Page 173 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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left. 14486. Do you think you had a sufficient number of competent seamen, including officers, for the launching of the lifeboats? - Yes, as it proved we had. 14487. Now, can you explain this? I take it that you were over two hours assisting in the clearing and launching of four lifeboats with a number of men to assist you. The boats you assisted in clearing and lowering were four, six, eight, and the collapsible? The Solicitor-General: It is not four lifeboats; it is three lifeboats and a collapsible. 14488. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, three lifeboats and a collapsible. The Witness: Yes. 14489. How many men were assisting you in lowering those? - I can hardly give you the number. 14490. Eight or ten? - I do not remember. The Commissioner: I do not see how these points are of great materiality. Nothing went wrong; no misfortune can be attributed, for instance, to the fact that there was not a compass on board; no misfortune can be attributed to the fact that there may not have been a lamp on board some of them. I daresay the things ought to have been there, but the fact that they were not there does not appear to have made any difference. I daresay there are many things that ought to have been in this ship that were not there, but I would rather you would confine yourself to the absence of things that were material. Mr. Scanlan: What has occurred to me if I may respectfully mention it to your Lordship at this stage is this, that the remit in this Inquiry to the Commissioner takes cognisance of the rules of the Board of Trade and the provision of lifeboats, and the efficiency and sufficiency of the crew, and the evidence I am trying to elicit from this witness is all directed to those points. The Commissioner: We have a great deal of evidence that there were no compasses in some of the boats; that there were no lamps. In some I think it is said there were no biscuits, and other things of that kind. I know all that, and it may be at the right time one will have to consider whether these are matters which ought to be more closely attended to than they are; but, in point of fact, in connection with this calamity they made no difference. All the people in the lifeboats got to the “Carpathia.” Mr. Scanlan: Yes. So far as the greater number of those points are concerned, it may be that no difference resulted between compliance and noncompliance; but there is this one thing I would like to indicate to your Lordship. Surely there was one boat which was not launched at all; that is one of the collapsible boats? The Commissioner: Yes, there was. I do not know whether these rules that I see here apply to the collapsible boats. Mr. Scanlan: They do, my Lord. The Commissioner: Do these rules as to water apply to the collapsible boats. I do not know where you would put a cask of water in a collapsible boat. Where would you put it? Mr. Scanlan: I have a drawing of the Englehardt collapsible boat. The Commissioner: And does it show a cask of water? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. If your Lordship will look at Rule 5, page 15. The Commissioner: I have it, yes. Mr. Scanlan: Sub-section (d) of the General Rules says: “Equipments for collapsible or other boats and for life-rafts.” The Commissioner: “A vessel to be kept filled with fresh water shall be provided for each boat.” Does that mean it is to be wrapped up in the collapsible boat somewhere, or does it mean there is to be a vessel, as it is called, handy. I thought you had a picture of a collapsible; if so, I should like to see where the vessel was? Mr. Scanlan: I do not think it shows specially the place, my Lord; it shows those boats.
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