Page 33 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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(possibly by Mr. Edwards, I do not know), that if they had been open people who were either on that deck or could have been brought to that deck, could then have been put into the half-filled boats, and so more lives would have been saved. Now what have you to say to that? - The door that would most likely be used was this, that door, at which there is an accommodation ladder; that is, a portable sloping ladder is provided just inside the ship opposite this door, which can be shipped on either side, and the order would probably be intended to apply to that door. 20477. (The Commissioner.) There is a corresponding door on the other side of the ship? - There is a door on each side with a broad passage leading through from one door to the other. If this accommodation ladder was put in position from one of these doors it would be very easy for anyone, even ladies and children, to go down the accommodation ladder to get into the boats in smooth water, which we understand prevailed. There would be no difficulty once the accommodation ladder was rigged, which would be a matter of perhaps half an hour, to use it in that way. 20478. But we have no evidence at all, as far as I know, that anybody from the ship got into a boat from that doorway? - I have heard none, my Lord. The Attorney-General: No, my Lord, there is no suggestion. Mr. Edwards: May I recall to your Lordship’s mind Mr. Lightoller’s instruction was, when they were lowering boat 6, that the boatswain and certain men were to go down and open these gangway doors, his view, as he expressed it, being that certain of the boats should come back when they saw the light and take away certain passengers from them? - So far as my questions were addressed to him they were simply to ascertain his view as to whether if the gangway doors had been opened forward - The Commissioner: Forward? Mr. Edwards: Yes, forward. He gave the order both forward and aft, and my questions were addressed to him to show whether, in his view, if at the stage when the order was given in fact the gangway door forward was opened on the port side, that might not have accounted for a big rush of water and a sudden list to port. 20479. (The Commissioner.) I do not remember that; it has escaped me. (To the Witness.) What do you say to that? - Mr. Lightoller did not convey to my mind that he had given any very distinct order, that is any order that made itself clear which door was intended; but there was evidence that the boats were told to go round to the after door which was the door where this accommodation ladder was provided, and which would be the natural door to go to. 20480. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Is there any ladder for the forward door? - There is none. 20481. If they had gone there and the ladder had been shipped could people have gone down the ladder and stepped into the boats? - Very easily. It is like a yacht or warship accommodation ladder. Mr. Rowlatt: I think there is no other question of construction which concerns this gentleman which arises. The compasses we have had no question about, and the accommodation ladder - The Witness: The accommodation ladder we have just been referring to. 20482. Masts and rigging - that does not matter. We know quite well what the crow’s-nest is; I do not think we need trouble about that at all. 20483. (The Commissioner.) By whom were the compasses adjusted? - A representative of Messrs. Kelvin and White, the makers. 20484. And when were they adjusted? - In Belfast Lough - we got down in sufficiently deep water to swing the ship, on the 2nd of April. 20485. (Mr. Rowlatt.) I think no question arises about the lifeboats. There were 48 as a matter of fact, you say? - Yes. 20486. And the lifebelts or lifejackets you say, they are the improved overhead pattern? - Yes. 20487. As I gathered it is a sort of breast-plate of cork on the front and behind? - I understand
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