-4.WITHOUT A TRACE When a catastrophe strikes a ship at sea and she goes to the bottom, there is usually some clue to her fate — a bit of debris or perhaps a floating life jacket. Five years after her sinking, a life jacket from the Lusitania was found, for example, floating along a wharf at Philadelphia — thousands of miles from where the ship went down in 1915. But in the case of the British freighter Waratah, and that of the US Navy collier Cyclops, no clues have ever been brought forward. The 16,800-ton Waratah, only a year old, was last sighted off the coast of South Africa in 1909. The ship had been described by some as top-heavy and may have flipped over in heavy seas, with her vanished 211 persons. Equally mystifying is the disappearance of the Cyclops, a 19,000-ton ship with 309 persons aboard, about seven months before the end of World War I. She was last heard from in March 1918 while en route to Baltimore from the West Indies. Since no logical explanation has ever been offered for her disappearance, the US Navy file on the Cyclops has never been closed.
We learn from the passage that when a ship sinks ------ .
it often creates a small-scale environmental disaster
there are usually no signs of it until several years later
the passengers are sometimes not rescued for several years
there is generally some evidence about what happened to it
most of its contents float on the sea for many years
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