Lusitania lifejacket

MMM.2011.33

On display

This is the only surviving complete lifejacket, of this type, from the sinking. It was kept as a souvenir by a man from Cape Clear Island, off the southern coast of Ireland. Cunard offered cash rewards to local fishermen for retrieving bodies. The straps of the lifejacket are cut, suggesting that it was removed from a body that had been recovered. There were three different types of lifejacket on Lusitania; two were placed over the head and secured at the waist, while this model was wrapped around the body and secured with thin shoulder straps.