Page 145 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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14042. Could you see which of the two this was, because there are two on the deck house, are not there? - One on each side, yes. 14043. Which of the two was it - which side? - The port side. 14044. That is the one you are speaking of? - Yes. 14045. You say it was pushed on to the boat deck, and the boat deck was awash? - Yes. 14046. Could you see by that time whether there was any time to get her to the falls or not? - Oh, no, no time. 14047. Then tell us your last minute or two on the ship. What did you do? - I went across to the starboard side of the officers’ quarters, on the top of the officers’ quarters, to see if I could do anything on the starboard side. Well, I could not. 14048. And coming over to the starboard side on the roof of the officers’ quarters, could you see any other officers? - I saw the First Officer working at the falls of the starboard emergency boat, obviously with the intention of overhauling them and hooking on to the collapsible boat on their side. 14049. The other collapsible boat? - Yes. 14050. That would be Mr. Murdoch? - Yes. 14051. Were there others with him helping? - There were a number round there helping. 14052. Then what happened? - Well, she seemed to take a bit of a dive, and I just walked into the water. 14053. Had you got a lifebelt? - I had. 14054. You had better just tell us what your own experiences were. What happened to you? - Well, I was swimming out towards the head of the ship, the crow’s-nest. I could see the crow’s- nest. The water was intensely cold, and one’s natural instinct was to try to get out of the water. I do not know whether I swam to the foremast with that idea, but of course I soon realised it was rather foolish, so I turned to swim across clear of the ship to starboard. The next thing I knew I was up against that blower on the fore part of the funnel. There is a grating. 14055. Just show us what it is? - (The Witness pointed on the model.) The fore part of the funnel, the same as the one on the afterpart here. 14056. Was it the platform? - The platform goes right down the stokehold; the one coming along shoots right down into the stokehold. 14057. You found yourself against that? - Yes, the water rushing down held me there a little while. The water was rushing down this blower. 14058. Did it drag you against it? - It held me against the blower. 14059. Against the mouth of it? - Yes. After a while there seemed to be a rush of air from down below, and I was blown away from it. 14060. Air coming out of the ship, as it were? - Yes. 14061. Had you been dragged below the surface? - Yes. 14062. Have you any idea, were you dragged a long way down? - It seemed a good long while; I do not suppose it was many moments, though. 14063. Then you came up to the surface? - Yes. 14064. (The Commissioner.) Can you swim with these lifebelts on? - There is no necessity to swim; you can paddle, they hold you high in the water. 14065. You cannot sink, I understand; but can you swim? - You can paddle along; you cannot swim because you cannot get your breast deep down in the water. 14066. You cannot swim as well with a lifebelt on as you can without? - Not nearly. I may say that I have heard since that the gymnasium instructor refused to put one on for that reason. He could swim far better and get clear of people and things without it. 14067. The man who can swim well is far better off without the lifebelt? - As far as the swimming goes, except that if you are taken below the surface it brings you up much quicker.
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