Page 133 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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into consideration the row going on with the steam to make any inquiries. I could only direct them by motions of the hand. They could not hear what I said. 13812. So that you parcelled them out as best you could? - Exactly. 13813. Did you go to boats in the afterend as well? - Yes. 13814. On the port side? - Both sides. 13815. Then you went the whole circuit of the boat deck? - Yes. 13816. Carrying out this order? - Yes. 13817. And was each of the boat covers stripped in order all the way round? - All the boats, as far as I can remember, were under way. I remember directing one of the junior officers to look after the after section of boats. 13818. What length of time would this operation of uncovering all these boats take? - You mean, given the crew? 13819. You were engaged on this work. I want to realise how long you were engaged on it? - Well, I really could not say what time the after boats were finished uncovering. Knowing that the Third Officer was there in charge I did not bother so much about that as the forward ones, and about the time I had finished seeing the men distributed round the deck, and the boat covers well under way and everything going smoothly, I then enquired of the Chief Officer whether we should carry on and swing out. 13820. And what did Mr. Wilde say about that - what were the orders? - I am under the impression that Mr. Wilde said “No,” or “Wait,” something to that effect, and meeting the Commander, I asked him, and he said, “Yes, swing out.” 13821. And did you get that done? - Yes, on the port side. I did not go to the starboard side again. 13822. Up to the time of swinging out the boats which had been stripped, at any rate, on the port side, what about the passengers? - I had met a few passengers on deck, not many. 13823. Had you heard any general orders given about getting them? - No, I could not hear any. 13824. Was the steam still blowing off all this time? - Still blowing off, yes. 13825. Up to this time had you noticed whether the ship had got any list? - Not to my knowledge; no list whatever so far as I know. 13826. Up to this time had you noticed whether she showed a tendency to drop by the head? - No. 13827. She was on an even keel so far as you know? - Yes. The Commissioner: Now, you say “at this time.” I do not quite know what time. The Solicitor-General: I was stopping; I had meant to stop at the time he ceased to swing out boats on the port side, which is, as I understand, after stripping all the boat covers. The Commissioner. I understand about the course of events at this time; I want to know by the clock. 13828. (The Solicitor-General.) I did, too, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Could you help us and give us some estimate as to how long this would have taken from the time that you came out. You see, you have said you think half an hour elapsed after the collision before you came out and realised the seriousness of it, and then, of course, you undertook those duties, and you have described them. Could you give us an estimate how long would have elapsed from the time you came out on deck and started this work to the time the boats were swung out on the port side? - I should like you to understand quite clearly about the boat covers. I had not seen all the boat covers actually off. We were taking the boats in rotation, but from the time we commenced to strip No. 4 boat cover until the time when we swung them out I should judge would be probably at most 15 or 20 minutes. 13829. So far you are confining yourself to No. 4? - Exactly. 13830. And during that time had the stripping of the covers of the other boats been going on? -
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