Page 194 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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in the minds of any of the experts who had been responsible for framing the existing regulations, that the whole ship’s company of a ship like the “Titanic” could under any conceivable circumstances be required to be put afloat in boats; nor do I think, if provision were made for that, that in fact we ever would, 19 times out of 20, or even perhaps 99 times out of a hundred, succeed in utilising those boats by filling them and launching them. The weather conditions in the Atlantic are such that I should look upon it as a very remote contingency, and one to be avoided at all costs. Therefore, in my judgment, I would rather devote myself to accomplishing in fact what we thought we had done with the “Titanic”; in other words, to make her so safe that we would not have to consider the possibility of putting all these people afloat, and, having regard to the extraordinary nature of the accident which happened to the “Titanic,” I still do not feel that it would be a wise or a necessary provision to make; that is to say, to provide boats for everybody on board the ship. I do think, however, that we might advantageously increase the boat accommodation somewhat. But I am looking forward to the recommendation that will be made by this Court for our guidance, and I am quite certain that the public will accept it gratefully and we shall do so likewise. In the meanwhile, in order to satisfy the public, on whom we are dependent for our living, we are putting on the ships more boats than I think it is wise to do. 19132. I should just like to follow one thing about that. You speak of the wisdom of the course of adding to the number of boats. Of course I can quite understand it involves more expense, and I can quite understand that it would occupy more space, but why is it an unwise thing to add substantially to the number of boats? - It is all a question of degree. I think if we were to carry boats on the boat deck of all our ships which would be equal in capacity to the total number of people on board we should, in fact, have those boat decks so crowded with boats that it would materially interfere with the efficiency of a great many of them, that is to say, the men would not have proper room to work to get them over the side. 19133-4. Just let me look at the model for a moment. One sees there the boat deck, and I see there are four lifeboats in the afterpart on this side, and there are three lifeboats and an emergency boat on the forward part, and there is a space between the two lots. Do you see? - Yes. 19135. Give us your view and help us about it; from the point of view of wisdom or unwisdom what is in your view the argument for or against putting further boats amidships? - I am rather in favour of doing that. 19136. (The Commissioner.) That does not answer the question quite. You have said that in your opinion it would be unwise to increase, as I understand, the number of boats that were in fact on the “Titanic.” It is pointed out to you that there is apparently looking at the model, room for more. Why would it be unwise to put them there where there is room? - I think, my Lord, I did not make myself clear. What I intended to convey was that in my judgment it would be unwise to boat the ships for the total capacity of people whom they may have on board. I believe to do that you would have to crowd the boat decks to such an extent that you would materially interfere with the possibility of getting them all into the water properly. If you take 3,500 people as the full capacity say of the “Titanic” or the “Celtic” that would roughly mean something in the nature of between 50 and 60 boats. Now, any additional boats which we could put in the space which you refer to there, doubling it on the two sides of the ship, would go a very small way towards providing the difference between the 20 boats and the 50 or 60 which would be required to carry the whole ship’s company. 19137. That is an answer to the suggestion that you should provide enough boats for everyone on board, but it is not an answer to Sir John Simon’s question. Why could you not increase wisely the number that you have? - I think we can increase them wisely. 19138. Wisely? - Wisely - increase them somewhat, but we are looking for guidance as to the
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