Page 202 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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selected on each occasion, but they do not take the same two boats, and by taking different boats it does appear as though there was a gradual testing of different people. The Commissioner: Is there any drill during voyage? 19234. (The Solicitor-General - To the Witness.) What do you say to that? - I think nothing more than the muster in addition to what Sir John is speaking about. 19235. While a ship is under way there cannot be a question of lowering a boat, so that if that is to be done it must be done in harbour? - Quite so. 19236. I gather from these documents it is done in some cases at Southampton, and then apparently not done in New York, and in some cases at New York, in which case it is not done at Southampton. Is that so? - We leave a considerable discretion to Commanders as to where it shall be done. Sometimes it is done in Queenstown, and sometimes in Liverpool, but rarely, and sometimes in New York. 19237. Each of these pages refers to the double voyage? - It does. 19238. And each of these pages contains a report of two boats being lowered on a particular day, and that is all? - Yes. The Solicitor-General: Perhaps my Lord would like to see it. (The document is handed to the Commissioner.) The Witness: I should like to say in regard to this boat muster or boat drill, that we have experienced very great difficulty in carrying it out. In the first place we have a difficulty, which is a natural one from the fact that we carry large numbers of passengers, and that many of the crew cannot be spared from their duties. But, over and above that we have experienced a very serious difficulty arising from the unwillingness of certain portions of the crew to comply with the Company’s regulations. To such an extent has that existed that they at times refuse duty on the voyage. 19239. But what rating are you referring to now? - I am particularly speaking of the firemen. 19240. I think that the trouble you speak of began some short time back? - I think it is only within the last two years it has occurred. Up to that time we had no difficulty of the kind. 19241. Where did it arise in what port? - The one I refer to was on the “Oceanic,” on a voyage to New York. The men refused duty on the voyage when ordered to a boat muster. 19242. On the voyage the firemen would not muster? - That is true. 19243. (The Commissioner.) What excuse did they make, if any? - I am not aware that there was anything more than a reluctance. They did not think it was fair to ask them to do it. Captain Haddock was in charge of the ship and he logged the men for not complying with orders, and there was so much friction about it that we decided to modify the orders and allow him to muster the men in New York instead of mustering them on the voyage, if that would make it easier to get the firemen to do it; and I believe, in fact, they have been mustering them in New York occasionally instead of mustering them on the voyage. 19244. (The Solicitor-General.) Just let me take the last instance. Since this disaster, on the 8th May, 1912, had you an instance of this? - I am not clear of the date, but we have had two occasions. 19245. That is the date, I see, that is in the statement? - Then I am sure you are right. 19246. I see according to this “the firemen were instructed by the Captain personally to muster at the boats at 11 am, but of the total engine department of 157 as many as 37 did not muster, and 7 deserted”? - That occurred in Southampton since the disaster. 19247. As far as regards these boat drills at Southampton which we see take place before the vessel leaves sometimes, are those done voluntarily by the White Star Company or are those the drill which the Board of Trade Surveyor, Captain Clarke, requires? - I think they take advantage of the Board of Trade drill requirements to do their rowing at the same time. As a matter of fact we asked the Board of Trade recently, having regard to statements which have been made, that
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