DOULOS PHOS was observed yesterday in the Singapore Strait under tow of a tugboat, heading ultimately for Tanjung Uban on the Indonesian island of Bintan.
The 1914-built DOULOS PHOS (built as MEDINA for Mallory Steamship Company’s U.S. East Coast to Gulf of Mexico service at Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company) was seen heading from Singapore to Batam, (an island, municipality, in Riau Islands Province of Indonesia. It is a free trade zone, as part of the Indonesia–Malaysia–Singapore Growth Triangle, and is located some 20 km (12 mi) off Singapore’s south coast).
The ship will be refurbished before moving to Bintan (across the Riau Strait) to become part of a US$25 million hotel resort. Bintan Island, also known as Negeri Segantang Lada is another island in the Riau archipelago of Indonesia.
Bintan’s history is traced to the early 3rd century. The island flourished as a trading post on the route between China and India, and over the centuries it came under the control of the Chinese, the British, and then the Dutch when it was declared part of the Dutch East Indies through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1824. Singapore, the closest major city, is a 45-50 minute trip by fast catamaran across the Singapore Strait
The ship’s owner, Mr. Eric Saw, (who has gone to extraordinary lengths to save this maritime gem) bought the ship in 2010 which remained docked in Singapore while he searched for a suitable location for the 99-year old liner.
Her long and fascinating history is well covered in Peter Knegos’ four part article on MaritimeMatters starting with:
MARTIN COX - Founder and publisher of MaritimeMatters, inspired by maritime culture and technology growing up in the port of Southampton. He works as a photographer in Los Angeles, and his works has been exhibited in LA, San Francisco, New York, London and Iceland. Martin is the co-writer of the book “Hollywood to Honolulu; the story of the Los Angeles Steamship Company” published by the Steam Ship Historical Society of America. The Los Angeles Maritime Museum has commissioned artworks and collected his photographs.