Mr. Patrick Hanley

Patrick Hanley was an Irish national and British subject from Mountshannon, Lisnagry, County Limerick, Ireland. He was among the saved from the Lusitania sinking of 7 May 1915. Hanley’s account to the Limerick Leader stated that at 2:10 on the afternoon of the sinking, when the ship was in sight of Ireland, he saw the submarine 700 t0 800 yards away from the ship fire the torpedo. He rushed back to his cabin and put on his lifebelt, and with some companions, jumped 50 feet into the water from the Lusitania’s port side. Hanley could not swim, but his lifebelt kept him afloat. He floated on his back and used his hands to paddle away from the giant ship and flying wreckage from what he believed to be a second torpedo. Hanley recounted the scene as pitiable, with screaming women and children in the water, and people killed by the fall into the water from the ship, floating on the calm sea. He drifted for over half an hour before he came to an overturned boat and climbed aboard. Hanley proceeded to help other men and women onto his boat, where they stayed for over two hours until a cutter from a torpedo boat rescued them. Cunard officials took care of the survivors on his rescue vessel once they reached Queenstown (now Cobh), Ireland. Hanley, among others, was placed in the Rob Roy Hotel. At the time of his interview, he admitted having trouble falling asleep after enduring the trauma of the sinking. The lifebelt which saved him from the Lusitania became a prized possession of his. On the passenger list, he appears as “Peter Hanley” and in the Limerick Leader as “Patrick Hanly,” but they are one and the same. Contributors: Peter Kelly, Ireland Senan Molony, Ireland References: Limerick Leader, 10 May 1915, pg. 3. Molony, Senan. Lusitania: An Irish Tragedy, pg 36. Mercier Press, 2004.

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