The Loss of the SS Calvados 1913
On 1st March 1913, whilst crossing the Sea of Marmara in a blizzard, the SS Calvados floundered and sank. Reports filtering back to England suggested that the ship hit a reef off the Island off St Andre and sunk quickly. The Calvados was carrying 200 passengers and 14 crew and initial reports, suggested that all were lost.
Whilst it is true, that some passengers were swept overboard and others sank with the ship, the majority made it to the relative safety of nearby rocks, from which they either made it to safety or awaited rescue.
For 7 survivors of the shipwreck Fate was not so kind. Along with 20 others they waited two days to be rescued. By the time it arrived, the 7 had frozen to death.
The Board of Trade were called to account for the loss of the Calvados. Although she was primarily a cargo ship, carrying cattle, she was flying a British Flag, there was no British Officer on board. Mr Peto queried the efficacy of such an arrangement and wondered whether ships flying a British Flag should be required by law to have a British Officer on board.
Hansard records that while the President of the Board of Trade was not prepared to legislate to insist on the presence of certified British Officer on board all ships which sailed under a British flag, consideration was being given to the idea that there should be a token British presence in the crew. How this was to be achieved neither Mr Peto nor the representative of the Board of Trade Mr Robertson were prepared to speculate….