Page 110 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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of such a notice appearing on one of the boats. The Commissioner: How many did he examine? Mr. Butler Aspinall: He examined all those that were saved. My memory is not quite clear on the matter, but it is being got. That was a collapsible boat I believe I am right in saying? The Commissioner: That is only one of the four. 21600. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Yes, only one out of all that were saved. (To the Witness.) I do not know whether your attention has been directed to this matter before? - No. 21601-2. But whose business would it be to see that the number was cut into the boat? - The officers of the ship would report it if it was not done. But then it was not done, apparently, if your evidence is correct. The Commissioner: What was that? Mr. Butler Aspinall: He says, my Lord, that the officers would report if it was not done. The Commissioner: Yes, I heard him say that, but you added some observation of your own. 21603. (Mr. Butler Aspinall - To the Witness.) Do you know with regard to this matter accurately what has happened, or are you guessing about it, if I may say so? - As far as the “Titanic” is concerned, I do not know; I am not certain. 21604. (The Commissioner.) I wish you would not create confusion by leading us at first to suppose that you do know, and then afterwards saying you do not know? - I said, my Lord, with regard to the “Titanic” I was not certain. The Commissioner: You, Sir Robert, have been down to see the “Olympic”? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: So have I; but my attention was never drawn to any indication on the lifeboats that there was a notice of the number the boat would carry. Sir Robert Finlay: I did not observe it myself, my Lord; but I am told it was there; my friend Mr. Laing observed it. It is a small plate stating the number the boat will carry. The Commissioner: A small plate? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: Riveted on to the boat. Sir Robert Finlay: So I understand. 21605. (Mr. Butler Aspinall - To the Witness.) What is the purpose of having it there? - Well, really, it is for the use of the Board of Trade Inspectors. 21606. (The Commissioner.) How can it be for the use of the Board of Trade? A notice of that kind must be for the use of the people who are going to use the boat? - Also, my Lord, for that. 21607. It is not a Board of Trade requirement, I suppose? - No, it is not. Mr. Butler Aspinall: My Lord, there is a Board of Trade requirement with regard to the rafts. The Commissioner: What do you mean by the rafts - the collapsible boats? Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, my Lord, but no requirement with regard to the lifeboats. The Commissioner: Will you tell me what the requirement is so far as regards what you call rafts? 21608. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Yes, I will read it. “Surveyors will note that both rafts and buoyancy apparatus must be marked in such a way as to indicate plainly the number of adult persons for which they are deemed sufficient. Plates will be supplied by the Board of Trade to be screwed on to the woodwork of both rafts and buoyancy apparatus indicating this number, and forms of demand for plates, to be filled up and returned to the Board of Trade, will be issued for the use of the principal officer. No raft or buoyancy apparatus is to be regarded as finally approved until the marking plate has been affixed.” (To the Witness.) I suppose you know of that rule, do you not? - Yes. The Commissioner: Now, is there any corresponding rule for lifeboats? Mr. Butler Aspinall: My Lord, I am told not. They are of the standard size, but still it might be
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