Page 35 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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minds I would have done my best to remove it. 20502. The reason I ask is this, that it may be suggested that the officers, when they lowered the boats without the full complement of people, that the boats would carry, thought that the boats were already sufficiently full for safety? - Of course, what the officers thought one really cannot tell. 20503. (Mr. Rowlatt.) You belong to the builders, of course? - Exactly. If the officers had asked about it, or had expressed any doubt about it at Belfast, they would have been told, and the test would have been mentioned to them. 20504. (The Commissioner.) One of these boats was, in fact, lowered with 60? - Certainly, my Lord. 20505. I do not know whether that was the last boat of all? - Not quite, my Lord. Mr. Raymond Asquith: I think it was boat No. 11, not the last boat. The Commissioner: Not the last boat to be lowered? The Witness: No. The Commissioner: It had not buckled? Mr. Rowlatt: I do not know how far it would come to their attention under the circumstances, my Lord. The Commissioner: The officer who permitted that boat to be loaded to that extent did not think that it was going to buckle. Sir Robert Finlay: I think he said he was taking a risk. Mr. Rowlatt: Mr. Lowe, I think. The Commissioner: It turned out to be a risk that was not of any consequence. One had 59 - I am taking the larger ones - another 74, another 70, another 64, 70, 71, 56 - a great many of those boats carried a large number. Some of them carried very few for some reason. 20506. (Mr. Rowlatt.) There is a general question raised in this case as to the utility of boats in the case of a ship of this class and size. From that point of view just tell me about the disengaging gear at the bottom that lets the boat escape from the falls after it has been lowered. What is that? I mean describe how it acts, never mind the detail? - It is a hook which is thrown out by pulling over the lever amidships in the boat. You will remember one of the witnesses could not find the lever and had to cut the falls; but there is a hook hooked into the eye under the block through which the ropes pass and the hook which is thrown out is released - is thrown apart, by this lever. 20507. I happened to see it myself; so see if my explanation is right. This is a very magnified representation of what you are describing? - Yes. 20508. That is in the boat? - Yes. 20509. The fall comes down from here? - Yes. 20510. And underneath the block there is a big loop? - Yes, the eye, as we call it. 20511. An eye of iron? - Yes. 20512. Like that? - Yes. 20513. Then in the middle of the boat is there a lever going across the boat? - Yes. 20514. And when the man pulls the lever over, that happens (Demonstrating.)? - Yes, it throws the top part of the hook out of the eye. 20515. That is more or less right, is it? - Yes. 20516. (The Commissioner.) Then the falls are released? - Yes. 20517. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Then the boat is released and there is no danger of one end being released before the other? - No; that is the object; both ends are connected up with one lever; when one is thrown over both are. 20518. Released before the boat reaches the surface of the water? - There is sufficient power in the lever to draw out that hook which is in the eye while the weight of the boat is still on it.
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