Olympic Aids Sinking Battleship - Ocean Liners Magazine

Olympic Aids Sinking Battleship

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Carrying only 153 paying passengers and painted drab gray, White Star Line’s Olympic (1911) was on her last civilian voyage before conversion into a World War I troopship. Suddenly, on 27 October 1914, her wireless operator picked up a message that the British battleship HMS Audacious had struck a mine and was sinking.

Olympic, inbound to Glasgow (White Star, unlike Cunard Line, wisely believed that the U-boat infested approaches to both Southampton and Liverpool were too dangerous to use), immediately steamed to Audacious’ location: Tory Island, off the northern coast of Ireland.

Upon reaching the scene, Olympic was able to rescue 230 of Audacious’ 900-man crew. Several nearby British warships retrieved nearly all of the remaining crew (two men perished).

The sinking HMS Audacious

The slowly sinking HMS Audacious, surrounded by lifeboats carrying her crew.

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