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[174] With this data the explanation of her loss is easy. The Housatonic was a new vessel on the station, and anchored closer in than the Wabash and others. On this night the wind had lulled, with but little sea on, and although it was moonlight, Dixon, who had been waiting so long for a change of wind, took the risk of the moonlight and went out. The lookout on the ship saw him when he came to the surface for his final observation before striking her. He, of course, not knowing that the ship had slipped her chain and was backing down upon him, then sank the boat a few feet, steered for the stern of the ship and struck. The momentum of the two vessels brought them together unexpectedly. The stern of the ship was blown off entirely. The momentum carried the torpedo boat into the wreck. Dixon and his men, unable to extricate themselves, sinking with it.

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