Page 157 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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The Witness: We could not get them out at all then. 14244. (Mr. Scanlan.) Perhaps that is so, my Lord? - You mean the roughest weather that a lifeboat would live in? 14245. Yes. - In the roughest weather a lifeboat would live in, it is extremely doubtful whether you would get them away from the ship, because you must remember there is the motion of the ship and there again you bring up another question, the size of the ship; the motion of the ship would be totally different in a larger or a smaller ship. Then you bring up the question of the height. I am sorry but you are bound to take all these things into consideration. 14246. Quite so. Would you answer this question. In rough weather, as rough as a lifeboat could live in, how would you proceed in lowering and manning and filling your boat? - With passengers? Yes - say a ship like the “Titanic.” 14247. (The Commissioner.) This question raises another difficulty in my mind. You say “In the roughest weather in which a lifeboat could live.” (To the Witness.) Now can a lifeboat be launched in such weather? - No, my Lord. The Commissioner: When she once gets to the water it may be very rough indeed and yet she will be able to live, but she might not be able to be launched. Launching and living are very different things. 14248. (Mr. Scanlan.) Perhaps, my Lord, we will be able to get down to a state of comparative roughness, when it is not only possible for a lifeboat to live, but also to be launched. I think I have made myself plain at last. The Witness: Yes. 14249. Thank you. What would you do under these circumstances? The Commissioner: That is quite intelligible. The Witness: Do you wish me to take the ship into consideration? 14250. (The Commissioner.) The question as I follow it is this - assuming such weather bad but still such weather that you can launch a boat and such weather that the boat when launched will live, where would you load her? - The “Titanic,” or any ship? 14251. (Mr. Scanlan.) Any ship - take the “Titanic” for example? - Again I am sorry, but I must ask do you mean men and women or men alone? 14252. Men and women? - Of course it would be better to get the women in from the decks undoubtedly if you could. The men, of course, are handier to jump; you might be able to launch the boat alongside the gangway doors, but it would need pretty smart seamanship to hold her there in this rough weather you speak of. It is quite possible, and is frequently done, not under these circumstances, but, for instance, the pilot leaving; you know how very frequent it is for the pilot to leave and board in rough weather. He is a seaman, and watches his chance and jumps. There is a right time to jump. There are seamen there who know the right time to jump. They must be there to see that the passengers jump at that moment. Is that what you wish me to say? 14253. You have gone a little in that direction, but you say that you would get in the women passengers on the boat deck and you would get the male passengers in from the gangways on the lower deck? - I must say yes; I cannot tie myself of course. The Commissioner: Now, Mr. Scanlan, I want to know whether he would get them from the gangway to the boat by means of a ladder or by means of jumping? 14254. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) Tell my Lord how you would get them into the boat from the gangway doors? - Depending on the height, if the boat rose with the sea, if the sea was so rough bringing the gunwale of the boat fairly close to the level of the gangway doors let them jump; keep a clear space in the stern sheets and let them jump into the stern sheets with a couple of men there to catch and steady them as they come into the boat. If the sea is not high enough then I would use a rope-ladder and let them come down the rope-ladder. You could have a
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