Victoria Harbor find likely part of HMS Tamar wreck

May 22, 2015 13:17
HMS Tamar (inset) was ordered destroyed to avoid capture by invading Japanese troops in World War II. An object found in Victoria Harbor likely came from the shipwreck, according to archaeologists. Photo: Apple Daily

A large object found last year off Hong Kong's Wan Chai district likely came from the wreck of HMS Tamar, a famous military ship ordered destroyed during World War II to avoid capture by invading Japanese troops.

It was discovered during reclamation in Victoria Harbor, Apple Daily reported Friday, citing the Civil Engineering and Development Department (CEDD).

The findings were based on preliminary surveys and assessments by marine archaeologists, the report said.  

A contractor unearthed the object six meters beneath the seabed while dredging near the old Wan ferry pier for the Central-Wan Chai bypass project.

CEDD reported the find to the Marine Department and the Antiquities and Monuments Office.

A marine archaeologist was commissioned to conduct preliminary tests.

The object is about 40 meters long, two to 11 meters meters wide and two meters high, with corrosion and cracks in certain parts, and might be part of the ship's hull, the archaelogist said.  

HMS Tamar was a Royal Navy troop transport ship built in London and launched in 1863.

In 1897, it was refitted as a base ship and permanently stationed in Hong Kong.

The ship ran supplies from 1897 to 1941 when it was ordered destroyed to avoid being used by invading Japanese forces.

CEDD said it might move the object on the advice of archaeologists for closer inspection.

It asked the contractor to clear sediment around the affected areas to improve access.

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