Rajan Parrikar Photo Blog

December 03, 1901

Remembering a Goan tragedy.

Scroll down for historical details.

Mandovi Cross in Panjim, Goa

Plaque on the Mandovi Cross
5D Mark II, 24-105L

From: Snapshots of Indo-Portuguese History – I – Pangim by Vasco Pinho, 2007, pp. 80-82.

The Great Mandovi Disaster: 1901

For the people of Goa, the Twentieth Century began on a tragic note. A major disaster occurred on December 3, 1901, at 7:00 am. The motorized launch ‘GOA’ capsized while crossing the Mandovi from Verém to Pangim. Of the estimated one hundred and sixty-five passengers travelling by the launch, eighty-one met with their watery grave. The passengers were on their way to Velha Goa‘s Feast. The deceased included thirty-four males, including eleven minors; and forty-seven females including four minors. Of the victims, twenty-one were from Saligão, seventeen from Calangute, twelve from Reis Magos, ten from Candolim, six from Nagoá, six from Parrá, two from Siolim, two from Nerul, two from Pilerne, one from Arporá, one from Anjuna and one from Pangim

…In the morning of December 4, 1901, several Goan newspapers carried headlines announcing ‘SINISTRO DA LANCHA GOA’ (Tragedy strikes the launch Goa)…

…Much assistance was rendered by the sailors of the Canhoeria (Gunboat) Naval Mandovy as well the crew of a patmari, most of whom hailed from Chaporá

…Crowds assembled on both banks of the Mandovy to witness the search and rescue efforts. As the bodies were fished out, they were kept in the main Hospital in Pangim

…The accident was reported in the Times of India of December 6, in Bombay, under the caption ‘Disaster in Goa‘. The paper commented on the ‘pre-historic’ looking launches of Pangim. These launches had been introduced around 1885.


The Mandovi Memorial Cross

On December 3, 1902, a cross was erected on the southern bank of the Mandovi, near the Caes dos Gujires, in memory of the 81 persons who had perished. Two plaques, inscribed in Monumental Roman were fixed: one on the northern side, and the other on its southern side…The engraving on the plaque on the southern side of the cross displays another plaque that reads “À MEMORIA DAS INFELIZES 81 VITIMAS DO SINISTRO DA LANCHA ‘GOA’ OCCORRIDO A 3.12.1901 DEDICA ESTE SINGELO PADRÃO A COLONIA GOESA DE ADEN PEDINDO A TODOS OS QUE POR AQUI PASSAREM UMA PRECE PELO SEU ETERNO DESCANÇO”. (In memory of the unfortunate 81 victims of the tragedy of the launch GOA that occurred on 3.12.1901 this unique landmark is dedicated by the Goan diaspora of Aden requesting from all those who pass by this place a prayer for their eternal rest).

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