ISTANBUL (Dec. 16)
Funeral services were held at Silviri today for the 103 recovered bodies of the 223 Jews who drowned last Thursday when the small, leaky sailing vessel Salvator on which they had been forced by the Bulgarian authorities to sail for Palestine broke up on a reef in the Sea of Marmora.
Representatives of the Istanbul Jewish community proceeded to Silviri to care for the approximately 150 survivors, with the aid of the Turkish authorities.
Turkish magistrates opened an inquiry into the case and the captain of the ship was detained by the police. The captain said he had protested to the Bulgarian authorities against being forced to sail, but was told, “You must start.”
One of the survivors, a journalist, told newspapermen: “The Bulgarian authorities insisted on our departure and refused to allow us time to prepare for the voyage. The ship had neither cabins nor bunks. Cramped together, we were driven aboard, towed out into the Black Sea by a tug and abandoned to our fate.”
The ship stopped at Istanbul, the journalist said, then headed for the Sea of Marmora, where the vessel ran on a reef during the night. Before the passengers had time to launch the one lifeboat aboard, the ship broke up, throwing its passengers into the raging sea.
The dead, who included some 60 children, were all Jews expelled from Dobruja after Bulgaria had recovered that territory from Rumania. The Salvator was a 60-ton sailing ship with a small auxiliary motor. The survivors were unanimous in praise of the pilot, who swam ashore naked and ran several miles to the village of Silviri to bring aid. Most of those washed ashore had lost their meager possessions and their papers. Many even had lost their clothing.