Page 107 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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all, but I think that the idea was that these boats slung out from the davits at that great height from the water might buckle; not that the davits themselves were insufficient, or that the falls were insufficient; they were probably strong enough; but that there was a fear that the boat might collapse and throw the whole of them into the water. Mr. Scanlan: What has occurred to me is that some explanation is needed of the despatch of these boats with such a small number. The Commissioner: You are quite right. Mr. Scanlan: Considering that the boat accommodation was insufficient. The Commissioner: What occurred to me was that you were putting the blame on the davits and the falls, and I do not think myself, at present, that the davits and the falls had anything to do with it, but it was the fear of the boat buckling and throwing the people out. 17904. (Mr. Scanlan.) I quite agree, my Lord. (To the Witness.) The davits were quite new? - Yes. 17905. And all the equipment of this lifeboat? - Yes. 17906. The falls were perfectly new? - Yes, I think so. 17907. Was any difficulty experienced in lowering No. 8? - None whatever. 17908. No. 8 was on the port side? - Yes. 17909. And you had been assisting at the lowering of some other boats? - No. 5. 17910. When No. 5 was lowered, can you say what its complement of passengers was? - I could not say; the boat looked very full. The Commissioner: You may ask him; I do not know that he saw No. 5 lowered. 17911. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) Did you? - Yes. I saw No. 4 and No. 5 lowered to the water. 17912. No. 5 and No. 4? - No, not No. 4. 17913. (The Commissioner.) And No. 5, you say was full? - Yes. 17914. (Mr. Scanlan.) Had it considerably more passengers in it than you had in No. 8? - I could not say about that. The boat was crowded and looked very full. I was standing alongside of her. 17915. And there was no difficulty in lowering No. 5? - None whatever. 17916. Did you think, yourself, there would have been any difficulty in lowering No. 8 if it had been filled to its utmost capacity with passengers? - I could not say. The Commissioner: I think, Mr. Scanlan, there was one boat lowered with 70 in it? Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: And it did not buckle. 17917. (Mr. Scanlan.) That is so, my Lord, and there is considerable evidence on that point. (To the Witness.) You did not see any difficulty yourself in regard to lowering this boat? - No, I was in the boat; I could not see any difficulty in going down in the boat. 17918. It did not suggest itself to you as a difficult matter to lower one of these boats filled with the full complement of passengers? - No. 17919. Did you know amongst other members of the crew that you had insufficient boats to take off all the people? - No, I could not say that. 17920. When No. 8 was being lowered were there many passengers on the boat deck on the port side? - There were a few, and Mr. Wilde told them to go along to No. 10 and get into that. 17921. Do you mean a few women passengers? - Yes. 17922. And those women passengers were sent along to another boat? - Yes, No. 10. 17923. (The Commissioner.) I do not like an expression of that kind. When you say “a few,” give me a notion of how many? - I should say about 20 or 30 probably, my Lord. 17924. (Mr. Scanlan.) And were there many men passengers on the deck near at hand at that time? - Yes.
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