Page 247 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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people? - I do not know. 15939. What distance were you from the place where the “Titanic” had sunk when you returned? - What is that? 15940. When you began to return with your empty boat how far had you to row to the place? - About 150 yards. 15941. Only 150 yards? - Yes; I stated before 150 yards. 15942. And there were five of you rowing? - Yes, five I think, and there was one on the look- out, and myself steering. 15943. Did you return to the wreckage immediately after the “Titanic” had disappeared? - I did not. 15944. Had you any reason for not doing so? - I had. 15945. Would you mind telling me what it was? - Because it would have been suicide to go back there until the people had thinned out. 15946. Your boat at that time was empty except for the crew? - It was. 15947. And it was one of the ordinary lifeboats, with the gunwale a considerable distance above the water? - Yes. 15948. I put it to you, as an experienced seaman, would not it be impossible for people who were struggling in the water to get into the boat without the assistance of those who were in the boat? - No, it would not. 15949. They could not get in without help? - Yes. 15950. Therefore if you had gone back to where the “Titanic” had sunk, it would have been impossible for these people who were floating about to have swamped your boat, because you could have detached them? Is not that so? - How could you detach them? 15951. How could they get into the boat without you helped them in? - Could not a man hold his weight on the side like that (showing) without help from me? 15952. Is not the gunwale three or four feet above the level of the water? - No, the boat only stands up like that (showing). 15953. About what height would the gunwale of the boat be above the water? - There are lifelines round the lifeboat too and they could get hold of those and hang on the rail. 15954. Do not you think it would have been possible for the crew of your boat to have got a considerable number of people out of the water? - No, it would have been useless to try it, because a drowning man clings at anything. Examined by Mr. HOLMES. 15955. Is it a fact that the same falls that lower No. 1 boat are also required to lower the collapsible boat underneath it? - Yes. 15956. And that would be an additional reason for wanting to get No. 1 into the water as quickly as possible? - Yes, it would be. 15957. Did you know Sir Cosmo and Lady Duff-Gordon by sight? - I did not. I did not know a soul on board. 15958. Did you ever say to Lady Duff-Gordon, “Come along, Lady Duff-Gordon”? - I said nothing to her. I simply bundled her into the boat. 15959. I think after you had got rid of your passengers and went back with the crew you spent a considerable time in rescuing one man from some wreckage? - Yes, it was rather awkward to get in amongst it, because you could not row, because of the bodies. You had to push your way through. 15960. And that would account, perhaps, for the time you took to take one man off? - Certainly it would.
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