Page 155 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
P. 155
Examined by Mr. SCANLAN. 14219. You are the senior officer of all the officers who have survived the “Titanic” disaster? - Yes. 14220. I want to ask you one question about the construction of the boat from the point of view of filling the lifeboats. Your Lordship asked if this had been referred to in the evidence before, and I may point out that it is referred to at page 208 in the evidence of James Henry Moore, who was the captain of the “Mount Temple,” at the foot of the second column of page 208, Question 9303 onwards to the end of that column. The Commissioner: Yes, I have read that. 14221. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) Did you know that it was intended, if the lifeboats were required to be used, that the boats might be filled with the crew, might take their crew, on the A deck and be lowered into the water and then filled from those gangway doors on E deck? - I do not quite follow you. 14222. Let me put this to you: You said that you ordered the gangway doors on E deck to be opened? - Yes. 14223. For what purpose? - Naturally for putting the passengers into the boat. 14224. I want you to explain to my Lord how you would put the passengers into the boat from the gangway doors? - Most probably by what we term a pilot ladder - a rope ladder. The men would be able to climb down the rope ladder. 14225. Had you such a rope ladder in readiness? - Oh, yes, plenty in the ship. 14226. For that purpose? - Yes. 14227. I think, just towards the end of your evidence, you stated to my learned friend that the Captain had ordered the boats through the megaphone to “Come to,” that is, to come along the ship’s side, and you said that his object was no doubt to get them near these gangway doors? - I think I said if I remember rightly that probably that may have been his object with reference to the gangway doors. He did not know about my order about the gangway doors. 14228. Had you understood between you and the Captain, that this was one way of filling the lifeboats in the event of the lifeboats being required? - I had not discussed the matter with the Captain. 14229. How was it that it occurred to you and to the Captain at the same time? - I do not know that it occurred at the same time. 14230. But it did occur to both of you? - It came to both our minds and naturally anyone familiar with the ship, any seaman, any one attached to the ship, would know at once that was the best means of putting the people into the boat - by the gangway doors. 14231. Is that a better means of putting people into a lifeboat - a safer means I mean - than having the boat filled on the boat deck 70 feet above the water and then lowered down? - Do you mean filled to her utmost capacity? 14232. Yes. - Yes, it is far better to get the boat water borne. 14233. If a boat is filled to its utmost capacity on the boat deck there is a possibility of two dangers, either the falls may prove insufficient or the boat may buckle and break. I think that is the effect of your evidence? - That is right. 14234. Is it a practicable way of filling a lifeboat in any kind of sea and weather conditions to lower her into the water practically empty and then fill her from those gangway doors? - Oh yes. 14235. You do not see any greater difficulty in filling her from those gangways doors in rough weather than in lowering her from the boat deck? - In rough weather I am afraid that boating altogether is a pretty big problem, more than we could discuss here. There are so many things before that to be taken into consideration. 14236. I know, but it is just because of your vast experience - you hold a master’s certificate
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