Page 193 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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can put shortly to get rid of the point. There are a number of other regulations in these rules as to how these boats are to be built. (To the Witness.) Did your boats comply with those regulations? - I have no doubt whatever that they did, but as to speaking from my own knowledge, I cannot. The Solicitor-General: Then we will call our Board of Trade witnesses about that; they do, there is no doubt. The Commissioner: Can you tell me whether the two emergency boats were fitted up as lifeboats? The Attorney-General: They were not, my Lord. Your Lordship will remember that there were 14 lifeboats and two wooden cutters, which are called the emergency boats, and four collapsibles. The Commissioner: The emergency boats are only wanted in what may be called emergencies. The Attorney-General: In one sense, I suppose, they are more often required than in any other. The Commissioner: Yes. For instance, when somebody falls overboard. The Attorney-General: Yes; or if a boat has to be let down to do something. The Witness: I think the Englehardt boats are lifeboats in a sense, in so far as they have tanks. The Commissioner: I am not speaking about those. I am speaking about the wooden cutters - the emergency boats. The Solicitor-General: Page 14 of these rules is the page which contains the classification of boats according to different Sections. It begins at the bottom of page 13 really. Section (A.) boats are described, your Lordship sees, as “A boat of this Section shall be a lifeboat, of whale-boat form, properly constructed of wood or metal, having for every 10 cubic feet of her capacity, computed as in rule (2), at least 1 cubic foot of strong and serviceable inclosed air-tight compartments.” Now, that is a lifeboat, but these two emergency boats were under Section (D), and Section (D) says nothing about lifeboats and nothing about internal buoyancy. I mean artificial buoyancy. The Commissioner: “A boat of this Section shall be a properly constructed boat of wood or metal.” The Solicitor-General: Yes, my Lord, that is all. No doubt they were. I think I did refer your Lordship to it really in calling attention to page 6. The Attorney-General points out that it clinches the point. When I first asked your Lordship to look at page 6, I called attention, I think, to the paragraph which is labelled (c): “Not less than half the number of boats placed under davits” (that is half of the 16) “having at least half the cubic capacity required by the Tables shall be boats of Section (A.), or Section (B).” (That is lifeboats or boats with internal buoyancy). “The remaining boats may also be of such description” (of course, in this case they were the remaining boats all except two), “or may, in the option of the shipowner, conform to Section (C), or Section (D), provided that not more than two boats shall be of Section (D).” That is the way it fits in, my Lord. The Commissioner: Have you finished that point now? The Solicitor-General: Yes, my Lord, I think so. (After a short adjournment.) 19130. (The Solicitor-General.) We had just been comparing the provision of boats in the “Titanic” with the maximum regulations of the Board of Trade. I want to ask you now the view of your Company as to the expediency of providing more boats than were on this ship? - I think, to answer that question, I should have to divide the subject into two. I should have to tell you what was in our minds before the “Titanic” accident happened, and then modify it by the result of experience. 19131. If you please? - I do not think it had ever been in our minds, nor do I think it had been
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