Wooden vessel built by Ulderup & Schluter and Mitsui Bussan Kaisha in Hong Kong during 1911 as a sister ship to MV Nusa. Also known as SS Buka.
World War I History
Used by the German administration in German New Guinea. At the start of World War I in 1914, this ship was attached to the German Government Station at Kieta serving as an administration steamer. During September 1914, after learning that Australian forces had captured Rabaul, the German District Officer at Kieta ordered the Buka to be sunk to prevent it from being captured.
During November, 1914, after greasing and painting her engines he took her to the neighboring Kobuan Bay and with the assistance of his police master and several trusted natives opened the cocks and sank her close to the shore in fifteen fathoms, and marked the location with a bouy.
On December 9, 1914 a detachment of the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force (ANMEF) occupied Kieta. Later, the HMAS Warrego arrived at Keita to inquire about Buka. Several natives directed them to the spot where the vessel was scuttled.
After the Australians occupation of the former German colony, Australian officer Lt. Col
Holmes and his immediate successor entertained the idea of raising Buka.
During early 1915, she was examined by a diver from the vessel HMAS Una who reported her hull and fittings were in satisfactory state. However, no steps were ever taken to raise the ship. Six years later in 1921, Buka was inspected again, but her hull and engines were deemed to be ruined, but the maker's dataplate was salvaged from the shipwreck.
During 1974-1977 the shipwreck was SCUBA dived by Shirley Cook, Nigel Cook and David Pennefather. Today, Buka remains were it was scuttled.
Thanks to Shirley Cook for additional information
"Bronze plate : SS Buka" RELAWM10035
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November 16, 2018