Page 196 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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by an expert. 19156. Have you ever seen that done? - I have never seen that done. 19157. Have you ever heard of it? - Never. I have heard of a collapsible boat being put under a wooden boat, but of course that does not involve the davit being very high. 19158. Just look at this plan and tell me whether the additional boats suggested there in pencil could be, in your opinion, conveniently placed on a ship like the “Titanic.” It is an addition of 14 boats, seven on each side (handing a paper to the witness)? - I should say I think they might be. 19159. Now how many more would those 14 boats accommodate? - If they were lifeboats they would accommodate - 19160. 65 each? - Yes, that would be 830. 19161. (The Solicitor-General.) 14 more boats? - Yes. The Attorney-General: 910 is the number. 19162. (The Solicitor-General.) It would exactly double the lifeboats? - Yes. 19163. You have already told me 14 lifeboats carried 910 people? - Yes. 19164. (The Commissioner.) Now what proportion of the total number, assuming the ship was full, of passengers and crew would those boats accommodate? - That would make a total of 2,088 capacity and her full complement would be in the neighbourhood of 3,500 people. 19165. So that that would accommodate about four-sevenths of the whole of the people on board? - That is about right. The Attorney-General: If they carried the full complement. 19166. (The Commissioner.) I am saying if she carried the full complement of passengers and crew. The lifeboats, even if they were supplied as put down on that sketch, would merely provide accommodation for a little more than half of the total number on the ship? - That is correct. I would like to add further that one must not lose sight of the fact that in the Atlantic, particularly, there is always a weather and a lee-side. 19167. Except on this occasion? - When I say always, I should modify it to this extent - I think you might say 19 times out of 20. 19168. I bow to your much better knowledge, but I should have said in 999 cases out of 1,000? - I would like to have taken that figure, but I was afraid they might think I was exaggerating. For all practical purposes the lee-side of the ship and the boats that can be moved over to the lee-side are the only boats that would be put out. The Commissioner: I am told that is probably so. 19169. (The Solicitor-General.) I was going to accept that, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Bearing that fact in mind, that as a rule you can only use the boats on one side of the ship, in your view is that an argument for increasing the number of your boats or not? - It is an argument for increasing the number. 19170. Then I daresay you have noticed that though these boats which you had were qualified to carry 1,178 people, the number of people who, in fact, were saved, even if we include those that were picked up in the sea, was only 703? - I have noticed those figures. 19171. I suppose one may take it that, however good the discipline may be, one may expect not to fill every boat to its absolute full capacity in a moment of crisis? - I am sure the full capacity of the boat - that is to say, 65, speaking of lifeboats is a figure which in practice would never be reached, because even though you might get conditions such as the “Titanic” was lost in, you would not get the people into the boats, in the first place, and if those conditions did not exist it would not be safe to put them in if you could do it. They would not float with them in; they would be swamped. 19172. Are you referring to the fact that in certain conditions of the weather you cannot launch a boat at all, or are you referring to the fact that in some conditions of weather you can only launch it and carry fewer people? - I am referring to the latter. I am assuming a condition which
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