The Houtdijk was traveling in ballast from St. Petersburg to Rotterdam, the Houtdijk is on August 20, 1914 at 01:00 am in the Gulf of Finland, 20 miles north of Dagerot, in position 59˚25'NB and 22˚48'OL., on a mine , or possibly on several mines. There were some explosions. The Houtdijk sank and was lost. Only eleven of the 25 people on board were able to save themselves. 14 people died in this disaster.
Russians had closed the middle part of the Gulf of Finland between Porkkala and Nargö for all sea traffic. The traditional sea route through Porkkala and Naissaar was already heavily mined. S/S Alice H and S/S Houtdijk were part of a convoy that left St. Petersburg (soon after renamed Petrograd in August 1914) for Rotterdam in August 18th 1914. The convoy had 13 ships and it was gathered because of the known minefields. The convoy was moving slowly due to its size and requirements laid out by the Russian officials. All ships were directed to avoid the open sea and the pilots assigned for the convoy chose a passage closer to the coast via Reval (present-day Tallinn) and Naissaar, south from the known minefield.
|People on board||25|
|Length||303 feet (92.3 m)|
|Width||43.2 feet (13.2 m)|
|Draft||20 feet (6.1 m)|