A contrivance for lifting ships over a bar or bank obstructing the navigation of a river. It is used in Holland, and some other parts, particularly at the Dock at St. Petersburgh. A camel is composed of two separate parts, whose outside is perpendicular, and the inside concave, so as to embrace the hull of a ship on both sides. They are braced to a ship underneath, by means of cables, and entirely enclose its sides and bottom. They are then towed to the bar, and the water being pumped out of them, the camel rises, lifts up the vessel, and the whole is towed over the bar.