Page 135 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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The Attorney-General: Yes, I think so. Sir Robert Finlay: It has not reported yet. The statement my friend made refers to a very early stage of the proceedings. I do not think the formal report has appeared yet. The Commissioner: I am talking about something that I read about a month ago. The Attorney-General: So am I; that was about the time. CAPTAIN BENJAMIN STEEL, Sworn. Examined by Mr. RAYMOND ASQUITH. 21943. Captain Steel, you are a master mariner, and have held an extra master’s certificate for 19 years? - Yes. 21944. You are also a Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve? - Yes. 21945. Are you the Marine Superintendent at Southampton for the White Star Line? - Yes. 21946. Were you present on board the “Titanic” on the 10th of April when there was a boat drill or boat muster? - Yes. 21947. Was Captain Clarke, the Board of Trade Emigration Officer, present also? - He was. 21948. Will you tell the Court what was done with regard to the boats on that occasion? - Two boats were exercised; two boats were put into the water and rowed about the dock manned by about eight men each. 21949. What sort of men? - Sailors. 21950. All sailors? - Yes. 21951. Did any stewards or firemen take part in the drill? - Not on that occasion; not that I recollect. 21952. Each of those boats, you say, were manned by eight deckhands? - Yes; eight sailors and an officer. 21953. And lowered into the water? - Yes. 21954. What happened then; did they row about? - They rowed about the dock. We usually set the sails, but on that occasion it was gusty and windy, and we set no sails on that particular day. They simply rowed about the dock and the boats were taken on board again. 21955. Did you inspect the boats to see whether they were properly equipped? - I did in a general way, yes. 21956. What did you find. Were they properly equipped? - As far as I saw, yes. 21957. Did you look at each boat? - I did, yes. 21958. As far as you could see they were properly equipped? - Exactly, yes. 21959. Did you notice whether the boats had any indication upon them as to what their carrying capacity was? - No, I cannot say that I noticed that. No, I did not on that occasion. 21960. You do not know whether they had or not? - I do not. 21961. Have you ever experienced this difficulty which has been spoken of with regard to getting firemen to take part in the drills? - Yes, we have recently. 21962. Was any attempt made to get them to take part in the drill on the “Titanic,” as far as you know? - No. May I state, my Lord, that we have had a lot of difficulty with these firemen at Southampton. 21963. (The Commissioner.) They refused to go to sea the other day, did not they? - Yes, my Lord. 21964. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) Do you mean you have had trouble since the “Titanic” disaster? - We have, yes. 21965. Have you made them offers to try and persuade them to take part in these drills? - We have.
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