26/07/17

Main ship telegraph recovered from Lusitania wreck – Minister Humphreys

The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD, has today (Wednesday) confirmed that the main ship’s telegraph from the RMS Lusitania has been recovered from the wreck site off the Head of Kinsale and is undergoing preliminary conservation ashore. During a previous dive in July 2016, attempts to raise the telegraph were unsuccessful due to equipment failure.

In recent days, recreational divers licensed by the Minister (with the owner’s consent) who were diving on the wreck reported that they had located the telegraph and marked its position on the sea bed. Following consultations between the owner and the Minister’s Department, the telegraph was brought to the surface yesterday under the supervision of an archaeologist from the Department’s National Monuments Service (NMS).

Another telegraph from the Lusitania was recovered from the ocean bed in October of last year.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“I am happy to confirm that this important piece of the Lusitania has now been recovered from the wreck off the west Cork coast. I understand that the telegraph is undamaged and in excellent condition.

“I also understand that the owner of wreck, Mr Gregg Bemis, intends to place the telegraph and the pedestal successfully recovered last year, on display in a local museum, along with other artefacts he has recovered during earlier dives, which is great news for the local community.”

ENDS

Note to Editors:

Please see below photographs of the telegraph before and after its recovery.

The Lusitania was struck by a torpedo from a German U-boat off the Head of Kinsale on May 7th 1915 while en route from New York to Liverpool. The cause of a second explosion which resulted in the vessel sinking with the loss of 1198 lives is still being investigated.

The wreck is owned by Mr Gregg Bemis. As the wreck is over 100 years old all diving operations on it automatically require a license from the Minister under the National Monuments Acts. It is also covered by an Underwater Heritage Order under those Acts because of its international and historical importance.

 

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

Web Design & Development by Fusio

Vision One Civil Service