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ACCIDENT DE MER. 1932

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2001-06-079

This cachet appears on three covers addressed to Paris, France, one of which bears the remains of an Algerian stamp, and all of which show Marseilles arrival postmarks of 6th June, 1932. Another envelope, which still has its 50 centimes Algerian adhesive intact, shows the date stamp of Philippeville, Constantine, of 4th June, 1932. It is similarly addressed to Paris. There is however no indication of the name of the vessel involved and diligent search has failed to identify these letters with any known wreck. It is clear that the casualty, whatever it was, occurred between 4 and 6 June, 1932, and was evidently not of a serious nature as the mail was not delayed.

The French Minister for Posts states that no mailboat was wrecked on the Algeria-France route since 18th June, 1931, when the S.S. E. L. Golea was lost at the Balearic Islands. He further states that the endorsement "ACCIDENT DE MER" is also used when correspondence has accidentally fallen into the sea or has been damaged in any way by contact with water. As one of the three covers in this collection shows very obvious evidence of burning in addition to the water stains, one might suggest that shipwreck is sometimes safer!