Page 49 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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the after-fall. Our boat was at an angle of pretty well 45 degrees. I called Mr. Lowe’s attention to it. He said, “Why don’t they lower away aft?” I know the man that was lowering the after-fall, it was McGough. I looked overhead naturally enough, seeing the boat did not come down, and the fall was twisted. It resembled more a cable hawser than a fall, and would not render at all. I called Mr. Lowe’s attention to the fact. He said, “What do you think is best to be done?” I said, “I can case it. I will cut one part of the fall, and it will come easy. I have not the least doubt but what she will come away with her releasing gear.” He said, “Do not you think the distance rather too much?” I said “No; she might start a plug, but I will look out for that.” We dropped her by the releasing gear, and when she was clear I jumped to the plug to see if the impact of the water had started it, but it remained fast. After that we got clear of the ship. 396. Now you are clear of the ship? - Yes. 397. Now, having got clear of the ship, what was done with that boat? Where did it go to? - We just rowed clear of the ship. I suppose Mr. Lowe used his discretion to get clear of the suction which was likely to take place, and we saw four other boats then. Sixteen was the nearest boat. She had just got clear a little previous to us. 398. On which side of the ship? - The port side. 399. On which side of the “Titanic,” I mean? - On the port side. 400. How many were rowing? - Four. 401. Do you know who they were - were they seamen? - I can only account for two as regards their rating. I was pulling the after-oar on the port side of the boat, and on my left was a fireman; but as regards the other two that were further forward on the boat, I cannot say what they were as regards their rating. 402. (The Commissioner.) I thought you said they were stewards. - I do not know whether those stewards were rowing. There were more than four men in the boat. 403. Am I right in supposing that in your boat, No. 14, there were yourself, two firemen, three or four stewards, and Lowe? - There is a correction there, my Lord. There was one man in that boat that we had been under the impression - when I say “we,” I mean the watch of sailors - that he was a sailorman. That man was not a sailor at all, though acting in the capacity of sailor. That was another man that was in the boat. 404. What was he? - A window-cleaner; he was supposed to be in the ship as a window- cleaner. 405. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Who was steering your boat? - Mr. Lowe, the fifth officer. 406. How far off from the “Titanic” was your boat rowed? - I should judge about 150 yards. 407. Then did she lie there? - She lay there with the remainder of the other boats - with the four other boats that we saw when we got clear of the ship. 408. Did you see four other boats there? - Yes. 409. Did you speak them? - Yes. 410. And was anything done with the other boats? - Mr. Lowe asked them who was in charge of the boats, what officers were there, and we got a reply from each boat individually to say they had no officer in the boat. He said: “All right consider the whole of you are under my orders; remain with me,” and when the ship sank, when there was nothing left of her above the water, he waited, I suppose, about a couple of minutes, not more, and ordered all our boats to row where we last saw the ship to see if we could pick up anybody. 411. You have gone on a little too fast. You spoke four other boats? - Yes. 412. And you remained there? - Yes. 413. Now what was happening as far as you could see, on the “Titanic” while you were lying off; was she sinking by the head, or what? - She was sinking by the head. 414. You could see that? - Yes. 415. Was she sinking at first fast or slow? - Very slow it appeared to be.
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