About Annie Elizabeth Adams (Macnutt)
- RMS Lusitania survivor
From Annie’s own account of the voyage, as published in The Tragedy of the Lusitania, written by Captain Frederick D. Ellis and published not long after the sinking.
My husband and I were married in Washington on April 5,” she said. “We were coming to London to make it our home. He did not wish to sail on the Lusitania because of the threats of the German Embassy, but some of my relatives are Cunard officials and I have always been a confirmed Cunarder, so I insisted on the Lusitania. On the night before we were torpedoed, something prompted my husband to try on the lifebelts. We got them down from the top of the wardrobe, and after putting them on, left them under the berths.
When the shock came we were both in the writing room on the top deck. I knew the ship was doomed, but my husband was just as sure she could not sink. However, we went down to the stateroom, got our life-belts and ran back to the top deck, preservers in hand. The ship was listing so that it was very difficult to walk. On two occasions while ascending the stairs my husband was struck and knocked down. On deck he wanted to stand and listen, but I kept in the lead and helped him climb the sloping deck and reach the rail on the higher side.
Here we saw a boat ready to be lowered. Some one shouted, ‘Women first,’ but I refused to get in, insisting on staying with my husband. He seemed dazed and almost unconscious. I put a life preserver on him and then put on my own. In the meantime the captain had ordered the boats not to be lowered. A bosun, standing beside me on the deck, said, ‘We’re resting on the bottom. We cannot sink.’ This statement calmed most of those about us.
My husband sat down on a collapsible boat. He seemed unable to stand. There we remained for several minutes, holding on to the rail in order to keep from sliding down the inclined deck. Suddenly I saw a great wave come over the bow and instantly my husband and all of us were engulfed.”