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THE LUSITANIA
Lusitania The British ocean liner, RMS Lusitania, was one of the fastest ships of her day. On May 7, 1915, the Lusitania, was torpedoed by a German submarine, the U-20. Shortly after, a massive secondary explosion sank the ship along with 1,195 people, among them, 128 Americans.

The sinking of the Lusitania changed American public opinion and led to the United States' decision to enter World War I in 1917.
Lusitania. New York, 1907.
Northern Horizon In 1993, the Delta submersible traveled to Cork, Ireland to investigate the wreck with Dr. Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the Titanic, for the National Geographic film "The Last Voyage of the Lusitania."

Dr. Ballard hoped to solve the mystery of what caused the secondary explosion that sank the ship so rapidly.
Delta launched from the Northern Horizon
Delta, Jason, Homer Accompanying Delta on the dives were the ROVs Jason from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Homer from Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution.

Delta assisted in coordinating the remote operated vehicles' underwater operations and filming for National Geographic. Delta took Dr. Ballard to the Lusitania for a first-hand look at the wreck.
Delta with ROVs Jason and Homer
R. Ballard with Delta's crew
R. Ballard, Delta Crew Dr. Ballard concluded that the torpedo struck the ship at a nearly empty coal bunker. The impact ignited a mixture of coal dust and oxygen, resulting in the second explosion. The blast ripped open the starboard side of the hull which caused the ship to sink.

National Geographic's "The Last Voyage of the Lusitania" is available on DVD. Also see the book Exploring the Lusitania: Probing the Mysteries of the Sinking That Changed History by Robert D. Ballard and Spencer Dunmore.

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