Mr. David Dalrymple

David Dalrymple, 32, was a British subject and Scottish national from Invergowrie, Scotland, living in Hoboken, New Jersey, United States. He survived the Lusitania sinking. He believed that two torpedoes had struck the ship and assisted women and children to safety.

On the day of the Lusitania disaster, Dalrymple recalled that there had been a heavy fog that morning, causing Captain Turner to reduce the ship’s speed and sound the foghorn. By lunch they had emerged from the envelope and were in the clear open.

Dalrymple had finished lunch and was on deck when a nearby passenger pointed out a streak of foam in the water. Dalrymple recognized it as the torpedo heading towards the ship, from 200 yards away. The torpedo struck with a “heavy, dull crash”, and moments later debris were blasted into the air.

The Lusitania began to list and Dalrymple went to help get the lifeboats away. He believed that Lusitania could have stayed afloat after being struck with one torpedo — he recalled the officers telling the passengers that the ship would float — but he believed that the submarine fired a second torpedo that sealed the fate of the ship.

Dalrymple assisted as many women and children to the lifeboats as he could before he thought of how he was going to escape from the sinking ship. He dived off the deck and swam, fighting to get away from the suction as the ship disappeared beneath the waves. He found his way to an upturned boat, which he clung on to to await rescue. Soon, more people swam up to the boat, including 7 women.

A rescue vessel picked them up where they were given “every kindness” before being taken to Queenstown. He had caught a cold due to exposure from his time in the water, and was under the weather while giving interviews.

Michael Poirier

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