Floating torch saves
"Luckiest Man Alive"
SEEN IN ATLANTIC
Express Staff Reporter
In the darkness of a North Atlantic night four survivors in a lifeboat saw a speck of light flashing. "It's a
floating torch," said one of the men in the boat, "and we could do with one."
They pulled towards the light - and that is how William Dumbreck of 7 Pentland Place, Bridgeton, Glasgow, is able
to be with his wife and four-year-old daughter today.
"I am the luckiest man alive," he told me when he landed with the other survivors from a torpedoed ship at a
Scottish port last night.
"Immediately before the ship was torpedoed," he told me, "I decided to have a stroll on deck. My watch was
ended and I went up on deck to get the air. No sooner had I got on deck than I heard a terrific explosion as a torpedo struck
"When I came to my senses, I was struggling in the sea. I had no idea where I was trying to swim to."
SAW A LIGHT
"My strength was giving way when I saw a light near me. I made for it and found that it was an electronic
torch attached to a lifebuoy."
"I managed to get my arms and shoulders through the buoy and took the torch in my hands and held it as high as
I could. That is all I remember." One of his mates Walter Edwards, who lives at 12 Milton Avenue, North London,
said:- "There were four of us in the lifeboat. We could not understand the light at first, because it seemed to be going out
"We decided to recover it as it would be useful if we had to signal to passing ships. When we got to where the
torch was floating we found Dumbreck. The torch was still in his hand, and it was with great difficulty that we managed
to loosen his grip and take it from him. An hour later we were all rescued by a naval vessel."
Said Dumbreck:- "My neck was sore for days but the choking was worth it."
Dumbreck has been at sea since he was a boy. He was for years in the Royal Navy.