Page 37 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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made. 20537. So that I may take it from you it is a question which is worth looking into, whether these falls cannot be simplified? - Yes, and one which, whenever we get rid of this Inquiry, we hope to look into. 20538. If you could recover your fall easily and certainly from below, could you have two boats, one on top of the other, so to speak, served by the same davit; not of course hanging from the same, but served by the same davit, and in fact placed under it? - One on top of the other is not, as a rule, a very satisfactory arrangement. In practice it is much better if you possibly can do so, and want to carry two boats, to carry them side by side. 20539. Whether side by side or whether one is stowed under the other, you could have two boats served by the same davit much more certainly and safely if you are certain of recovering your falls? - You are certain of recovering your falls as it is; it is only a question of time. 20540. But you recover them in a tangled state? - But you can untangle them. There is nothing impossible in the untangling if you take a quarter of an hour or 20 minutes and disentangle those falls. 20541. (The Commissioner.) You must untangle them before you can recover them? - No, my Lord, the best thing is to pull it up and straighten it out on deck. 20542. (Mr. Rowlatt.) We had a little demonstration of that, my Lord? - Recover it by a hook, or something of that sort, and pull it out on deck. 20543. It would be much better if the falls could be simplified for the purpose of making the davits serve two boats? - Yes. It raises certain other difficulties. The strain of the weight on the single fall in lowering the boat becomes much greater, and it is not so easy to handle that fall when lowering the boat, as you can understand, because there is three or four times the strain on it. 20544. You have not the benefit of the various blocks? - Yes, and consequently it is not pure gain. 20545. You would have to have some way of gaining power on the deck - Against it. 20546. Instead of the blocks which now give you the power in the fall itself? - Yes. The point of that is that any such gain takes up part of the time that you would lose in untwisting your present manilla falls so that it is not clear gain. 20547. I only want to take it in this way; all those are matters which are worth going into? - Certainly, I quite agree. 20548. Very well. Now boats were stowed on wooden chocks. I do not think there is anything in that - The Commissioner: You are not going to ask this witness, I suppose, any questions on the manning of the lifeboats? Mr. Rowlatt: I was not going to, my Lord; I do not think he comes here as a seaman. 20549. (The Commissioner.) Then I should like to ask this - it is only one of the innumerable suggestions which have been made to me - I do not mean by my colleagues - is it possible to have motor lifeboats? Have you ever heard of such a thing? - Motor lifeboats are allowed at present, my Lord, but the Board of Trade deduct from the volume of the boat the cubic space occupied by the motor in ascertaining the number of people it is eligible for. 20550. I know. But is a motor-boat more easily handled and handled by a less number of men? - In a considerable sea-way, yes. As you have heard, on a very still night it only wants two men and someone at the tiller with the ordinary boat. 20551. Yes, I know that? - You can hardly handle a motor-boat with less than three. 20552. Take ordinary conditions, not the exceptional conditions that existed here. Is there any advantage in having as a lifeboat a motor-boat? - Well, there is this way of looking at it. In a given boat or a given area of boat, that is a given size of boat, with a motor in, you carry fewer
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