Page 57 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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Mr. Scanlan: “With an efficient compass.” 533. (The Commissioner.) Did you look for a compass? - No. 534. You did not look for one? - No. 535. Then you did not know whether it was there or not? - No. 536. (Mr. Scanlan.) Had 14 a compass when you got into it after the accident? - No. 537. It had no compass? - No. 538. (The Commissioner.) Whose business is it to see the compass is there? Is it the boatswain’s place? - I am being questioned as regards two boats now. 539. You are being asked particularly about No. 14. Do you know when you were being exercised? - That was 13. 540. In No. 13 you did not look for a compass? - No. 541. And therefore you do not know whether it was there or not? - No. 542. But when you got into 14, which was after the collision, there was no compass? - I looked for one and I found there was not one there. 543. You found there was not one there? - Yes. 544. Now, I am going to ask you whose business is it to see that the compass was on the lifeboat. Is it everybody’s business or nobody’s business? - Yes, it is somebody’s business. 545. And who is the somebody? - The Chief Officer. 546. The Chief Officer? - Yes, on any ships I have been in the Chief Officer has seen that the boats were properly equipped, but the boatswain has seen the boats equipped and reported to the Chief Officer. That is the rule. 547. It is the boatswain’s business in the first place? - I would rather not say whose business it is, not as regards the state of affairs. Sir Robert Finlay: I think your Lordship will observe in Rule 6, not more than four boats in anyone ship are required to have this outfit mentioned in the rule to which Mr. Scanlan is referring. The Commissioner: Is that so, Mr. Scanlan? Mr. Scanlan: It is so my Lord, but I think for the purposes of this investigation as the boats are being taken one by one, it is desirable to see whether the individual boats had this equipment. But I wish to read to your Lordship - The Commissioner: Am I to understand that according to the Board of Trade Regulations only four boats out of the whole complement of boats are required to have a compass? Mr. Scanlan: That is so, my Lord. The Commissioner: You see he only saw two boats, one at Southampton and one he got afloat in after the accident. In the one boat he did not look for the compass, in the other he found there was not one. Mr. Scanlan: What I suggest, my Lord, is this. If we find on examining the people who were responsible for each particular boat that each particular boat was deficient, then it will be found, I submit, that this regulation was not complied with. May I read to your Lordship this sentence from the General Rules: “All boats shall be constructed and properly equipped as provided by these rules, and two boats and other life-saving appliances are to be kept ready for use to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade.” The Commissioner: Yes, but the Board of Trade, you know, cannot be afloat on the ship every day that the ship is at sea. They can only see that the things are right before the ship leaves port. Mr. Scanlan: That is my submission, my Lord, that a survey before the boat leaves port should disclose whether or not the requirements of these sections have been complied with. The Commissioner: I am pointing that out to you. This man made no survey. It is not his duty to make a survey. 548. (Mr. Scanlan.) I pass from that generally to this. This particular boat to which you were
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