built by Robert Napier Govan,
Yard No 53 Engines by Shipbuilders
Port of Registry: London
Propulsion: Two cylinder beam geared steam engine, 1538ihp, single screw, 10 knots.
Launched: Saturday, 09/07/1853
Ship Type: Passenger Liner, Iron hull
Ship's Role: Southampton / Alexandria. Later East of Suez
Tonnage: 1865 gross; 675 net
Length: 286 ft 6in
Breadth: 35 ft 10in
Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Company
Status: Wrecked - 19/11/1862
09/07/1853: Launched for The Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company.
15/11/1853: Sailed from her builders.
08/12/1853: Ran trials.
20/12/1853: Maiden voyage Southampton / Alexandria. She carried a record Indian mail on the homeward voyage, the first time that screw
steamers (P&O’s BENGAL on the East of Suez leg) had carried mails all the way home.
16/07/1854: Requisitioned for service in the Crimean War and served as a transport (No. 6). She made three voyages from Southampton but
spent most of her time in the Black Sea, frequently towing sailing
ships along the Crimean coast.
22/05/1855: Collided with the screw battleship HMS ST JEAN D’ACRE. COLOMBO
lost her jib~boom, bowsprit and figurehead, (a full~length figure of a
woman) the following day.
18/07/1856: Released from military duties and returned to commercial service.
11/08/1858: Lost her screw 20 miles E of Cabo de Gata when on voyage from Malta to Gibraltar. Taken in tow by the Spanish warship CASTILLA.
14/08/1858: Arrived at Gibraltar and thence proceeded to Vigo in tow of HM tug REDPOLL. In the absence of the expected P&O ship at Vigo, REDPOLL
began towing her to Southampton but put back due to bad weather.
P&O’s BENARES then arrived at Vigo.
31/08/1858: Left Vigo in tow of BENARES.
15/09/1858: Arrived at Liverpool. She was placed on the slip at John Laird, Sons and Co., where the screw was replaced and she was lengthened to 317ft 5in. Her gross tonnage increased to 2127 tons (1447 net).
A second funnel was also added.
19/11/1862: Wrecked in fog and rough seas on Minicoy Reef, Laccadive Islands
when on a voyage from Galle to Aden. Although 32 miles off her intended course, this was ascribed to a very severe cyclonic storm passing over the island at the time of the wreck,
generating unexpectedly strong currents. There were no casualties,
and most of the mails from India, China and Australia plus her cargo
of silk were recovered. After a few nights spent in tents the local
rajah arranged accommodation for the ship's complement until relief arrived.
30/11/1862: Passengers taken off by P&O’s OTTAWA.
02/12/1862: Cargo and Indian crew taken off by AZOF, which shuttled between the wreck and Galle over a period of weeks.
03/12/1862: European crew taken off by NEMESIS.
Previous update by Paul Strathdee.
Previous update by John Newth
Last updated: by Bruce Allan from the original records by Stuart Cameron
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