Thursday, January 29, 2009
Sinking of a Cunard
It was high noon on May 7, 1914 and the Lusitania sailed across the Atlantic. The first class passengers ate lunch in the dinning room.
Some enjoyed the crisp breeze as they watched the water splash against the ships black hull from the boat deck. The lookouts on the bridge spotted a peculiar object just below the surface off the starboard bow. Suddenly, they both realized they were looking at a German U-boat. Before they could deliver the news, there was a huge explosion and a fountain of salt water blasted upon the deck. The lookouts stared at each other with a terrified knowing look. The Lusitania had been struck by a German torpedo!
In the blink of an eye, there was a second explosion directly under the first funnel. Passengers were quickly being evacuated in the first class dinning room. The deck was now covered with horrified tourists fleeing to the lifeboats. Some of the lucky few third class passengers ran through the brightly lit first class corridors and public room. As on the Titanic, most of them didn't speak English so the signs that led to safety did nothing to help them.
Ten minutes after the impact water crashed onto the bow. The ship was now lurched over too far to lower any more boats. The first level of the dinning room was filling with water. Quickly the sea began raging onto the first class corridor. The passengers in the elevator waited anxiously as they passed deck after deck. Suddenly the elevator jerked to a stop and the lights flickered out. As the stern rose higher, passengers jumped over the side, or slid down the deck.
Joyously the U- boat emerged from the surface to watch the ship go down. The Germans were delighted that their torpedo had completed its mission. Many American and English lives would be lost at sea.
It was now eighteen minutes after the impact. The ship was completely diagonal. Rapidly, she went down silently as the grave rose up to meet her. Twenty minutes later the Lusitania arrived at the ocean floor. She still rests in the same site today. Sadly, she has lost her former elegance. She has been stripped of her boat deck and stern. Today the Lusitania is a mass of twisted metal; she is an unrecognizable image of the beauty she once was.
Posted by American Home at 7:28 PM