A Hundred Years Ago: None Perish on Lusitania When Ship Is Torpedoed


Mark Baber

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The Evening Star, Washington, 7 May 1915
Original article digitized by the Library of Congress
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,
chroniclingamerica.loc.gov


None Perish on Lusitania When Ship Is Torpedoed
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LINER IS SENT TO BOTTOM WITHOUT WARNING OFF THE COAST OF IRELAND
---
Slips Beneath Waters About Twenty Minutes After Fatal Blow Is Struck
---
188 AMERICAN PASSENGERS; ABOUT 1,900 PERSONS ABOARD
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Many Vessels Rush to Aid of Stricken Cunarder and Fatalities are
Prevented---Great Vessel Had Defied German Raiders

---
LONDON, May 7, 8:15 p.m---The Cunard Company has definitely ascertained that
the lives of the passengers and the crew of the Lusitaina [sic] have been
saved.
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NEW YORK, May 7---No lives were lost when the giant transatlantic liner
Lusitania was torpedoed and sunk 10 miles south of Kinsale, off the Irish
coast, this afternoon. She had aboard 1,253 of her own passengers and 163
passengers transferred to her from the Anchor line Cameronia, besides her
own crew, bringing the number on board up to more than 1,900. The fact that
there was no loss of life is due to the prompt responuse [sic] of steamers
and other vessels in rushing to the rescue after the huge Cunarder had
flashed through the air her announcement that she had received her death
blow and needed assistance. Cunard officials declare the Lusitania was
torpedoed without warning.

The first intimation that the Lusitania was suffering came from the signal
station at Kinsale, where it was seen, dispatches from Queenstown state,
that the liner was in extreme difficulties at 2:12 p.m. The vessel, which
has defied the dangers accompanying the German submarine war on shipping, by
continuing her voyages across the ocean, finally slipped beneath the waves
at 2:33 in the afternoon, keeping above the waters twenty-one minutes after
the blow ending her historic career had been struck.

CALLS FOR AID BY WIRELESS

Great anxiety for the Lusitania has been felt ever since she sailed from New
York May 1, when passengers were warned by unidentified persons that the
vessel was about to start her last voyage, but the great liner did not admit
her danger until 2:15 in the afternoon, when her wireless flashed :

"Want assistance. Listing badly."

Admiral Coke at Queenstown dispatched all available tugs and steam trawlers
to the scene. It would take about two hours for most of them to reach the
point where the Lusitania went down, but other advices indicate that about
twenty other vessels were in the vicinity of the disaster and rendered
assistance to the hundreds of passengers. Tugs and patrol boats arriving on
the scene immediately took the liner's lifeboats in tow, according to
dispatches, and this prompt assistance is declared to have lessened the
danger to the occupants of the boats a hundredfold.

SHIP TORPEDOED WITHOUT WARNING

According to a London dispatch put out by the Dow-Jones ticker late today
the Cunard Steamship Company in London issued an official statement there
tonight, declaring that the Lusitania had been torpedoed without warning and
sank almost immediately.

The text of the statement follows:

"The whole concern of the Cunard Company is for the safety of the passengers
and crew. The material loss does not count, as it is covered by insurance.

"The Lusitania was torpedoed without any warning and sank almost
immediately. It is known that a large number of the large boats of the ship
are afloat. Every effort is being made to obtain the fullest information,
which will be published immediately on receipt."

There were 188 American passengers in all aboard the Lusitania, according to
a compilation made late today at the Cunard offices here. The British
numbered 956 and other nationalities made up the remainder of the 1,253
passengers aboard.

Cork newspapers report, according to a Liverpool dispatch received by the
Cunard line late today, that 300 passengers have been landed at Clonakilty.

-30-
 

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