Monday, November 25, 2019

Origins of the Telok Intan sunken steam boiler

The origins of the sunken Steam Boiler on the Perak River
which is lying in the water about 500 meters upstream from the Telok Intan's(Anson)
town jetty have been a mystery for a long time since its first sighting,
was said to be that of a steam locomotive
but search shows  no record of any such incident where a loco had fallen into the river
and lately many mention that it might be from the Steam Ship Poh Hin Guan
which sunk in the Perak River after a collision with SS Neera in 1896.
And here after months of research online, i would like to share my conclusion to this mystery
or maybe to add on to it.

 

According to the Marine Court of Enquiry of the ship collision,
3 ships were on their way up somewhat racing on the Perak river that fateful morning,
"they, (SS Neera,SS Perse and SS Poh Hin Guan) were then about 15 minutes
from Telok Anson going full speed counting tide and all"
and when SS Neera overtakes SS Poh Hin Guan, she was rounding the bend
at Sungai Durian when the collision happened."

(1898 Map of Telok Anson below)




The results of the enquiry shows that Poh Hin Guan sunk 15 minutes downstream the Perak River from Teluk Intan near the bend of Sungai Durian
which totally dismissed the assumption that the boiler
could be from this wreck.

















Marine Court of Enquiry

Collision on Perak River

Ship Data Bheema@Poh Hin Guan

wrecksite.eu Poh Hin Guan

Fatality in Perak River

Perak River Collision

A Sunken Launch

Telok Anson 1945 map




Ship data shows Poh Hin Guan with a length of 180ft (~55m)
and weight of 357 tons
which will definitely need a much bigger boiler
than the 7ft x 4ft dia one found in the river.




A photo from google,
sorry to all in the photo for the illustration over it




From a 1890 shipbuilder's brochure of Forrestt & Co,
a boiler the size of 6 ft 11.25 inches by 3 ft 10.375 inches(about 7' x 4')
was for a 56 ft long Vedette boat(Patrol Vessel) almost similar
to a Police Launch used by the Perak Police then,
coincidentally in 1898 an unnamed Police launch
sunk after a collision with  SS Canton at Kuala Perak
killing District Surveyor Draycott,a chinese engineer and another local.
Effort was made to raise and tow the sunken launch to Telok Intan.


from a 1890  Shipbuilder's brochure



above, a detailed drawing of a 56 ft Steam Pinnacle of 1895



a schematic of a smaller 36 ft launch








this report mention that it was raised once
and was being towed towards Telok Anson
when a storm came on and the Launch was sent to the bottom!





The last report says that the 2 halves of the police launch
which sank after the collision with SS Canton are now lying at Telok Anson.
It is intended to raise the boiler and the engines
(raise, which somewhat shows that the launch is still in the water probably somewhere safe
and shallow.)
and the launch will afterwards be rebuild and lengthened.
It could be that it was never rebuild due to lack of fund or more economical to get a new one
and in the end the broken launch was left to its element
till today.






a steam launch Scotch boiler looks similar to that of the sunken one
and from the photos and description
by Lordman.kerol in this youtube video
















https://prestonservices.co.uk/item/steam-launch-scotch-boiler/



a 1945 map of Telok Anson

https://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/bird/chersonese/chersonese.html#XVIII

Extract from the Travels of  Isabella L Bird to Perak around 1879
mentioned Perak Police Launch KINTA
sailing from Province Wellesley up the Larut river
to Teluk Kartang which is Matang of today

"Soon after eleven the Kinta appeared, a black shadow on a silver sea, roaring for a boat, but the surf was so heavy that it was some time before the police boat was got off; and then Mr. Maxwell, whose cheery, energetic voice precedes him, and Mr. Walker landed, bullying everybody, as people often do when they know that they are the delinquents! It was lovely in the white moonlight with the curving shadows of palms on the dewy grass, the grace of the drooping casuarinas, the shining water, and the long drift of surf. It was hard to get off, and the surf broke into the boat; but when we were once through it, the sea was like oil, the oars dripped flame, and, seen from the water, the long line of surf broke on the shore not in snow, but in a long drift of greenish fire.
The Kinta is a steam-launch of the Pêrak Government. Her boilers, to use an expressive Japanese phrase, are "very sick," and she is not nearly so fine as the Abdulsamat, but a quiet, peaceful boat, without any pretensions; and really any "old tub" is safe on the Straits of Malacca except in a "Sumatran." I stayed on deck for some time enjoying the exquisite loveliness of the night, and the vivacity of two of my companions, Mr. Maxwell, the Assistant Resident here, a really able and most energetic man, very argumentative, bright, and pleasant; and Captain Walker, A.D.C. to Sir W. Robinson, on his way from the ceaseless gayeties of Government House at Singapore to take command of the Sikh military police in the solitary jungles of Pêrak. The third, Mr. Innes, Superintendent of Lower Pêrak, whose wife so nearly lost her life in the horrible affair at Pulo Pangkor, was in dejected spirits, as if the swamps of Durion Sabatang had been too much for him.
The little cabin below was frightfully hot, and I shared it not only with two nice Malay boys, sons of the exiled Abdullah, the late Sultan, who are being educated at Malacca, but with a number of large and rampant rats. Finding the heat and rats unbearable, I went on deck in the rosy dawn, just as we were entering the Larut river, a muddy stream, flowing swiftly between dense jungles and mangrove swamps, and shores of shining slime, on which at low water the alligators bask in the sun–one of the many rivers of the Peninsula which do not widen at their mouths.
The tide was high and the river brimming full, looking as if it must drown all the forest, and the trestle-work roots on which the mangroves are hoisted were all submerged. It is a silent, lonely land, all densely green. Many an uprooted palm with its golden plumes and wealth of golden husked nuts came floating down on the swirling waters, and many a narrow creek well suited for murder, overarched with trees, and up which one might travel far and still be among mangrove swamps and alligators, came down into the Larut river; and once we passed a small clearing, where some industrious Chinamen are living in huts on some festering slime between the river and the jungle; and once a police station on stilts, where six policemen stood in a row and saluted as we passed, and at seven we reached Teluk Kartang, with a pier, a long shed, two or three huts, and some officialism, white and partly white, all in a "dismal swamp." A small but very useful Chinese trading steamer, the Sri Sarawak, was lying against the pier, and we landed over her filthy deck, on which filthy Chinese swine, among half-naked men almost as filthy, were wrangling for decomposing offal. Dismal as this place looks, an immense trade in imports and exports is done there; and all the tin from the rich mines of the district is sent thence to Pinang for transhipment."
*************************************************************
as a conclusion,the steam boiler is certainly not from SS Poh Hin Guan
and it is most likely to be from the Perak Police launch (similar to  KINTA) 

which collided with SS Canton
at the Perak River mouth,sunk,raised and towed back to Telok Intan
to be stripped off parts and rebuild but was left abandoned in the river
.



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