SUNK IN THE DOWNS
THE NICER TOKPRDOKD. Thousands of p. ••pie witnessed (he sinking off Deal of the British cimboai Niger, which, while Iving in t h>- Downs, was torpedoed by a ‘ Kerman submarine. Heavy gunfire had been heard at Deal during the morning, and bad a-tframed a large crowd to the sea Iran. About, noon t.lic loud roar of an explosion was heard, ami dense columns of black smoke were see u rising from the Niger, which had been lying about two miles from shore, immediately opposite the pierhead. The bows of the gunboat were seen to soille down into the water, and immediately scores of shore boats put. off to the -inking ship, about 100 boats launching altogether Lifeboats were also launched, while many of the ships lying in the Downs sent off rowing-boats. A high wind was blowing at the rime and a heavy sea was mining. The Deal lifeboat soon reached (he Niger and took off six of tho ircw, while many of the other boats were laden with survivors .About 20 minutes after the, explosion the Niger settled down quickly. Her bows disappeared ruder the water, and she rose up almost perpendicular in the air. There was a rush of steam when iho boilers burst, and then the gunboat disappeared from sight. Many of the men who were below at. the time of the explosion had escaped in the scantiest, of attire, two in one, boat being clad only in their shirts. Several kindhearted boatmen took men they had saved into their homes, where they gave them refreshments and lent, them clotb.es in which to so to tho hospital. The crew totalled 95, and practically all were saved. Three of tho survivors were injured by the explosion, one seriously in. the head. The torpedo is staled to have struck the ship lost aft of the foremast. One of the crew said that Just after tho c-vpio-iou ho saw tho tong, grey body of a. submarine come to the surface, some distance otic on the seaward side of the ship, but it disappeared in a few minutes. Closo upon 100 ships wore anchored oil Deal at tho time fho warship was torpedoed. Tho Niger had been on patrol dutv in the vicinity of Deal since the beginning of the war.
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SUNK IN THE DOWNS, Evening Star, Issue 15693, 6 January 1915
SUNK IN THE DOWNS Evening Star, Issue 15693, 6 January 1915
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