Lake Champlain

Vessel name on Arrival: Choran Maru


Original Builder: Barclay Curle Limited, Scotstoun, Glasgow

Original Yard No: 422

Official Number: 110650

Vessel Type: passenger

GRT: 7392

Year Built: 1900

Arrival Date: 12/07/1949

Breakup Started: 24/07/1949

Date First Beached: 25/10/1949

Date Breakup Completed: 07/06/1950

Draught For’d:

Draught Aft: 15' 0"

Name Changes:

Other Information:

Passenger-Cargo ship built for Elder Dempster's Beaver Line (British & African Steam Navigation Company Ltd).

Steel construction twin-screw steamer, four-masted, with two decks and a shelter deck. 


Principal dimensions  :  446' 0" length  x  52' 0" width  x  27' 8" depth

Tonnages  :  4,110 net  x  6,546 gross  x  7,750 deadweight

Propulsion  :  2 x 3-cylinder triple-expansion steam reciprocating engines (22" x 37.5" x 60" – 48" stroke)

Output  :  660 NHP

Service Speed  :  13 knots

Accommodation :  1st Class = 100          2nd Class = 80          Steerage  =  500


The LAKE CHAMPLAIN was built by Barclay, Curle & Co,Ltd, Glasgow in 1900 for Elder Dempster's Beaver Line. She was a 7,392 gross ton ship, length 446ft x beam 52ft, one funnel, four masts, twin screw and a speed of 13 knots. Accommodation was provided for 100-1st, 80-2nd and 500-3rd class passengers.


Launched on 31/3/1900, she sailed on 15/5/1900 from Liverpool on her maiden voyage to Quebec and Montreal. On 21/5/1901, she was the first merchant ship to be fitted with permanent wireless telegraphy apparatus and on 6/4/1903 was taken over, with the rest of Beaver Line's fleet, by Canadian Pacific.  


In 1906 her accommodation was modified to carry 150-2nd and 1,000-3rd class passengers.  She commenced sailings between Trieste and St John,NB on 20/3/1913 and completed 5.5 round voyages on this service, the last starting in Jan 1914.


On 4/2/1914 she left St John,NB for London and in Sep 1914 commenced her last London – Quebec – Montreal voyage.  Requisitioned by the Admiralty for use as a transport for the British Expeditionary Force and renamed REGINA


She arrived at Belfast in Nov 1914 and was converted into a dummy of the battleship HMS KING GEORGE V.  On completion, stationed at Loch Etive and later at Scapa Flow.


In summer 1915, stripped of camouflage, she became a store ship and was renamed RUTHENIA.  On 29th January 1915 she was bought outright by the Admiralty and in 1918 was fitted out with cylindrical tanks to carry 5,000 tons of oil and  used as a naval oiler.


In 1919 she sailed for the China Station and by 1929 was in use as an oil storage hulk at Singapore.


In February 1942 in the face of imminent Japanese invasion, she was scuttled, but was later salvaged by the Japanese, had her tankage removed, accommodation installed and put to use as a troopship by the Japanese un her new name – CHORAN MARU.


Recaptured by Allied forces in 1945, and used for the transportation of POWs, but she stranded in the Moesi River in 1946, was refloated and towed by the tug ENGLISHMAN to the Clyde.  Arriving there on 18/6/1949, she was part-broken up by Arnott Young at Dalmuir and completed by the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company, Troon.