British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 2


Examined by Mr. DUNLOP.

1243. I think you are a Greek?
- Yes, I am a Greek subject.

1244. Were you a third class passenger on the "Lusitania”?
- Yes, unfortunately.

1245. Where were you when the "Lusitania” was torpedoed?
- Myself and two friends of mine, two Greeks, went down and we could not get second class cabins, and we were obliged to take third class cabins. At the time she was struck we had finished lunch about half-past one, and I sat about 20 or 25 minutes talking to my friends, and then I thought of going round to have a shave in the second class.

1246. On the way to the barbers did you feel a shock?
- On my arrival at the barber's shop, about 30 or 40 yards on the other side, she was struck immediately.

1247. Did you see anything of the submarine?
- After she was struck I ran aft towards the First Class, when I went up on the top deck, and when the "Lusitania” was turning towards the land, then I saw the periscope of the submarine just disappearing.

1248. How far away was the periscope?
- I should say about 300 yards.

1249. The Commissioner: Which was it you saw the periscope or the conning tower?
- The periscope - not the conning tower.

1250. Mr. Dunlop: And how far do you say it was when it disappeared?
- I should say it was about 300 yards.

1251. Did you afterwards go on to the boat deck?
- Yes. I crossed the boat deck to the starboard side.

1252. When you got to the boat deck was there any officer or officers?
- There was one standing. There were three boats in that pat just swung in the davits and they were lowering them down and there was an officer there attending to it.

1253. And was the officer who was there giving orders to the crew?
- Yes, giving instructions to the crew to help the people.

1254. And were the crew to whom he was giving instructions obeying his instructions?
- Yes, certainly.

1255. Did you hear any of the stewards telling the people to get up on to the boat deck after she had been struck?
- I did not see any stewards, but on the deck where I was there was an officer giving instructions, and there were two or three people helping the women and children into the boats.

1256. The question I asked you was, did any stewards or stewardesses give any instructions for third class passengers to get up on to the boat-deck?
- There were not any stewards there or stewardesses, only the officers and two or three other people.

1257. Where were you when the ship was struck by the torpedo?
- I was on the port side.

1258. Where were you when the ship was struck?
- I was crossing the ship from the third class to the second class on the promenade deck.

1259. Your third class promenade deck is really the main deck of the ship?
- There is not any promenade deck in the third class on the port side.

1260. It is the main deck?
- Yes.

1261. It is the same deck as the entrance to the engine room is on, is it not?
- It is an entrance to the second class.

1262. It is the same deck with two dining-rooms on the third class forward?
- No, on the top.

1263. And that is the same deck as you were speaking about, is it not?
- Yes.

1264. And the main companion entrance comes out over that deck?
- That deck is a long deck for the third class passengers to promenade and the other is for the second class passengers. That is the long deck - the promenade deck.

1265. Had you any difficulty in getting up on to the boat-deck?
- No, not at all.

1266. The companion is a wide companion with plenty of space, is it not?
- Yes, there is plenty of space. There were a few people going up to the staircase on the deck part. They were helping first the women and children going up the stairs on the deck part.

1267. Was there any panic among the third class passengers going up the staircases?
- None at all - very little to speak about.

1268. Were any of them attempting to take any baggage with them?
- No, I never see any.

1269. Were any of the stewards giving lifebelts out to passengers?
- I did not see them.

1270. Did you get a lifebelt?
- No, I had none.

1271. The Commissioner: You jumped into a boat?
- Yes, I jumped into the lifeboat.

1272. And there you remained till you were safely on board a trawler?
- I was first of all in a fishing boat and then I was taken from the fishing boat to the "Flying Fish."

1273. You did not want a lifebelt?
- No.

1274. Mr. Cotter: Did you hear any orders being given when you got up to the boat-deck?
- The officer was giving instructions to the people to lower down the boats. The first boat was lowered down successfully.

1275. When you say the first boat, can you tell us whereabouts the first boat was that you saw being lowered?
- Just at the back by the mast (pointing to the plan).

1276. On the starboard side - on the right-hand side was it?
- Yes, on the starboard side.

1277. Had you any difficulty in standing up when you got up there?
- Yes, great difficulty; she was listing a lot.

1278. Was there any panic among the passengers?
- Not at all.

1279. When you got up on to the deck and going into the boat, were the crew assisting the passengers to get into the boat?
- The crew that were there were assisting.

1280. They were assisting the passengers to get into the boat?
- Yes.

1281. And there was no panic?
- No panic, only a little excitement, that was all.

1282. How many people were there in the boat that you got into?
- The boat I jumped into was practically the last boat; there must have been between 30 and 35, about, in her.

1283. You did not notice the number of any boat?
- No.

1284. And your boat was successfully launched and put into the water?
- Yes, our boat.

1285. Did you see who lowered the boat?
- Our boat reached the water by the sinking of the "Lusitania”; we did not practically have time to lower down. She reached the water by the sinking of the "Lusitania."

1286. The ship going down took the boat down?
- Yes.

1287. That is how she was put into the water?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. BUTLER ASPINALL.

1288. You remember the vessel being struck on the starboard side?
- Yes.

1289. After she was struck did I catch you to say that you ran along the port side of the ship?
- I was going on the port side, yes.

1290. Then you ran along the port side?
- Yes.

1291. Whilst you were going along the port side of the ship I think you told this gentleman that you saw a periscope?
- Yes.

1292. Was that on the port side of the ship?
- Well, when I was going round to the port side and when I went upstairs on to the port deck, the "Lusitania” had then practically turned a demicircle toward the shore and from the port side you could then see the periscope from there.

1293. And there on the port side of the vessel you saw the periscope of a submarine?
- Yes.

1294. Did you think that was a different submarine to the one which had fired the torpedo?
- No, I did not think so. I had seen only one periscope.

The Commissioner:
No periscope was seen, as far as I understand, at the time the torpedo was fired, and no conning tower.

Mr. Butler Aspinall:
No, my Lord. What occurred to me was that the ship was struck on the starboard side, and he immediately goes on to the port side and finds a periscope there. It may be due to the fact that the ship had turned.

1295. The Commissioner: How many periscopes have you seen in your life?
- Only one.

1296. And it was that one?
- It was that one.

1297. Have you any experience of periscopes?
- No, I have no experience of periscopes, but I have seen them.

1298. One witness in the box told me that the conning tower was like a silk hat?
- I know what the conning tower is.

1299. What is the conning tower like?
- It is the larger part of the submarine.

1300. How wide is the conning tower?
- Larger than this table.

1301. Hold up your hand so that I can see?
- As large as that (describing).

1302. Rather larger than a silk hat?
- I think so. If it was the conning tower that the people went down into the submarine, that is what I call the conning tower.

(The witness withdrew.)