Riddle of Lusitania sinking may finally be solved

By Eithne Shortall

American entrepreneur Gregg Bemis finally gets courts go-ahead to explore the wreck off Ireland.

It is the best known shipwreck lying on the Irish seabed, but it is only today that the owner of the Lusitania will finally begin the first extensive visual documentation of the luxury liner that sank 93 years ago. 

Gregg Bemis, who bought the remains of the vessel for £1,000 from former partners in a diving business in 1968, has been granted an imaging license by the Department of the Environment.

This allows him to photograph and film the entire structure, and should allow him to produce the first high-resolution pictures of the historic vessel. 

The RMS Lusitania sank off the coast of Cork in May 1915 when a German U-boat torpedoed it. An undetermined second explosion is believed to have speeded its sinking, with 1,198 passengers and crew losing their lives.

submarine Lusitania

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