Page 170 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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14429. I think the difference between a regular look-out man and an irregular look-out man - that is, an ordinary A.B. - is 5s a month? - Five shillings a month in pay and a difference in watches and a difference in work on board the ship. 14430. But there is no passing of an examination to go from one grade to the other? - Yes. 14431. (The Solicitor-General.) Is there? - Yes. I should explain to you, it is customary when a ship is in running for all look-out men to have an eye test as well as the Quartermaster’s. That does not apply necessarily to A.B.’s. 14432. (Mr. Scanlan.) I was going to ask you about the eye test. Is there an eye test of each look-out man in the White Star Line? - Well, as far as possible we maintain the condition of having look-out men who have passed the eye test. 14433. I want to understand. We have had evidence on this point already. We have had the evidence of a man who told us that his sight was not tested, and this was his first voyage in a White Star vessel, the “Titanic”? - Yes. 14434. How do you explain that? - By her being a new ship, and the difficulty of obtaining a perfectly satisfactory crew at such short notice. You see, you have to have men with you some little time; on the other hand, I can tell you of look-out men who have been on the look-out of the White Star for some considerable time, and who have had eye tests. 14435. But surely if you wanted to get an eye test as to the men you engaged for the Titanic,” you could easily have got a doctor to test their eyesight at Southampton? - Well, it is not exactly a doctor who tests it. It is a Board of Trade examination - the customary examination. It applies to the officers as well. 14436. I should like to know that; do you say it is the practice of the Board of Trade to test the eyesight of the look-out men before the ship is cleared? - No, you do not quite understand me. If I am First Officer of a ship, a First Officer has the signing on of the crew. Very well, then, as far as possible and practicable, I see that these look-out men, at stated periods, have an eye test. 14437. Do they sign on in any special way? - They sign on as look-out men. 14438. Do not they sign on as A.B.’s? - No, I think they sign on as quartermasters and look-out men and A.B.’s. 14439. I understand - you will correct me if I am wrong - that look-out men sign on as A.B.’s? - I think I am right in saying they sign on as look-out men. They used to sign on as A.B.’s. 14440. Did the six look-out men on the “Titanic” sign on in any special way? - I believe they signed on as look-out men. 14441. But you do not know of your own knowledge? - No, I could not say for certain. 14442. Was the sight of a single one of those men tested before starting on that voyage? - As I said there were some of those men I knew to have had eye-tests, that is to say they were look-out men - Fleet and Symons who had been with me in the “Oceanic.” 14443. I will take Fleet. By whom was Fleet tested for his eyesight? - I could not tell you; it is the customary test by the Board of Trade. They go up there and obtain their certificate. The Solicitor-General: I have the articles here, Mr. Scanlan, and these six men are entered as engaged in the capacity of look-outs. 14444. (Mr. Scanlan.) Quite, I thank you. (To the Witness.) You do not know when Fleet was tested? - I could not tell you the date now. 14445. The other man with him, Lee, you do not know whether he was tested at all? - No. 14446. You do not know who tested the sight of Fleet? - No, I do not know what man tested him, what official. 14447. You do not know whether it was a doctor? - No, it is not a doctor. I do not think you quite understand. Just let me explain. I see the man and I say, “What is the date of your eye certificate?” and he tells me. If it is time for him to have another certificate I tell him. “Now the first opportunity you have go up and get your eye certificate.” That means to say, that man goes
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