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SS Lusitania

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NameSS Lusitania
OwnerEmpresa Nacional de Navegação
BuilderSir Raylton Dixon & Company, Middlesbrough
Yard number519
Launched12 February 1906
FateWrecked on 18 April 1911
General characteristics
Tonnage5,557 GRT
Length421 ft (128 m)
Beam51 ft (16 m)
Draught20 ft (6.1 m)
Installed power754 nominal horsepower
Speed14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph)

SS Lusitania was a Portuguese twin-screw ocean liner of 5,557 tons, built in 1906 by Sir Raylton Dixon & Co, and owned by Empresa Nacional de Navegação, of Lisbon.

The ship was wrecked on Bellows Rock off Cape Point, South Africa at 24h00 on 18 April 1911 in fog while en route from Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique, with 25 first-class, 57 second-class and 121 third-class passengers, and 475 African labourers. Out of the 774 people on board, eight died when a life boat capsized.[1] On 20 April the ship slipped off the rock into 37 metres (121 ft) of water to the east of the rock. The wreck has become a fairly well known recreational dive site, but at 33 to 40 metres, it is deeper than recommended for the average recreational diver, and the currents and breakers over the reef make it a moderately challenging dive.

Map of the wreck site of SS Lusitania

The sinking of Lusitania spurred the local authorities to construct a new lighthouse on the Cape Point.[2]


  1. ^ "ThinkQuest". thinkquest.org.
  2. ^ Hampton, C. & McIlleron, A. (2006). Table Mountain to Cape Point. Cape Town: Struik. p. 137.