Page 225 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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19500. I understood that it was you, representing the White Star Line, who were on the “Titanic” when the trials were made. Is that right? - No, it is not right, in so far as I only made the trip from Belfast to Southampton. It is true the engines were tried on that trip, but I took no part in the trial. 19501. Were you there as representing the White Star Line? - Yes. 19502. Was any trial made as to the efficiency of the watertight doors? - There was a trial made every day of those doors. 19503. Was there a trial made on this trip? - No, there was not, because she was not on business then. 19504. Now, your Company have carefully considered the question of watertight doors, have they not? - Very. 19505. (Mr. Harbinson.) Then, my Lord, I should like, if I may, to ask Mr. Sanderson a few questions on that point. (To the Witness.) Would you agree with this view that if you pierce a bulkhead with the idea of making a watertight door you defeat your own object in making a watertight compartment? - No, I do not think so. 19506. You would not agree with that view? - No, I should not agree with it. Would you agree with this view, that you cannot close the watertight compartments in a sudden rush. In a big compartment the rush of water is so terrific that you cannot close the door. The Commissioner: Who says this? Mr. Harbinson: Lord Charles Beresford, my Lord. The Commissioner: What is the rush of water? Where is it coming from? Is it coming from a burst pipe, or what? Mr. Harbinson: It came in in this case from the rip in the side of the “Titanic.” The Commissioner: But I understand that is an observation about a rush of water the dimensions of which are not mentioned and the volume of water not given. Mr. Harbinson: Well, my Lord, it is a speech made on the same occasion as I read before, by Lord Charles Beresford. The Commissioner: Do spare me the House of Commons speeches, please. Mr. Harbinson: It was the opinion of Lord Charles Beresford, my Lord. The Commissioner: That may be. 19507. (Mr. Harbinson - To the Witness.) Now, would you agree with the view that the lifeboats on the “Titanic” ought to have been provisioned in the same way as the lifeboats in a man-of-war are provisioned? - I am not familiar with the man-of-war practice. 19508. I understand that the man-of-war practice is that the lifeboats have always got biscuits and all the requirements necessary on board? - So have the White Star ships. 19509. They are supposed to have? - I believe, in fact, they have. 19510. But in view of the evidence that has been given now in the course of this Enquiry, do you still adhere to that view? - I do. The Commissioner: I am told that you are quite wrong in supposing that lifeboats on a man-of- war are provisioned in that way. They are not. There are two emergency boats that are provided with such luxuries. 19511. (Mr. Harbinson.) I think, my Lord, there were luxuries in the boats on the “Titanic.” (To the Witness.) Now you, I understand, disagree with the view that searchlights would be useful? - My own opinion is that they would be worse than useless; they would be a positive source of danger to the ship. 19512. Upon what is that opinion founded? - Because of the well-known fact that if you are going to keep a good look-out at night the worst thing that can happen to the man on the look-out is to have a glare to look into. I believe if they had a searchlight and the man looked down the lane of that glare he would not see anything on either side of him for some five minutes
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