Page 234 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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Marine Company: Ships’ Rules and Uniform Regulations.” Is not that so? - Their name is on the book, my Lord. 19624. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) May I take it that every one of the companies or lines controlled by the International Mercantile Marine Company are guided by these rules? - They are. 19625. Does that apply to the Leyland Line too? - I think they also have adopted the same book. 19626. Do you mind turning to page 23, paragraph 112? Before I read that, however, I should like to ask you a question. You have just said that before this International Company came into existence there were a number of separate Regulations for each of the Companies. You yourself have been for some years attached to the White Star Company, and you have said that you had drawn up these rules. In regard to assisting vessels in distress do you remember whether this rule here is at all similar to the old rule of the White Star Company? - I could not say at this distance of time whether it is identical with it or not. 19627. But this is the rule to which, as far as its owners are concerned, Captain Lord would be subject? - I believe so. 19628. “Assisting Vessels in Distress - (A.) In the event of falling in with vessels derelict or in distress, Commanders (of the passenger steamers especially) should bear in mind that by deviating from their courses or from the usual employment of their ships, in order to render assistance to other vessels, otherwise than for the purpose of saving life, questions as to insurance may arise, and responsibility may be incurred to passengers and owners of cargo for detention or risk to which they or their property on board may thereby be exposed. As a general rule, therefore, Commanders of the passenger steamers in the North Atlantic trade are reminded that it will be better not to interfere in such cases, unless the circumstances be of very special character, or it be for the purpose of protecting or saving life. (b) In the trans-Pacific and Colonial trades, Commanders of the passenger steamers, in coming to a decision on this point, should bear in mind the great distances involved and the comparatively infrequent opportunities of obtaining assistance which may occur, and that under such circumstances a liberal interpretation of these rules is permissible.” That, of course, is not on the Atlantic. “(c) In the case of the cargo steamers other considerations apply, and the Commanders of these vessels may, should they consider the circumstances such as to justify their doing so, exercise a wider discretion in carrying out this regulation. (d) Commanders of all steamers are cautioned that under no circumstances are they, in assisting vessels in distress, to unduly risk their own vessels, or expose the lives of those on board to hazard.” So that as far as the Company itself is concerned the thing that is impressed upon their officers is rather in the direction of not helping than helping? - I do not think that is a fair interpretation of the rule. The Commissioner: Mr. Edwards, are you asking him to interpret what this means? Mr. Edwards: Yes. The Commissioner: Because, if so, that will not do. I must interpret it. 19629. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Yes, my Lord. With due respect, my Lord, I perhaps ought not to have asked the question. (To the Witness.) Will you kindly look at Rule 113: “Commanders are required to navigate their vessels as closely as possible on the Transatlantic routes adopted by the principal Atlantic Passenger Lines”? - I am familiar with it. 19630. I only want to refer you to two other rules. The first is Rule 248. It is on page 45, “Examination of Coal Bunkers.” The respective senior engineers of each watch, before going off duty, must go through the coal bunkers, and note their condition on the log-slate, and should there be any signs of spontaneous combustion taking place, they are at once to report same to the Chief Engineer, who is immediately to notify the Commander. All coal should, as often as possible, be worked out of the bunkers.” We have had it in evidence that there was a fire in one
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