Boat 15 was washed across the submerging boat deck, and into the stays of a funnel, most likely #3. The ship was in the process of heeling, and the funnel swung down, almost on top of the boat. Several occupants jumped from 15, anticipating that a crushing death was seconds away, but the Lusitania rolled to port again and the funnel swung away.
The occupants who jumped from the boat met the unpleasant fate of being sucked into either #3 or #4 funnel as the ship sank. At least two, Mrs. Gwyer and Mr. Pierrpoint, were washed back out again.
Were you refering to the ca 1915 print, which shows the third funnel fallen across the boat deck?
That didnt happen but, as I said in a different thread yesterday, reliable witneses saw something fall from the ship, forward on the starboard side, during the final stages of the sinking. They described it as everything from a funnel, to deck gear, to a chunk of the side breaking off, so it is impossible to definitely say what it was. However, since the funnel debris seems to be evenly aligned on the bottom it is safe to say that it wasnt a funnel.
A good guess might be the fact that like the Titanic, the Lusitania had her stern out of the water for a time, and the aft expansion joint was separated beyond designed tolerances causing a "hog back" condition subsequently causing funnel stays to snap. Of course she didn't break in 2, she went down too fast for that. Only a few would have to fail before the funnel would be pulled the other way. The location of the 3rd funnel would have been in the area of the most stress. Correct me if you will Jim, only a guess. It all happened pretty darned fast.
>>A good guess might be the fact that like the Titanic, the Lusitania had her stern out of the water for a time, and the aft expansion joint was separated beyond designed tolerances causing a "hog back" condition subsequently causing funnel stays to snap.<<
This is very often published for Titanic but not what happened! First the expansion joint has nothing to do with the break up also it is no reason for a collapsing funnel.
The remains of the Lusitania funnels are very close at the wreck which indicates that they most likely did not fall.
>Correct me if you will Jim, only a guess. It all happened pretty darned fast.
#1 is hard to pin down, because the boats closest to it were lowered (#1, with two or three people in it) or blown off the ship.
#2 had a boatload of people loading beneath it as the ship was in her termimal throes. This boat did not get away, but none of its survivors noticed a funnel falling at them.
#3 was witnessed by 83 people, as it swung downward at them. It missed...but none of them commented on it breaking off.
#4, Again, had a boat loading beneath it as the ship sank. None of the 35 survivors in it saw #4 fall.
The undefined but witnessed structural failure forward most likely wasnt a funnel~ as Ioannis and myself said, the funnel debris indicates that they all remained attached to the ship until she reached the bottom.