National Geographic : 1998 Feb
bottom, Bergman freed himself and bobbed to the surface. At the moment the Maine blew up, the lights went out in Sigsbee's suite, well aft and inside the superstruc ture. Groping through the smoke and darkness, he collided with his orderly, Marine Private William Anthony, who, summoned by duty, had left the safety of the open deck to find his captain in the wrecked cabin. Saluting, Anthony said, "Sir, I have to inform you that the ship has blown up and is sinking." Sigsbee followed the marine to the starboard side of the main deck. Sigsbee, stunned, stood for several seconds, water rising over his ankles, and looked toward an "immense dark mass that loomed up amidships." Sigsbee ordered the magazines flooded. Lt. Cmdr. Richard Wainwright, the executive officer, said, "There's no use flooding the magazines, Captain; the ship is sinking." HOOD, MEANWHILE, had helped get a boat into the water to pick up survivors. By now boats from the Alfonso XII were also pulling men from the sea. So were boats from the City of Washington, a passenger steamer moored nearby. Hood next climbed to the poop deck and volunteered, with others, to go forward, past the wrecked bridge, to see what was left. "We crawled forward... looking carefully for signs of life and finding none," Hood later wrote. "We proceeded till we reached the point where the ship had been literally blown away, and REMEMBER THE MAINE?