Page 239 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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The Commissioner: 15 out of 890 odd? Mr. Lewis: Deckhands, I am speaking of. The Commissioner: How many deckhands were there altogether? Mr. Lewis: My information is that there were about 48 or 49 able seamen. The Commissioner: You think there ought to have been 60 odd? Mr. Lewis: I suggest, roughly, that there ought to have been 60. 19670. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) What do you say to that? What would the extra 15 men be doing during the voyage if you had had them? - I do not know, my Lord. I suppose some work would have been made for them to do - polishing brass or something. 19671. You mean by that they would be doing useless work? - Quite so, my Lord. Polishing brass or something like that. 19672. (Mr. Lewis.) You must remember that the “Titanic” and “Olympic” are extremely large boats - very heavy tonnage? - I do. 19673. How many able seamen do you carry on the “Oceanic”? - I am afraid I cannot give you the figure off-hand. 19674. Would I be right in suggesting that, approximately, there were 38 and 4 ordinary seamen? - You may be right. You have the figures; I have not. 19675. I understand that there were 38 able seamen and 4 ordinary seamen. I understand you do not carry ordinary seamen on the “Olympic” or the “Titanic.” The gross tonnage of the “Oceanic” would be 17,274? - I think that is the figure. 19676. And the “Titanic” 46,328? - Yes, that is right. 19677. In view of the fact that that is an increase of double, and that there were such a very large number of passengers, do you consider that is a sufficient extra number of men to carry? - I certainly do. I do not think that you can measure the number of the deck crew by the tonnage of a ship. 19678. That works out at about eight more than on the “Oceanic”? - I repeat that the question of the crew was fully considered, and we were advised as to what we should put and we put the men we were advised to put in her. 19679. I understand that to allay public feeling you have placed extra lifeboats on the “Olympic”? - We have extra lifeboats. 19680. Collapsibles, I believe? - Yes. 19681. And I understand that you placed about 24. Is that so? - You first of all put a larger number on board and then took them off, did you not? - We started to put on board a number that would be equal to the possible total of people that might be on board. We saw that that was so absurd that we took them off. 19682. And, finally, you took 24 extra boats? - Yes, we put a number of boats equal to the number of souls on board the ship when she sailed on that voyage. 19683. How many extra men did you put on board to look after those boats? - If my recollection is right I think we shipped five extra seamen. Mr. Lewis: My information is four. The Commissioner: I am not enquiring into the “Oceanic,” but the “Titanic.” Mr. Lewis: This is with regard to her sister ship, the “Olympic.” The Commissioner: That may be, but I am enquiring into the “Titanic,” and the circumstances attending the loss of that ship. Mr. Lewis: I understand that, my Lord, but Mr. Sanderson said in his evidence that the boats would be in the way if they were placed on the boat deck. I was anxious to find out whether they have found that the placing of those 24 boats upon a similar ship, the “Olympic,” had occasioned any difficulty. After all, they are similar boats, my Lord. The Commissioner: You can ask him that question.
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