Photo of the Week
October 16, 2005
I was recently loaned an
old 35mm slide that captured this historical picture in the Panama Canal's
history. Shown is the Sian Yung sunk in the Culebra Cut near
Pedro Miguel Locks. I am sure many of you remember this incident.
The ship was full of rice and cotton. The rice was pumped out of the
cargo hold and dumped on the west bank near the road to Contractor Hill. If
you ever took a ride out to Contractor Hill during this time, you will
remember the smell!!! It was really bad!!! This great photo was
taken by Robert K. Hanna.
Once the Sian Yung was raised, it was towed out to the Bay of Panama and sunk into it's final resting place.
There is an interesting film produced by the Panama Canal Graphics Branch that documents the raising of the Sian Yung. An interesting part of the project was the attempt of the floating cranes Hercules and Ajax. The Ajax (sister crane to the Hercules) had been sold and PCC had it brought back to help with the lift. Both Hercules and Ajax together could not lift the Sian Yung. Finally, the ship's super structures were removed and PCC floated the ship by patching it, pumping out and lifting it with floatation lifting devices. It was quite a project and a part of the Panama Canal's history that is slowing being forgotten.
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