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PADDLE STEAMERS WHICH DID NOT SURVIVE : Sidewheelers
EUROPEAN LOSSES IN RECENT YEARS
Above : Hungary's PS Szoke Tisza was potentially
the finest paddle steamer in Europe, but after being laid up near
Szeged for many years she was deteriorating badly. The melting of
winter ice in 2012 caused her hull to crack and she settled on the
shallow bottom. Attempts to save her have come to nothing and it
would appear that the engines and certain internal fittings will
now be all that will remain from this majestic ship
Photo taken in 2009 and supplied by kind courtesy of Zsolt Szabo
Lake Elsinore, CA,
Hauled overland in 1999 on a three-week road journey from Long Beach (where she had been moored behind RMS Queen Mary) to Lake Elsinore, California, she was originally one of a fleet of 5 ships built in 1923/4 for chewing-gum entrepreneur William Wrigley and named "Princess". Originally with a glass bottom she undertook tours around Catalina Island and was often patronised by the rich and famous. She was sold in 1959 and her glass bottom planked up as a condition of the sale. She sailed around San Pedro and Long Beach until 1994. She was owned by the Lake Elsinore Princess Foundation, in poor condition and land bound apparently after a fall in the level of the lake. She was of wooden construction and a designated Riverside County Historic Landmark since 2007. She was demolished in situ on October 18th, 2013
Szoke Tisza (1917-74), the former Danube cruiser is best known as PS Felszabadulas, the name she assumed in 1950, having been IV Karoly, and between 1930 and 1950, Szent Imre. In 1958, 175 berths were built into the vessel as she was assigned to overnight cruises from Budapest. Briefly used as a canteen ship for her owners, she was sold out of the MAHART fleet in 1979 to the city of Szeged for use as a hotel. When owned by a commercial Danube cruising company, partners in the Zoltan Foundation ship museum at Nezsmely, plans were drawn to refurbish her for Danube service, but to date, progress has been fraught with technical and financial problems and ownership has new reverted to the Tiszayacht shipyard company at Szeged where she remains . Following her sinking in early 2012 as her hull cracked as the surrounding water melted after the winter freeze, the ship was srapped in the late autumn of 2012 although her engines and certain internal fittings were saved.
Built at the Sormovskiy Shipyard
at Nizhny-Novgorod in 1905,
the last surviving River Volga paddler was
laid up in Pamyat Parizhskoi Kommuny (Nizhniy Novgorod area)
for many years . Decommissioned in 1965, the 102.5
metre long paddler was scrapped after failed attempts to find a
saviour after being badly destroyed by fire in 2003.
Photos at : http://fleetphoto.ru/ship/17836/
2002 saw the final demise of two of the
famous Dresden "White Fleet " after many years' lay-up.
Although the local operators have, where possible, restored
the available paddlers and most of their fleet is now over
100 years old, the condition of these two vessels was beyond
economic repair. This was made worse by the act that
considerable alterations would have had to have been made to
their narrow hulls to meet modern stability regulations.
Fortunately the oscillating engines were removed from each
vessel and are now in storage with the ultimate aim of
finding or building new hulls for further use.
Schmilka's stern section still survived at Laubegast - see this photo taken in 2005 http://www.schiffbilder.de/name/einzelbild/number/4553/kategorie/1+Dampfschiffe~Binnenschiffe~Personenschiffe.html
Here is a photo of Schmilka being towed by PS Meissen on her final journey from Dresden-Neustadt to the Laubegast yard on 16/10/1995 :
The Laubegast yard on the
River Elbe just upstream of Dresden has seen many paddle steamers
built and refurbished, including the majority of the current fleet
sailing from Dresden, but in 2001 it was host to two paddlers which
were not destined for a return to service. In poor condition
after many years out of service, it was decided to scrap Schmilka
(seen with Junger Pionier behind).
Photo above kindly supplied by John Woodhams who got a magnificent view of the yard from a passing steamer.
2009 : Former railcar ferry on the Detroit river crossing from Detroit to Windsor (Canada) between 1884 and 1956 after which she was kept in reserve. Served as a floating restaurant at Detroit where its main feature was the railcars stored on her deck. After the restaurant closed she was inactive until moved to Erie in 1999 but remained derelict and sank on December 25th 2005. She was then moved to Buffalo but no progress was made and she was scrapped in 2009.
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