Reports indicate more than 1,300 lost in sinking of liner Lusitania

View of the RMS Lusitania arriving in port, possibly in New York City, sometime between 1907 and 1915. File Photo by Library of Congress
View of the RMS Lusitania arriving in port, possibly in New York City, sometime between 1907 and 1915. File Photo by Library of Congress

LONDON, May 8, 1915 (UP) - The admiralty this afternoon said that the latest reports available indicated that only 703 of the passengers and crew of the Lusitania have been saved, and that 1,346 probably have been lost.

Latest revised figures showed 2,049 persons were aboard the Lusitania.


This afternoon the admiralty informed the press bureau that it had no further reports of rescues, and that it regarded the above figures as approximately correct, although inquiries were still being made all along the coast.

Until this afternoon it was thought only 658 had been rescued.

Then it was officially announced that 45 additional survivors from the Lusitania had been landed at Queenstown from a drifter.

The Cunard line officially announced this afternoon that it had received advices showing that Capt. William T. Turner, first officer Jones, second officer Lewis, the second and third engineers and 51 members of the crew have been rescued.


Capt. Turner was picked up from the water three hours after the Lusitania sunk.

Of the total number on board, 188 were Americans. Most of these are believed to have perished.

The Cunard offices at 9 o'clock had the names of only seven firstclass passengers who had been saved.

Altho early reports said Alfred G. Vanderbilt had probably been saved, it is now believed certain that he perished, along with Charles Frohman, Charles Klein, and other noted Americans.

Many of the survivors are in hospitals and may die. The mortality list among the saloon passengers will exceed in proportion any other great tragedy of the seas where any passengers at all were saved.

Survivors paint a terrible picture of the disaster. They tell that the Lusitania sank in about twelve or fifteen minutes, when she was only about fifteen miles off the coast.

D.A. Thomas, colliery owner, taken to Queenstown among the survivors, said the liner was torpedoed without warning.

The Lusitania's passengers were at lunch when two torpedoes struck. They rushed to the deck and noticed a heavy list.

Those who ran to the port side had small chance of escape. All the survivors were in pitiable condition.


The sufferings of the survivors were fearful. Shock and exposure were so great that 22 of those who landed here alive in the rescue boats died during the night.

Lady Mackworth, one of the titled Britons on the Lusitania, was rescued unconscious after three and one-half hours in the water. Her experiences were such that she is today hovering between life and death.

She failed to reach a lifeboat and plunged into the water with the sinking ship. The suction drew her under for a few moments, then she came up and floated about, buoyed up by a life preserver.

Although the officers of the Lusitania had refused to believe it possible that Germany could execute her threat to sink the great liner, which, they believed, was too speedy to be caught by any submarine, they had the lifeboats swung ready for any emergency.

The disaster happened just as all aboard were rejoicing that they were almost in sight of land. Some were laughing at the very thought that there could be any danger.

Then came the crash as the two torpedoes struck the vessel. The guard had hardly sighted the periscope of the undersea terror as it arose to the surface.


There was no warning-no chance to save the vessel.

Passengers and crew rushed to the lifeboats. They were swung overboard as fast as they could be loaded up.

The vessel listed heavily within a few moments after she had been struck.

Only a few of those who rushed to the port side were saved.

Scores reached the lifeboats only to perish after these boats had swung out into the sea, as the suction from the sinking of the huge Lusitania drew down the lifeboats to destruction.

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