Mon, Jun 30, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Lost British ship discovered in Matsu chain: report

Staff writer, with CNA

Divers salvaged items from a sunken British ship lost in 1901 near Dongyin Isle (東引島), one of the small islands that make up the Matsu chain, the Chinese-language United Daily News reported yesterday.

The paper cited divers from the Taiwan Ocean Security Conserve Association as saying that the dozen objects they obtained from a wreck off Dongyin on Tuesday were confirmed as coming from the SS Sobraon.

The discovery ended a six-month undersea search by the association at the request of the island’s residents.

Dongyin lies 100 nautical miles (182.5km) northwest of Keelung.

The underwater search could only be carried out between this month and September, while the sea is relatively calm.

The wreck was found about 30m below the surface and because there was little natural light, the divers used flashlights to find their way, association president Lin Cheng-yang (林誠洋) was quoted as saying in the report.

Historical records said that the SS Sobraon was a passenger ship built in Scotland in 1900, with a displacement of 7,382 tonnes.

It ran aground on Dongyin on June 24, 1901, and was abandoned by the crew, who all survived.

One year after the accident, the British government financed the construction of a lighthouse on the island, which still stands today.

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