Shipwrecks: SS Bokhara

SS Bokhara at dock. Photo credit: The Hong Kong Cricket Association

Eleven members of the Hong Kong cricket team perished, along with 114 other people when the SS Bokhara sank during a typhoon on October 10, 1892.

Bokhara was a three-masted, two-cylinder steam engine, capable of a top speed of 13 knots. Launched in 1872, her main route ran between India and the Far East. She was captained by Charles Dawson Sams RNR of England.

The ship’s holds were filled with various cargo, including tea, silk and mail as she made her way from Shanghai to Hong Kong with 148 people onboard on October 8.

By the next day, the crew were desperately trying to slow the ship by cutting the engines back and furling the sails in the wake of an ominous typhoon. Luckily, the ship stayed afloat through the night but was wrecked on a reef on the 10th while still trying to battle the storm. Adding to the extremely dire situation was the fact that all the lifeboats were swept away as the waves topped the decks.

Local Chinese fishermen found the few survivors on the beach near the Pescadores who were then taken to to Peihou Island and subsequently ferried to Hong Kong aboard HMS Porpoise, but not before the fishermen salvaged what they could from the ship.

Five crewmen were among the 23 survivors that also included 18 Asian passengers and soldiers.

Text source: Wikipedia under Creative Commons licence

Photo credit: A Wikipedia public domain image, uploaded in 2009 by Jevansen at en.wikipedia, credited to The Hong Kong Cricket Association.

© Copyright Vince Capone 2013