Navigation Co's s.s. Taiwan. 2500 tons, Captain W. Cotter, from Hongkong. 60 tons cargo general.-Adcock Bros., agent. THE CHINA STEAM NAVIGATION CO'S SHIPS FOR THE AUSTRALIAN TRADE. We visited on Sunday last, the second ship of the line which Messrs. Butterfield and Swires (trading under the title of the China Navigation Company), intend to run between Australia and China. We allude to the Taiwan, which anchored here on Saturday night last. Her Captain, Mr. W. Cotter, kindly showed us over her, and after a thorough inspection, supplied us with the following particulars. Messrs. Butterfield and Swires intend running, for the present, four vessels on this line, named respectively the Whampoa, Taiwan, Chang-chow, and Woo-sung. They are all built by Scott of Greenock, and are all of precisely similar dimensions, viz. ; Length (keel), 271 feet ; 36 feet beam ; 23 feet deep. They are of steel throughout, and are fitted with compound engines of 180 h.p., with all the latest improvements ; 1109 tons net register, 1728 gross. They can each accommodate ten saloon passengers in double cabins, all accommodation for Europeans being on deck, in teak wood houses built on steel frames ; they are fitted with steam steering gear, and all the latest appliances for reception and discharge of cargo ; steel hawsers and tow lines. The arrangements for unmooring are very complete, each boat being fitted with Harfield and Co's patent windlass, by which, with 45 fathoms of chain out they can un- moor and sling the anchor into carrying position in 17 minutes. The upper decks are built of 3 in. teak planks resting on steel deck. No cargo, except that of too bulky a character, goes over the main deck, all being received and discharged through side ports on the main, decks. The lower holds are fitted with stages, enabling all ordinary loading to be received and discharged with every facility, and without the usual derricks and winches. For heavier and bulky cargo, these latter, of the most improved kind, are provided. The vessels carry tanks capable of holding 165 tons of water ballast, which can be used for carrying cargo, and which like the holds are fitted with stages for loading and unloading. The fore-part of each vessel is fitted with steel breakwater bulwarks, four feet high, which prevent in a great measure, heavy seas from coming on board. Although just from China and carrying a large number of Chinese and Malay passengers, the Taiwan was a marvel of cleanliness, both above and below, a credit alike to both captain and officers. The company is a large one in the China trade, having five large river steamers trading on the Yang-tse and Canton Rivers, twelve on the China coast, besides these four trading between China and Australia. We wish them every success in their new venture.
10th September.1883. Taiwan departed for Sydney. Passengers.-Mr. C. Street, saloon, and Mrs Brown,
The Brisbane Courier. 25th September 1883.
ANOTHER COLLISION WITH THE OCTOPUS A serious collision occurred in the Brisbane River yesterday afternoon between the China Navigation Company’s steamer Taiwan and the Government dredge Octopus, which is at work widening the channel between Lytton and Luggage Point. From what could be gathered it appears that the Taiwan, a v cssel of 1109 tons register, commanded by Captain Cotter, arrived off Cape Moreton from Hongkong, via ports, at 8 40 am yesterday, procured a pilot, and entered the river about 1130 am On nearing the dredge Octopus the engines were slowed. It is stated that the dredge occupied so much apace in the channel as to require the utmost skill to steer a vessel of the dimensions of the Taiwan safely past her This would probably have been accomplished had not the Taiwan, probably through her keel touching the chains that secured the dredge, refused to answer her helm at a most critical time. It was at once apparent that a collision was inevitable, and the engines of the Taiwan were instantly reversed to full speed astern. This had the effect of considerably reducing the force of the contact but the Taiwan was too close to the dredge when the danger was discovered for this precaution to effectually check the way of such a large vessel. She struck the dredge with considerable force, her stem entering the opening made about a fortnight ago by the A.S.N. Company s steamer Wentworth. The Taiwan made a large hole in the side of the Octopus, disabled the winch, and carried away the three chains which moored her. The dredge must also have been injured under the water line, as the after compartment very soon filled with water. It is extremely fortunate that the Octopus was built with a number of air tight compartments, as without these she would undoubtedly have sunk. The Taiwan was also rather seriously injured, indeed, it was stated that, while swinging round in the river, preparatory to berthing at the wharf of her agents, a fair view of Kangaroo Point could be seen through the large hole in her bows.The damage is confined to the bows, through which there is an opening about 10ft long by 4ft or 5ft. wide some fragments of the plates of the Octopus are still to be seen in this aperture, which is about 3ft above her present water line. Immediately after the accident the after ballast tank of the Taiwan was filled, which had the effect of raising her bows about 1ft. From a cursory examination of the injury, it appears three plates and four frames are destroyed on one side of the stem, while four plates and three frames will have to be replaced on the other, and the port hawse pipe has been started It is estimated that the cost of repairing the Taiwan, including loss of time, will amount to about £300. Tenders were at once invited for repairs, but it was not definitely decided last evening whether those were to be merely temporary or not. She will be detained at least four or five days in Brisbane A telegram received from Lytton by the Harbours and Rivers Department stated that the Octopus was safe, and Captain Burns, marine superintendant, left in the afternoon to ascertain the full extent and nature of the injuries and whether it will be necessary to bring her to town. A Marine Board inquiry into the matter will be held on Tuesday next. The Taiwan brings about 50 tons of cargo for Brisbane, 700 tons for Melbourne, and 400 tons for Sydney besides 11 Chinese passengers for Sydney and 11 for Melbourne. She left Hongkong on the 29th August and arrived at Port Darwin at 10 45 a m on the 8 th instant, having experienced fine weather , left at 7 30 am on the 10th, arrived at Thursday Island on the afternoon of the 13th and left at 6.45 pm on the 14th, the weather still continuing fine and the wind light, arrived at Cooktown on the 16th, discharged 70 tons of general cargo and left at 6 am on the 17th arrived off Townsville at 7 30 am on the 18th and left at 1.10 p m same date after discharging 30 tons of cargo. At Keswick Island she landed for Mackay 86 Chinese and 54 Malays, and discharged 5 tons of cargo. The Taiwan is a sister vessel to the steamers Whampoa and Chang Chow, which have recently visited this port.
The Brisbane Courier 24th September.
The damage sustained by the Octopus in the late collision with the Taiwan is found to have been greater than was at first supposed. When Captain Burns, the marine superintendent, visited her on Friday he found she had been struck on the port quarter in the same opening made by the Wentworth. The injury has been extended to about 2ft below the water line, and right into the collision bulkhead, which was also badly damaged, having been split down to within 14 ins of the water line The bulwarks, upper deck covering board, and plating of the upper deck have also suffered severely. Altogether the damage is so great that it is quite impossible to carry on dredging operations until the Octopus undergoes repairs. She was brought to town on Saturday morning, and will be docked for repairs at 4 o clock this morning It is only intended to temporarily repair her at present in order that the work of widening the channel in may be completed as soon as possible. The work will occupy about two or three days. Had it not been for the accident she would have finished the cutting during the last week in October. The contract for permanently repairing the damages to the Taiwan has been let to Messrs Smith, Forrester and Co, who have undertaken to complete the work in five days for the sum of £270. Work was commenced early on Saturday morning and it is anticipated the Taiwan will resume her voyage by the end of the present week.
Brisbane Courier Mail. 2nd October. THE OCTOPUS AND TAIWAN COLLISION The following is the report and decision of the Marine Board in the case of the Taiwan, s , and the Octopus, dredge, on 21st September, in the Brisbane river. - The Board having heard the evidence of the master, the pilot, and the coast pilot of the Taiwan, and the master and mate of the Octopus, and the coxswain of one of the barges, find that at the last quarter flood the Octopus was working in the cutting at the Pelican Bank, where she is making a l5 ft channel 100ft wide in the centre of the old 200ft channel, in which there is a depth of 11 ft at low water. The Taiwan, a steamer of 1109 tons, William Cotter, master, belonging to the China Navigation Company, was at the time drawing 14 feet aft and 12ft forward, and was in charge of Pilot Markham. On her rounding the black buoy off Luggage Point, the dredge was hove out of the 100ft cutting. The Taiwan, coming up in mid channel at half speed, when some four or five lengths distant from the dredge, hauled over to the port side of the channel, and when about two lengths from the dredge sheered over towards mid channel against her helm, her engines were stopped and reversed, but before her way could be stopped she struck the dredge on her port quarter, doing her serious damage, and making a large opening in the plates on either side of the Taiwan’s stem. The brakes had been lifted from the winches of the dredge as soon as a collision seemed probable. After the collision the starboard after chains were let go and the vessels swinging to the tide, the Taiwan drifted clear and proceeded up to town. The Taiwan having an unusually large rudder, and being fitted with steam steering gear is very handy and is well adapted for river navigation. The Board, having duly considered the evidence, are of opinion that the dredge was lying at about the edge of and outside the 100ft cutting, and that thus there was practically a clear channel with a depth of not less than 11ft of water at low water and 16ft at the time of the accident, and 150ft in width, for the Taiwan to pass her, which the board considers sufficient under ordinäry circumstances. There can be no question that in this case the Taiwan’s helm was starboarded in time to clear the dredge, and that she did not answer her helm which the board can account for only by close to the edge of the cutting and shying off the bank - the cutting at that spot being through the shoalest part of the bank, and the side of the cutting consequently higher and more defined, and thus more likely to affect her steerage The Board are further of opinion that such an accident would have been less likely to have occurred had the engines of the Taiwan been going at a less speed, the water being drawn away from the sides of the cutting by the revolution of the screw, tending to neutralise the action of the rudder, and had she, more over, been going slower through the water the effect of reversing the engines full speed would have considerably lessened the damage caused by the collision As this is not the first accident of the kind that the dredge has sustained near this spot the Board consider that the safety of the dredge and of huge vessels using the channel would be increased by the dredge, on the approach of such vessels, being hove further over and outside the limits of the old 200ft cutting, so as to admit vessels passing up in mid channel with the leading beacons in line, as they can then be steered with the maximum amount of safety. (Signed) G P Heath, Commander RN. Chairman Marine Board Office, Brisbane 28th September 1883.
1st October. Taiwan departed for Sydney
4th October. Taiwan arrived Sydney.
Sydney Morning Herald. 5th October. The Taiwan, a new steamship belonging to the China Navigation Company arrived here yesterday morning from Hong Kong.via ports. She has been daily expected in Sydney for some little time past but owing to meeting with an accident in Brisbane, she has been greatly delayed The Taiwan is a sister ship of the Whampoa, Chang Chow, and other well known vessels of the China Navigation Company's fleet. She was launched from the yards of Scott and Co of Glasgow, on the l8th October 1882 and has the following dimensions -Length, 271 feet, beam, 34 feet, and depth of hold 24 feet. Her engines are of the compound surface condensing principle, her cylinders being 30 and 60 inches respectively, and the length of stroke 42 inches. They have a nominal horse power of 150 and are of sufficient strength to take the vessel along at the rate of 101/2 to 11 knots per hour, this being her fastest steaming speed. The Taiwan is fitted with the latest appointments, and both as a passenger and cargo carrying ship she should prove eminently useful in her present service. With regard to her voyage from Hongkong, she left that port on August 29, and during her run through the China waters she experienced very fine weather, with light SE .winds. On the 8th September she arrived at Port Darwin, and after dischirging 70 tons of cargo, she set sill on the following day early for Thursday Island and arrivcd at her destination on the morning of the 13th September. In the passage the Taiwan met with fine weather and easterly winds. She only remained at Thursday Island for a day and then left for Cooktown. During the whole time occupied by the run, strong ESE winds prevailed. and the port was reached on the 16th at 3 30 pm. Here 100 tons of cargo were discharged and on the 17th at daylight the Taiwan got under way for Townsville, anchoring there at 7 30 am on the next day. At this place 70 tons of cargo were discharged and at 110pm on the same day, the Taiwan sailed for Keswick Island, where on arrival on the 19th, 81 Chinese and 51 Malays were landed for plantations at that place, 30 tons of cargo were also discharged. She resumed her voyage shortly afterwards and arrived off Cape Moreton on the 21st at 7 30 am, having experienced strong ESE winds with an easterly swell until the 20th, when they moderated to some extent. At noon of the 21st, whilst ascending the Brisbane River, the Taiwan came into collision with a dredge called the Octopus. The dredge was at work in the river, and on nearing it the engines were slowed. It is stated that the dredge occupied so much space in the channel as to require the utmost skill to steer a vessel of the dimensions of the Taiwan safely past her. This would probably have been accomplished had not the Taiwan, probably through her keel touching the chains that secured the dredge, refused to answer her helm at a most critical time. It was at once apparent that a collision was inevitable and the engines of the Taiwan were instantly reversed to full speed astern. This had the effect of considerably reducing the force of the contact, but the Taiwan was too close to the dredge when the danger was discovered for this precaution to effectively check the way of such a large vessel. She struck the dredge with considerable force, her stem entering an opening made a short time ago by the ASN Company’s steamer Wentworth. The Taiwan made a large hole in the side of the Octopus, disabled the winch and carried away the three chains, which moored her. The dredge must have been injured under the waterline as the after compartment very soon filled with water. The damage to the Taiwan was confined to the bows through which there was an opening about 10 feet long by 5 feet wide. The aperture was situated about 3 feet above the waterline, and the after ballast tank was at once filled with water, which had the effect of raising her bows about 1 foot. The work of repairing was at once set about, and no less than six plates and seven frames had to be renewed. Altogether the cost amounted to £270. The Taiwan was detained in Brisbane for 10 days, undergoing repairs, and on the 2nd instant she left for Sydney. Cape Moreton was passed at 1.30 p m on the same day. Light variables with a heavy SE swell prevailed until the 3rd, when the wind set in fresh from the N. Sydney Heads were entered at 6.30 yesterday morning, and having been passed by the Health Officer, the Taiwan steamed up to her berth at Smith's wharf at 8.30. She has brought besides passengers 260 tons of cargo for Sydney and she has 900 tons for Melbourne, for which port she will probably leave today.
Imports: For Sydney 100 cases oil: 260 packages tea, 8 cases opium, 1 package silk, 300 packages matting, 4188 bags rice, 150 cases ginger, 1317 packages general merchandise. For Melbourne; 8459 half chests, 3637 boxes tea, 3129 packages. For New Zealand; 1 box opium, 20 packages nuts, 1 package book, 64 packages.
Sydney Morning Herald. 5th October. The China Navigation Company's steamship Taiwan left for Melbourne yesterday evening, in continuation of her voyage from Hongkong.
Sydney Morning Herald. 6th October. Four Chinamen were yesterday arrested in Lower George-street on a charge of smuggling some tobacco into the colony, They were observed by Sergeants Higgins and Carnay walking along the street, their clothes presenting a rather bulky appearance. The officers, suspecting that they had goods concealed about them, took them to the No.4 police station, where, on being searched, 201b. of tobacco was discovered inside their clothes. They were then locked up. The prisoners were seamen on board the steamship Taiwan, which arrived from Hongkong on Thursday.
Sydney Morning Herald. 8th October. WATER POLICE COURT. In the Summons Court the bench, was occupied by Mr. Marsh, S.M. Four Chinamen named Ming Hah, Ah Hing, Chung Lee, and Ah Ling, of the steamer Taiwan, were charged, with having unshipped respectively 41b., 31b., 71b and 61b. of tobacco without having paid the duty thereon. They pleaded guilty, and in each instance a penalty was imposed -Ming Hah having to pay £2 8s. and 6s. 6d costs; Ah Hing, £1 16s. and 6s. 6d. costs, Chung Lee, £4 4s. and £1 6s. 6d. costs ; and Ah Ling, £3 12s. and 6s. 6d costs.
The Argus. 10th October 1883. THE SS TAIWAN. The steamship Taiwan, which has arrived from Hong kong; is the third of the China Navigation Company’s boats which have been chosen to initiate a trade for that company between China and the Australian colonies, on the eastern and southern seaboards. In steaming up the Brísbane River on the 2lst ult, the Taiwan ran foul of the Government dredge Octopus, which was engaged in deepening the channel The collision was occasioned, it was thought, by the Taiwan touching the mooring chains of the dredge, and refusing to answer her helm, just before passing the Octopus. In order to lessen the force of the impending collision, the engines of the steamer were reversed, and she went full speed astern. Notwithstanding this, the Tai Wan came full tilt against the dredge, and in addition to making a large hole in the side of the latter, she damaged the winch, and carried away the three mooring chains. The Tai Wan also suffered to some extent, but the injuries received were in the bows, and fortunately well above water line In effecting the necessary repairs six plates and seven frames had to be renewed the work was well and quickly done however, and the entire detention of the steamer at Brisbane was only 10 days The Tai Wan’ s first experience in the Australian trade it will thus be seen, has not been a happy one. The Tai Wan is a steel screw steamer and like others of her fleet, was built by Scott and Co , of Greenock She is constructed on the principle, which is rapidly coming into favour again, of allowing plenty of beam. It is found to answer well in boats running in the river and coasting trade of China and is preferred to the long, narrow hull. The Tai Wan is also a new boat, and is in the first year of her career. In length she measures 271ft 3-10ths, her beam being 34ft 4-10ths and depth of hold 23ft 6-10ths According to builders measurement she is 1,734 tons and the nett register is 1100 tons, while the tween-deck space is 1,025 tons Her hull is double bottomed, and the advantage of this was most apparent at the time of the collision already noted. The after ballast tank space was filled with water and this had the effect of placing the largo rent made in the bows of the steamer a foot higher out of the water. The engines, also by Scott and Co , of Greenock, are compound, direct-acting, and surface condensing. The cylinders, two in number, are inverted. The high pressed is 30 inches and the low pressure 60 inches in diameter, and the piston stroke is 42 inches. The engines are of 190-horse power nominal and the ordinary speed is from 101/2 to 11 knots. This is obtained on a minimum consumption of coal. The Tai Wan is commanded by Captain M Cotter, who was here years ago in the old China trader Joshua Bates. With him, as deck officers, are Messrs Risby and Lumsden. The former was also here afore-time in the ss Coorong, and the latter was well known here in more recent times as officer and master in the ships of the Blackwall Line. The Tai-Wan, after taking in tea at Foochow and rice and chow chow at Hong Kong, left the latter port on Aug 29th. She arrived at Port Darwin on the 8th ult, and after putting out 70 tons of cargo left next day for Thursday Island, which was reached on the 13th ult. At Cooktown, 100 tons of cargo were discharged and on the 17th ult the Tai Wan started for Townsville, which was reached on the 18th. After discharging some 70 tons of cargo the Tai Wan left the same day for Keswick Island, which was reached on the 19th. At this settlement 86 Chinese and 54 Malays were landed, and also 50 tons of cargo. Thence the Tai Wan proceeded to Brisbane and met with the accident as already related. After being put to rights she left for Sydney on the 2nd inst, and arrived thereon the 4th. After landing passengers and discharge of cargo for Sydney, the Tai Wan was to have left for Melbourne forthwith, but another hindrance cropped up this time one of the Chinese on board had been arrested for smuggling, and police court proceedings prevented the departure of the steamer until the 6th inst The Tai Wan left for Melbourne at noon on that date, and fell in with strong SW winds and rough weather until entering Port Phillip Heads at 8 o clock on Monday night. The Tai Wan then went into quarantine for the usual official examination, but her detention there was brief, everything on board being satisfactory The Tai Wan went up the river yesterday morning to the South Wharf, and discharge of cargo was commenced forthwith. It is expected to be all out today, and the steamer ready for sea The packages arc put out at side ports from stages in the 'tween decks.
The Argus. 11th October 1883. A Chinaman named Ah Tea was charged at the City Court on Wednesday with smuggling tobacco. Mr Dawson, of the Customs department, appeared for the prosecution, and stated that the proceedings were taken under the 172nd section of the Customs Act. Daniel Ryan, an officer attached to the Custom house, stated that at a quarter to 9 o'clock on Tuesday evening he saw the prisoner leave the Chinese steamer Taiwan, which is lying at the South Wharf, and asked him if he had anything with him He said he had not, but noticing he was rather bulky under the jumper witness searched him, and found the six packages of tobacco produced concealed under the jumper. The prisoner was therefore given into custody. The tobacco weighed 3lb. loz, and was worth 4s a pound duty paid. The Bench fined the accused £2 2s., with 20s costs, in default 14 days' imprisonment.
14th October 1884. Taiwan arrived Newcastle.
Launceston Examiner 17th October 1883. The s.s. Tai-Wan, which arrived at Melbourne on 9th inst. from Hong Kong, is the third of the China N. Co.'s boats which have been chosen to initiate a trade for that Company between China and the Australian colonies, on the eastern and southern sea boards. The Taiwan’s first experience of Australian waters has not been a happy one. In Brisbane River on 21st ult. the Tai-Wan ran foul of the dredge Octopus, making a large hole in the side of the latter, also damaging the winch and mooring chains. The Tai-Wan suffered to some extent above water-line, and six plates and seven frames had to be renewed. Her length is 271ft. ; beam, 34ft ; depth of hold, 23ft. She is 1734 tons measurement, and the net register is 1109 tons, while the 'tween deck space is 1625 tons. The hull is double bottomed, and the advantage of this was made apparent at the time of the collision already noted. The engines are of 190-horse power nominal, and the ordinary speed is from 10 to 11 knots on a minimum consumption of coal.
Sydney Morning Herald. 19th October 1883. The departure of the China Navigation Company's steamer Taiwan, for Townsville, Cooktown. Thursday Island, Port Darwin, and Hongkong, has been postponed until tomorrow (saturday), at noon.
Port Darwin. 24th October 1883. The China Navigation Company have put on four powerful steamers for the Australian trade. Already two have called, the Taiwan and Whampoa, and this letter goes by the Woosung, the third. The boats are beautifully appointed and remarkably clean, a most glaring contrast to other boats calling here from China, which are almost always horribly dirty and redolent of Asiatic filth. We hoped when we heard of the new line that the present exorbitant rates of passage to the southern ports would be reduced, but we were mistaken. The same agents regulate affairs for all the boats calling at Port Darwin, and they have not notified any reduction, though it is well known that from Hongkong both fares and cargo rates have been materially reduced. It is rather too much to have to pay as much for a steerage passage from Port Darwin to Adelaide as it is from Adelaide to London.
Townsville. 25th October 1883. Taiwan arrives and departs the same day.
Cooktown 27th- 29th October 1883. Taiwan arrives and departs.
North Australian 9th November 1883. Port Darwin.
November 5, Arrived. China Navigation Co's, s.s. Taiwan, Captain. W. Cotter, from southern ports. 50 tons general cargo. Adcock Bros., agents. November 5th-Sailed. China Navigation Co's. .s.s. Taiwan, Captain Cotter for Hongkong. 1 Chinese passenger.-Adcock ;Bros. agents. At the Police Court on Monday a Chinese passenger from the s.s. Taiwan was fined 40s. and costs for using threatening language towards our local " saw-bones." It appears that Dr. Morice was subjecting the passengers to an examination, as is usual, and upon refusing to allow one of the Chinese to go unexamined, defendant made sundry movements to indicate that he wouldn’t think twice about punching his head, which, however, did not come off.
South Australian Register. Adelaide. 10th May 1884.
“The Taiwan, s.s., from Hongkong via the east ports, arrived on Friday, (9th) and to facilitate the work, the Acting Tide Surveyor, with a full corps of officers, joined the vessel at the Bell Buoy and mustered the Chinese on board before going to the wharf. She is a vessel of precisely the same character as the sister ships in the same line. The saloon is on the upper deck, and the 'tween decks can be easily fitted for carriage of troops or emigrants. The vessel was built in 1882, and is propelled by the ordinary type of inverted cylinder compound engines, having 30 and 60 inches diameter by 42 inch stroke. Throughout her equipment she is furnished with all latest improvements in steam-gear and appliances. On her present voyage she has on board quite an exhibition of lions, tigers, and the sundries of a full-rigged circus.” Arrival of Chiarini's Circus.— Shortly after 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon the China Navigation Company's fine steamer Taiwan arrived in Port Adelaide from Melbourne, and was berthed at the Commercial Wharf. As it was known that Chiarini's Circus with its varied properties and paraphernalia were being conveyed hither by this steamer, a good number of interested on lookers assembled. As the vessel slowly steamed up to her berth the circus band played in a manner worthy of its reputation. Among the first to board the vessel were Messrs. Chalwin and Valentine, who proceeded to inspect the large stud of horses and other animals. The stevedore's men soon landed load after load of circus properties, and Messrs, Graves & Co. were in waiting with a large number of trollies to take them to town. The stud of horses— between thirty and forty— zebras, buffaloes, &c, were all landed in safety, but when it came to the turn of the pair of elephants a mishap occurred which might have been worse. They were slung from the derricks with slings in a manner similar to the horses, but in the case of one of them the sling either broke or slipped, and the ponderous animal fell downwards, coming in contact with the rail, which was bent by the collision. The event caused a scare, but fortunately the animal was landed safely, and with its companion followed the horses up the road for Adelaide. The work of unloading was kept up all night, the cages of lions, tigers, leopards, &c., being lifted from the decks by the 25-ton crane. During the whole of the evening the operations were watched by quite an assemblage of people. The circus opens in Wakefield-street this evening.
It is perhaps possible to imagine the total disbelief that must have been caused within CNCo when a bill was received for straightening a rail that had been bent by a falling elephant!
North Australian 1st August 1884.
THE S.S. TAIWAN AGROUND.
Quite a stir was created on Saturday last by the pearl-fishing lugger Turquoise bringing the news that the China Navigation Company's fine steamer Taiwan had run on a reef near the N. W. Island of the Vernon group. The steam-launch Maggie was at once chartered by the company's agents (Messrs Adcock Bros.) and a start was made at half-past 2 p.m. for the stranded vessel, the launch having on board the agents' representative, Mr. Searcy and a couple of his officers, the Harbour-master (Captain Marsh), Dr. Morice, and the inevitable bevy of reporters. Our "special" has handed us the following :- "Leaving the anchorage at half-past 2 p.m. with a fair complement of steam up and a light south-east wind filling the sails, we moved smartly down the bay, the intention being to get to the Taiwan before dark, or, at any rate, very shortly after. We had nothing more particular to do going down the harbour than admire the shore scenery as much as conscience would let us, until that " sal-oobrious " neighbourhood at Fannie Bay was passed, when the trip became uninteresting, and we fell to speculating as to the position of the Taiwan, the probabilities of finding her safe and sound, and things generally connected with her. Towards dusk the exact locality of the vessel was discussed again, and the Harbour-master, feeling certain that she was on the eastern side of the island before mentioned, and consequently in a more dangerous place to approach than if on the west side (as pointed out by the captain of the Turquoise), he decided that it would not be safe to go there in darkness. For that reason, then, we anchored under Point Fright ; and perhaps you wouldn't mind a few words about our experience that night. Everyone on board agreed that it was the most miserable night they had spent for many a long day. Besides being extremely cold there was additional zest added to our discomfiture by the fact that half a gale was blowing, and every now and then the waves and sprays from " God's own reservoir " reminded us that a " life on the ocean wave " might very easily be improved on. Our captain and the biggest man aboard occupied the only available space in the cabin, so that the remainder of us had to camp on deck as best we could; but all through the night certain honied quotations from the stars of a fallen race, muttered under the blankets by one and another of the passengers, served to betoken that the arrangement was anything but satisfactory. It was so much so, in fact, that one of our number, actuated at last by motives of sheer desperation, went down the fore hold and camped till daylight with a mob of Chinese on one side of him and a heap of wood on the other. The topic of conversation naturally hung around the North Pole. At daylight an extra cup of coffee was served out, steam and sail were put on the Maggie, and we made tracks for our destination, ranging up alongside the Taiwan at about 8 a.m.” "We found that her position was just as indicated by Godet (skipper of the Turquoise), that is to say on the western reef of N. W. Island, and upon boarding her we had no difficulty in feeling that she was what is nautically termed " lively " just off the bottom and rocking very gently. At that time it was full tide, and the vessel sat up as erect as though only at anchorage in harbour, but as soon as the tide began to fall she gradually worked over to starboard and at low water has a heavy list. In the position she was in on Sunday her head was toward the N.W. Island, though I am told she slewed round that way after striking, and has left her marks on the rocks. While the present weather continues she will remain perfectly safe, and the only piling to be feared is a change of the wind from south-east to north-west, which, at this time of the year, is not at all likely. At the time of the accident Captain Smith did all that he could to ensure the safety of the passengers as well as to get his vessel out of the queer predicament if possible, and the conduct of both himself and his officers was very highly spoken of to me by the passengers. The reef upon which the Taiwan has piled herself is, indeed, an awkward one, extending for a couple of miles or more out from the island and. for a considerable distance round the western end of it, and the current that runs here is terrific in its force. The boat lies about half a mile in on the reef, but I am told since returning from the scene that her position has been slightly altered by the current washing her a little to the westward. Some idea of the magnitude of this current may be derived from the fact that a coir rope of about 150 fathoms could not be hauled up without the aid of a winch. At low water you can walk all round the vessel without wetting more than the soles of your boots, and to corroborate this piece of information I may mention that several of the hands and passengers went ashore to the island on Saturday last to have a picnic, and, with a morbid hankering after novelty, decided to walk back to the steamer (I should say a distance of about a mile and a half). They accomplished the journey in good time, but I believe they have no great desire to repeat the experiment. From what I can make out of the chart I should say that the present position of the Taiwan is between two and three miles out of the ordinary course between two islands of the group called Middle Island and East Island, but how she came to get so far away will be decided at the enquiry, and could only be guessed at by myself. Captain Smith informed me on Sunday that the vessel had about 2000 tons of cargo in her, but since then she has been relieved of a few hundred tons by the Port Darwin lighters, and this should prove of great assistance to her when the spring tides are on again at the full of the moon on the 8th, if not before. After getting about 22 tons of cargo and two of the Taiwan passengers on board the Maggie, as well as the southern mails, we steamed back to harbour, arriving at 5 o'clock without incident or accident. The distance from Palmerston to the scene of the accident is, I should say, between 35 and 40 miles. " The s.s. Taiwan is a sister boat to the three others of the China Navigation Co. at present on this line, the Woosung, Whampoa and Keelung, all having been built from the same neat model. They are gradually working their way into the trade of the Territory, and in point of cleanliness rank second to none of the two lines opposing them. The Taiwan seems to be the unlucky vessel of the four, she having had two or three mishaps previously while Captain Cotter was in charge of her, but none of a serious nature. I am sure all who know Captain Smith will tender him their sympathy, and be well pleased to hear that his boat is free of the rocks and none the worse for her little adventure. I here append the captain's log ;
- Thursday, July 24th At 3.35 hove up the anchor and proceeded. At 4 am. shaped our course N. by W.1/2 W., with a light breeze and fine weather. 4.45 a.m. changed the course to N by E.1/2E. At 7 a.m. grounded on a spit off N.W. Island. Backed the engines full speed astern, but did not move her. the tide falling very fast. Sounded wells and found her making no water, ran out a kedge anchor astern. At high water (6 p.m.) hove away at the kedge and worked the engines, but without success, the kedge anchor coming home. At 8 p.m. got up stream anchor and steel hawser and laid it on the starboard quarter and heaviest kedge on port quarter, and rove luff tackles all ready for next tide. Finished at 11.30.
Friday, July 25th. Pumps were care fully attended to, but making no water. Weather squally with smooth water. At daylight a pearl-fishing boat, the Turquoise, came alongside to offer assistance. Sounded round the ship each tide. Lowered all the boats in the water, filling them with cargo and anything heavy about the decks, and set the square-sails aback. A fresh E.S.E. wind and fine weather. At 6 am. hove away on both hawsers and kept at it until the tide fell at 8.30. Highest draft of water 16ft. 6in. forward, 17ft. 8in. aft. Employed carrying anchors out astern, and loaded Turquoise with cargo from 'tween decks. At 6 p.m. hove away on hawsers, used engines as required, and continued until the tide began to fall at 8.30. The greatest depth of water was 16ft. forward and 17ft. 6in. aft. At 9 p.m. took in all the cargo out of the boats and despatched the Turquoise to Port Darwin for lighters. Hoisted the boats up. Sounded the wells, found no water, and made all secure for the night.
Saturday July 26th. -Hove away on stern hawsers and continued doing so until the tide began to fall. Greatest depth 16ft. forward, 17ft. 4in. aft. Pumps carefully attended to, making no water. At 2.30 p.m. lifted stream anchor and laid it in position astern. At 4.30 carried out starboard bower with steel hawser attached At 6 p.m. hove all the hawsers as tight as possible, and worked engines as required, pumps carefully attended to. At 7.30 tide falling fast ; hoisted up the boats and secured all for the night.
Sunday, July 27th. -At 6 a.m. loosed and set square sails aback and hove tight the stern hawsers. The steam launch Maggie came alongside. Filled her with cargo and returned the mails. At 11.30 the Maggie left for Port Darwin.
North Australian 1st August 1884.
An enormous shark was shot by the Captain of the. lugger Turquoise on Friday last in the neighbourhood of the reef upon which the s.s. Taiwan is stationed. The length of the monster was 15ft and its jaws were of sufficient capacity when opened to accommodate the largest inhabitant of the Territory, bar none. Besides this one the same person shot several others ranging in length from 8ft to 10ft, the water round the reefs being literally teeming with them. How the passengers of the Taiwan must gloat over the fact there was no swimming to be done while these cartilaginous gentleman were in the neighbourhood.
Northern Territory Times 9th August 1884.
The s.s. Taiwan floated off her recent berth on the N.W. Vernon Island, on Thursday morning, and steamed into the harbour. We are pleased to hear that the vessel has sustained little damage worth mentioning, and that she is expected to reload the cargo which was taken out to lighten her, and proceed upon her voyage in a few days time.
Sydney Morning Herald 9th August 1884.'
The steamer Taiwan has floated off to-day. A tremendous current parted her two steel-wire hawsers, and as she had lost her anchors she was nearly stranded again. She is apparently scathless, and returned here for reloading, which is now progressing. She is expected to sail on Sunday for the south,
Sydney Morning Herald 21st August 1884.
The steamer Taiwan arrived at Cooktown last night. She went ashore near the lighthouse, and was making water rapidly. This morning she had four feet of water in the hold, and was to have been beached this afternoon.
Sydney Morning Herald 22nd August 1884.
The agent of the steamer Taiwan, which struck a rock near Cooktown, asked the commander of H.M.S. Diamond to send a diver to inspect the lëak, but he refused to do so on the ground that the weather was too rough. The agent then procured black boys, who dived and reported that one plate, was broken, but not seriously and the water can be easily kept down. The Taiwan left for the south yesterday afternoon.
Brisbane Courier. 3rd September 1884.
Misfortune seems to follow the unlucky steamer Taiwan. First of all she grounded on a reef near Port Darwin, and after much trouble was floated off again, but before reaching Cooktown she ran on to another reef, sustaining considerable damage under the fore hold. Her next performance was to ground at the mouth of the Brisbane River. Then she grounded in the river opposite Messrs Parbury, Lamb, and Raffs wharf, South Brisbane, and thereby lost much time in getting alongside the wharf. On Monday evening, after leaving the wharf, and while steaming on her anchor, she fouled the Victoria Bridge. The deckhouse aft was damaged, as were also portions of her railings, the awning, and awning stanchions. No injury was done to the bridge. The Taiwan was floated into dock at high water last night. About the first time the Taiwan visited this port she ran into and almost sunk the Government dredge Octopus, sustaining considerable damage to her own bows
Brisbane Courier. 4th September 1884.
The graving dock having been pumped dry yesterday morning, an opportunity was afforded for a complete survey of the hull of the China Navigation Company's steamer Taiwan, which had been docked on the previous night. The survey was made by Captain W. B. Brown, Lloyd's surveyor, and Captain Woods. The damage is confined exclusively to the starboard bilge, under the forehold, for a length of about 40ft. The injury extends over the three strakes, next to the garboard strake, and can best be described as presenting the appearance of the surface of water disturbed by a breeze, so clear is the impression left by the uneven surface of the reef on which the vessel struck. Some of these indentations are 8in. or 9in. deep, and illustrate very forcibly the extreme ductility of the material used for the plating of this fine steel steamer, as, although several bolts have been sprung, there is not the slightest indication of an opening in the plates. It was stated on good authority that had the Taiwan been constructed of iron instead of steel she could not have stood the severe trial she has just gone through. Eight or nine of the plates will have to be replaced, and out of the eighteen frames that have been twisted or bent by the force of the contact, about twelve will probably have to be renewed. The vessel has also sustained other minor injuries, and it is estimated that the work of permanently repairing the whole of the damage will occupy about a week. Tenders have already been invited, and the work will be commenced without delay.
Brisbane Courier. 5th September 1884.
The successful tenderers for permanently repairing the damage to the Taiwan are Messrs. J W Sutton and Co, who have undertaken to complete the work in eight days for the sum of £688. Operations have already been commenced.