Shuntien I

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Shuntien I
ID /IMO No. 1120480.
Type Cargo/passenger.
Gross Registered Tonnage 1,758 grt. 1,081 nett.
Builder Scotts Shipbuilding & Eng, Co. Ltd. Yard No. 390.
Delivery date Dec 7th.1904.
Hull Steel, clincher construction.
Decks 2.
Length 267.0 ft. F'c'sle 34.0 ft. Bridge 50.0 ft.
Width 40.0 ft.
Depth 18.0 ft.
Passengers 1st class:- European 33. Chinese 56. 3rd class (Chinese steerage) 76.
Engine Builder Scotts S.& E, Co ltd.
Engine Supplier Scotts S.& E.Co. Ltd.
Engine Type Steam, triple expansion.
Engine cylinders 3, 21 ins.dia. 34 ins.dia. 56 ins.dia.
Engine stroke 3.25 ft.
Engine Power 305 nhp. 1,750 ihp.
Propulsion mode Single screw.
Speed 14 kts.
Rigged Schooner.
Displacement 3,525 tons.
Deadweight 2,100 tons.
Bale capacity 91,640 cu.ft.
Block coefficient (Cb) 0.734
Power Steam.
Condenser cooling surface 2,300 sq.ft.
Steam expansion ratio 9.81
ratio_of_air_pump_capacity_to_lp_cylinder_volume 17.4
Boiler 2, circulating (scotch)
Boiler pressure 190 psi.
Boiler dimensions (total) 15.0 ft. high 11.5 ft. long.
Heating Surface (total) 5,184 sq.ft.
Grate Area (total) 121 sq.ft.
Steam space volume 1,064 sq.ft.
Fuel Coal.
Furnace 3 per boiler.
Furnace dimensions 3'8" dia. 8'0" long.
Draught Forced.
Generator voltage 110v.dc.
Propeller Right hand, 12.5 ft. dia. 14.5 ft. pitch.
Propeller blades 4
Propeller formation Solid.
Propeller material Cast iron.
Built classification society B.O.T.
Keel laid July 22nd. 1904.
Launched Nov 7th. 1904.
Launched by Mrs. E.F.Baker. wife of the C/E of Blue Funnel's "Argyll"
Original owner China Navigation Co.


1933. The original name "Shuntien" was changed to "Shuntien I", in 1934, as the name "Shuntien" was to be used for a new vessel being built.

June 18th. 1934, around 22.00 hrs the ship was attacked and boarded by about 60 armed pirates between Taku and Chefoo in the Gulf of Chihli, while on a voyage from Shanghai to Tientsin, holding the passengers and crew at gunpoint for 24 hours, looting the vessel thoroughly and threatening to kill anyone who showed signs of fighting. The passengers and crew being robbed of jewellery and money. The compradore Sun Long-shan was "requested" to act as interpreter, and the assistant compradore, Chen Ho-cheng, compelled to make tea for the pirates.

The 2/E Mr.Walton, 2/M Mr. Brand, Lieutenants Luce & Field of the R.N., Mr Yamamoto (Japanese) and 19 Chinese passengers were carried off by the pirates, and released two days later. The 3/M, and a passenger Mr.Ross were wounded, during the incident. The United States warships "Bitter" and "Paul Jones" from Chefoo, along with the British aircraft carrier "Eagle" and two destroyers from Weihaiwei were deployed, but took no action as they were unable to enter the shallow waters. The pirates navigated the ship themselves, while the officers were held captive in their cabins. On reaching the area of swamps to the north of the Yangtse river the pirates transferred to small boats, escaping in the shallow waters only accessible to small boats. The master of the ship said later that the pirates were capable and skilled seamen. The Hwa Tung News Agency reported that approximately $20.000 was stolen, of which $4,700 was from the accountant's (compradore's ? ) office and $1,600 from a foreign female passemgers.

The kidnapped Chinese were all from Chefoo, the pirates being reluctant to to kidnap any Chinese who were from Shanghai. It was noticed by several Chinese passengers that the majority of the pirates were former soldiers under the command of General Liu Cheng-nien who had been driven out of Chefoo two years earlier by the Governor of Shantung, General Han Fu-chu.

The compradore later related that the leader of the pirates had told him, that the pirates wanted to recover the business they had lost in the smuggling business in Shantung. This was his "act of revenge", as four times the Customs in Tangku had discovered and confiscated the artificial silk he was attemting to smuggle from Dairen to Tientsin.

Oct 1934. Sold to Hong Kong ship breakers.


Built for the Shanghai to Tientsin express service, along with her sister ship "Fengtien I"

Events / Stories