Page 36 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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20519. So that the boat can be released in the air? - Yes. The Commissioner: Well, not too soon, I suppose? 20520. (Mr. Rowlatt.) No. One was done for our edification in the air, an appreciable distance above the water? - Quite. The reason for doing it is to facilitate launching in a seaway. When there is a sea running a man stands by the lever and watches his chance. 20521. And they can do it instantaneously? - Practically. 20522. Instead of making his boat float first and then work away at clearing it? - Yes. 20523. I think the evidence was that one of the boats was dropped 5 feet? - I think that was it. That was Mr. Lowe’s evidence. I think that is so, my Lord. The Commissioner: I have no doubt, but it would be unpleasant I should think. 20524. (Mr. Rowlatt.) It looked very easy when we saw it. Would it be a very easy thing? Mr. Lowe described it as being dropped 5 feet? - I think that occurs in the evidence. There was no reason why it should not. 20525. (The Commissioner.) There is no reason why it should not be dropped 20 feet or 30 feet? - If it is more than a moderate height - more than 10 feet - the shock when the boat strikes the water is apt not to be good for the boat. The Commissioner: No, nor for the people in it. 20526. (Mr. Rowlatt.) It is not quite a flat-bottomed boat. That appliance enables you to launch boats in a sea? - That is right. The object is to facilitate launching in a seaway. 20527. You had here manilla falls? - It might perhaps be mentioned that that is the invention of a White Star captain for that object. 20528. That releasing gear? - Yes. 20529. We saw here the falls made -? - Of manilla rope. 20530. Is that the best form of fall which has been invented hitherto? - Yes, it is the best type of fall. It is a type which is required by the Board of Trade, and is generally held to be the best. The Commissioner: There is no charge against these falls, except that in one case they had to be cut. Mr. Rowlatt: No, my Lord, there is not. The point is, there is a question in this case as to how far it is any use multiplying boats in view of the various difficulties in working them, launching them, and operating them also from the deck, getting your tackle back, and lowering another boat with them. That is the sort of question, and I was only going to ask this gentleman whether he can suggest any simpler way of lowering a boat than this multiplication of ropes forming the tackle. The Attorney-General: There is a point in it, my Lord. The Commissioner: Very well. 20531. (Mr. Rowlatt - to the Witness.) Can you suggest any simpler way, say, for instance, having a single wire rope to each end of the boat, worked in some way on deck? Is such a thing possible? - Well, it is a thing which wants looking into; but I think I may fairly say that something of the sort was done in the Navy some years ago in the case of torpedo depot ships carrying second class torpedo boats, where a big crane was on deck and took a boat out and lowered it, and I believe it was lowered by a single rope. 20532. I was not speaking of a single rope for a boat, but instead of having eight ropes at each end, is it? - Six ropes, three doubled. 20533. Instead of six, whether you could have one rope? - It is possible. I have seen a patent which proposes to do it in that way. 20534. Over a drum on the deck in some way? - Yes. 20535. It was pointed out on the ship. It is the case, is it not, that it is very difficult to recover the fall? - Yes, especially with a new manilla rope. 20536. Because the block capsizes? - It tends to twist itself up, owing to the way the rope is
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