Page 48 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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377. (The Commissioner.) What is the number of your boat? - Fourteen. 378. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Then, later, having assisted at the other boats, you got to your own boat? - Yes. 379. Does that boat belong to any particular officer? - Whether it does or not I do not know. 380. That you do not know? - No. 381. Who was taking charge of that boat when you got there - was there anybody? - When I got there I put myself in charge as the only sailorman there. I was afterwards relieved by the Fifth Officer, Mr. Lowe. 382. Later? - Yes. 383. Yes, we will come to that. Now having got to boat 14, which was your boat, what was done about that? - Directly I got to my boat I jumped in, saw the plug in, and saw my dropping ladder was ready to be worked at a moment’s notice; and then Mr. Wilde, the Chief Officer, came along and said, “All right; take the women and children,” and we started taking the women and children. There would be 20 women got into the boat, I should say, when some men tried to rush the boats, foreigners they were, because they could not understand the order which I gave them, and I had to use a bit of persuasion. The only thing I could use was the boat’s tiller. 384. (The Commissioner.) When you say that foreigners tried to rush the boat, were they passengers? - By their dress I should say yes, my Lord. 385. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Did the Fifth Officer assist you in this persuasion? - He was not there then. 386. Did you get these men out of your boat, or prevent them getting in? - Yes, I prevented five getting in. One man jumped in twice and I had to throw him out the third time. 387. Did you succeed in getting all the women and children that were about into your boat? - Yes, when Mr. Lowe came and took charge he asked me how many were in the boat; I told him as far as I could count there were 54 women and four children, one of those children being a baby in arms. It was a very small baby which came under my notice more than anything, because of the way the mother was looking after it, being a very small child. 388. (The Commissioner.) How many women did you say? - Fifty-four. 389. And four children? - Yes. 390. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Were there any other passengers in that boat? - Not passengers; no, Sir. 391. Who else was in that boat? - Myself, two firemen, and three or four stewards. I will not be certain as regards the exact number of stewards, but there were not more than four. 392. Two firemen and three or four stewards? - Yes; not more than four. 393. Was Mr. Lowe, the Fifth Officer, also in the boat? - We were practically full up. I was taking the women in when Mr. Lowe came. There was another officer with him on the boat deck, but I do not know which one that was, and he said to this other officer: “All right, you go in that boat and I will go in this.” That would mean No. 16 boat; she was abaft us, the next boat. Mr. Lowe came in our boat. I told him that I had had a bit of trouble through the rushing business, and he said, “All right.” He pulled out his revolver and he fired two shots between the ship and the boat’s side, and issued a warning to the remainder of the men that were about there. He told them that if there was any more rushing he would use it. When he fired the two shots he fired them into the water. He asked me, “How many got into the boat?” I told him as near as I could count that that was the number, and he said to me, “Do you think the boat will stand it?” I said, “Yes, she is hanging all right.” “All right,” he said, “Lower away 14.” 394. Was she then lowered to the water? - Yes. 395. And having been lowered to the water, was she disengaged? - No, she hung up. The forward fall lowered all right, sufficiently far enough that the forepart of the boat was afloat and the forward fall slack. Her after-fall then would be about ten feet - we had about ten feet to go on
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