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Sunday, April 24, 2016

A good story anyway.

Frank "Lucky" (or "Lucks") Tower is the subject of an urban legend that said that he was a stoker (or fireman, in some versions) who survived the sinking of the RMS Titanic, RMS Empress of Ireland, and RMS Lusitania. There is no evidence that anyone was involved in all three disasters, and no one with the name of Frank Tower on the crew list on any of these vessels' respective voyages; however, there was a survivor named Frank Tower from the Lusitania, and a William Clark who survived both the Titanic and Empress of Ireland sinkings.
The legend claims that he was a coal stoker on the Titanic, and survived after she sank on her maiden voyage on 14 April 1912. Two years later, on 28 May 1914, Frank was allegedly aboard the Empress of Ireland when she collided with the Norwegian collier Storstad in the Saint Lawrence River. This disaster was considered the worst peacetime maritime disaster in Canadian history, and Tower was one of only 465 of the 1477 aboard to survive. During WWI, Tower allegedly was serving as a crew member aboard the RMS Lusitania. In the early afternoon of 7 May 1915, she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-20 and sank eighteen minutes later. (It is rumored that he shouted "Now what?!" when the torpedo struck.) Again, Tower escaped the sinking ship, and swam to a nearby lifeboat.
Ripley's Believe It or Not reported the legend as if it were verifiably true.

I also heard that when he was on the Lusitania, he said that if he lives through this one, he would quit the sea & become a farmer. When the Empress Of Ireland sunk, it was Summer & was so hot, they had all the port holes open for air distribution & when she rolled over, she sank like a stone.

Who knows if this guy was actually on board of all three, but it sure does sound like a cool story to have survived all those doomed ships.