May 16 marks 81 year after the crew of the tanker “Soviet oil” rescued 437 people from the burning French liner “Georges Philippar» in the Indian Ocean. Today, only two survivors from passengers who were on that terrible night on board of this French ship, are steel alive. At that time, they were still quite young girls, one of whom was only 3 years old, the other one 8 years. The girls were so terrified that they steel remember the picture of the blazing ship. When they were brought on board the “Soviet oil”, they remembered the taste of plain water, which they watered the soviet sailors.
At the time, the newspaper wrote that the disaster could be compared in size only to the collapse of the “Titanic”. According to eyewitnesses, the access to the lifeboats, as in the case of the “Titanic” was limited to third-class passengers, where most of the passengers were traveling.
The giant ship was launched in 1930 and was capable of carrying 767 passengers and 253 crew members, so only one-third of people who were on board was saved.
About the heroism of Soviet sailors at the time wrote all French newspapers, as “The Soviet oil” came too close to the ship and in the case of explosion at the “Georges Philippar” Soviet airliner, certainly, would have received serious injuries. The French side would like to thank the team for a cash prize, but the sailors refused it, saying that they would not take money for the people salvation. Nevertheless, the French people could not repay sailors who came to the rescue, and presented them with a gift of gold chronometer, which was transferred to the museum from which it soon disappeared.
As a result of the investigation the cause of the fire was recognized electrical circuit, provoking a fire from the flammable items. However, around this shipwreck, there were a lot of rumors, including, in particular, the involvement of the Asian version of the Mafia.
Be that as it may, the night from 16 to 17 May 1932 is inscribed in history as a glorious page in the Soviet Navy, who came to the rescue, and as a day of mourning for the many victims for the French people.