Page 175 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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efficient seamen the whole time from the time that you recognised the vessel was in imminent danger until she sank to lower the number of boats you had, and even then you were left with one boat still on deck, which you had not been able to bring in use? - Yes. 14501. If you had had a sufficient number of lifeboats to have taken away every soul on board, I suggest you would need a much greater number of efficient and competent seamen and officers? - Well, if you are including among the seamen firemen - you must always remember you have the firemen to call on - you have a great number of crew to call on to put the boats out. 14502. What I suggest to you is that with all the crew you had, and all the men you had, all the seamen, and all the officers, it took you all this time to lower your 19 boats? - Yes. 14503. If you had instead of 20, 40, or 50 to lower, I suggest you would have needed a larger number of officers and efficient seamen? - We should have had to have had more men working at the boats. The Commissioner: I should think that is obvious? - Very obvious. 14504. If you have more boats to work you require more men to work them; but I should like you to tell us this if you can: How is the proper number of a crew for a vessel ascertained; is it according to the tonnage of the vessel, or how? - The seamen are you speaking of? 14505. The crew generally; the whole crew. - I am afraid I cannot give you the necessary information. The Commissioner: Can anyone answer me that. Do you know, Mr. Laing, if there is any rules by which it is ascertained how many of a crew a particular ship ought to take? Mr. Laing: My Lord, there is a manning scale issued by the Board of Trade, I understand. I have the rules here. It is published in a little book which has on the back of it, “Memorandum on Part II. of the Shipping Act” - “Manning Ships.” The scale says this: - “As regards steamships, the following scale has been prepared on the basis of the minimum cubic contents of boats and rafts which are required to be carried by such vessel under the provisions of the rules relating to life-saving appliances,” and then it gives the scale. “In the case of vessels,” etc. (reading to the words) “3,900 cubic feet of boat capacity.” Then it goes on and deals with engineers and firemen. It seems a little complicated. Perhaps I had better hand the book up, that your Lordship may look at it. Mr. Scanlan: May I direct your Lordship’s attention to the agreement? The Commissioner: Your suggestion is that a great many more seamen and firemen ought to have been employed? Mr. Scanlan: No, my Lord. The Commissioner: Is it not? Mr. Scanlan: Well, I do not know that I would say that for the number of lifeboats they had. The Commissioner: No, no; but in order to save the people on board this ship, there ought to have been a great many more lifeboats, which is possibly true, and there ought to have been a great many more men belonging to the Seamen and Firemen’s Union on board. That is what you are driving at? Mr. Scanlan: I hope I will not be thought unfaithful to my clients if I say I shall be satisfied with more members of the British Seafarers Union. Mr. Clement Edwards: That would not quite satisfy me, my Lord. That there should have been a sufficient to protect other interests would not quite satisfy me. Mr. Scanlan: I have made an abstract from those somewhat voluminous articles in which the ratings and engagements of the different members of the crew are set out, and I find that the deck department, which includes the able seamen, consists of 66, and this includes the Master and officers, surgeons, carpenters, and all kinds of seamen, as well as mess stewards. The number of the deck department is 66; the number of the stewards’ department, stewards and pursers, is 501, and the engine room department is 327. I think they carried quite a sufficient number of
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