Page 201 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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not there. 19222. (The Solicitor-General.) I will not pursue it, but you might tell me this. In what you have just been saying to my Lord, how many people have you assumed as manning one of your lifeboats: how many do you think it takes to man one properly? - I should think to pull a boat, under ordinary conditions, you ought to have four oars and a helmsman. 19223. That makes five men? - Yes, that is to do boat work. 19224. Now, about boat drill and the like, what is your Company’s regulation or practice about boat drill in respect of these Atlantic liners? - The Company’s requirements are that boat drill - a boat muster that is - shall be held once each passage. I am not referring to the Board of Trade muster. Over and above that it is required that there shall be a boat muster once each passage. 19225. Does that mean the passage from one side to the other, or do you call it one passage going backwards and forwards? - No, one side to the other. 19226. (The Commissioner.) Will you tell me exactly what a boat muster consists of? - As many of the crew as can be spared are required to muster at their boats in accordance with the boat lists which are posted in the ship. 19227. What does mustering at their boats mean? - Well, they come to their stations alongside the boat. I am not sure to what extent the covers are taken off. I do not think they are. I think it is more a muster to see that people are familiar with their boat positions and that they come to their stations when they are told to do so. 19228. It means the muster is nothing more than this: the men come on deck and go to the boats that are allocated to them? - Yes; but over and above that we give an instruction that whenever it is possible a certain number of the boats are to be put into the water and pulled. 19229. And pulled? - Yes, pulled away from the ship and back again. 19230. Is that ever done? - Yes, my Lord, it is. The Commissioner: How often? That is what I should call a boat drill. 19231. (The Solicitor-General.) I have a document here which I think throws a little light upon it, if I may say so. (To the Witness.) Do your Commanders make reports to your firm from time to time when they return to this country after crossing the Atlantic and back? - They do. 19232. I think you have furnished us with three as specimens. One is a bundle of reports by Captain Haddock, of the “Oceanic,” extending from the 30th September of last year to the 17th March this year, and there is another one from the Commander of the “Majestic,” and a third is from Commander Smith from the “Olympic,” his last boat. I will take Commander Smith. I see he reports when he gets to Southampton after each double voyage? - Yes. 19233. This is the first one, “Southampton, 15th December, 1911. “It gives the date when he left outwards and left homewards. He then reports the conduct of the officers and crew, the chief officers, and then “General Remarks.” I find on the 15th December, 1911, he was reporting, “Boats Nos. 1 and 3 lowered and crews exercised at Southampton. All davits and falls in good order.” Then the next return, which is on the 6th January, 1912, he reports, “Boats Nos. 6 and 8 lowered before leaving Southampton, and crews exercised. All davits and falls in good order and condition.” The next one is the 31st January, 1912, “Before leaving Southampton Nos. 10 and 12 boats lowered and crews exercised. All davits and falls in good order.” The next is the 28th February, 1912, the last but one. He says, “February 6th, Boats Nos. 9 and 11 lowered, and crews exercised. Everything working well. Davits and falls in good order.” Then the last one is the 30th March, 1912. He puts, “Tuesday, 22nd March.” that, as I see from high up on the page, is the day before he left New York: “Nos. 13 and 15 swung out, lowered, and crews exercised. All davits and falls in good order.” The Commissioner: What boat was this on? The Solicitor-General: This is all the “Olympic”; this is all Captain Smith; and your Lordship will note, therefore, from those documents that it would appear as though two boats were
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