Page 153 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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from the men who were actually employed on the ships when those men would come ashore. Is that possible? - And not have any regular shore gang? 18745. And not have any regular shore gang, but recruit them from the men who travel backwards and forwards, when these men, for a time, want to remain on shore? - I am afraid it would be very difficult. 18746. Have you considered the suggestion? - No, I have not. 18747. If I gave you the date of the letter in the “Times” from this Admiral of the Fleet would you give it your consideration? - Certainly. 18748. I gather from you, in answer to the Attorney-General, that you yourself gave the instructions for the building of the “Titanic” and the “Olympic”? - Yes. 18749. I think to Harland and Wolff? - Yes. 18750. These ships constituted a departure as regards magnitude? - They did. 18751. Did your company carefully consider this new departure? - Certainly. 18752. And, of course, in considering them you considered the question of the flotability of these ships in cases of accident or emergency? - We did. 18753. And also, of course, the accommodation that they would provide for an additional number of passengers? - Yes. 18754. Did you give any special consideration to the question of providing additional lifeboat accommodation to cope with the additional number of passengers that you proposed to carry? - I do not think any special attention was given to that. 18755. Would not that have been a consideration that should have specially engaged you? - I think the position was taken up that the ship was looked upon as practically unsinkable; she was looked upon as being a lifeboat in herself. 18756. That is owing to the transverse bulkheads? - No; to the bulkheads and the power of flotation she had in case of accident. 18757. I understand that you considered that either of these steamers would float with two adjacent watertight compartments full? - Two of the largest compartments full. 18758. If that were so, and you considered those boats practically as lifeboats themselves and unsinkable, on that theory it was not necessary to carry any lifeboats at all? - Yes, because we might have to use them to pick up a crew from another ship. 18759. It was practically for that purpose you carried lifeboats? - Or landing, in the case of the ship going ashore. 18760. You did not consider having them for the purpose of saving the crew and passengers carried? - No, I do not think so. 18761. (The Commissioner.) Supposing there was a fire on board, might not you want lifeboats then? - Yes, if the passengers had to leave the ship on account of fire you would need lifeboats. 18762. I think your suggestion that lifeboats were only required for the purpose of saving the crews of other vessels is -? - Or, I said, of landing passengers in the case of the ship going ashore. The Commissioner: I do not think that is right. 18763. (Mr. Harbinson - To the Witness.) Do you know if the builders; Messrs. Harland and Wolff - had you discussed the question with them? - No. 18764. Do you know whether or not, they accepted the view which you have now expressed? - No. 18765. Did you at that time consider the question when you were considering the construction of these boats, of launching lifeboats from a height, roughly speaking, of about 70 feet above the water? - No. 18766. You did not consider that question in conjunction with the builders? - No. 18767. Or the difficulties that might attend it? - No.
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