Page 39 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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way. 20569. (Mr. Rowlatt.) We had evidence from one witness about the false bottom of the boat preventing him from getting at the plug? - Yes. 20570. As I understand, there are two bottoms to this boat? - Quite. 20571. But they are air-tight? - Practically. 20572. And the two holes that are in the two bottoms are connected by a pipe? - Yes, they are self-emptying boats like a lifeboat. 20573. Therefore the circumstance that he could not get underneath was a misapprehension of the witness? - Yes, quite. 20574. (The Commissioner.) But although the sides of these boats are not in position they will nevertheless act as rafts, will they not? - Quite as well. The bottom part of the boat, without the canvas sides, supplies the whole of the buoyancy of the boat. The boat does not depend upon its canvas sides for buoyancy. That is a distinction from the Berthon type, my Lord. 20575. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Did you supply the distress signals? - Yes, we obtained and supplied those, I believe. 20576. Will you tell us what they were? - The cotton powder; the approved pattern of distress signal. 20577. I do not care about the powder. As to the effect when they were sent up, can you say whether they were indicative of distress as opposed to anything else? - I believe it is a pattern of signal which is understood to be restricted to ships in distress, and registered for that purpose. 29578-9. You only believe that? - Yes; it is not a thing I deal with. 20580. My friend Sir Robert Finlay asks me to ask about the boat equipment. I did not know that there was any question about it. I think the boat equipment was in accordance with the Board of Trade requirements? - It has to be, or else the Board of Trade will not pass the boat. 20581. As it left your hands, at any rate? - Yes, we supplied it, and the Board of Trade checked it, and the White Star officers checked it on taking over the boats to see it was all there. That is to say, it had the sails and the covers for the boats - The Commissioner: Except in so far as it is evidence, or may be said to be evidence of general neglect, I do not think the absence of biscuits or compasses or lights or anything else has any real bearing upon this Enquiry. Whether they had lights or biscuits or compasses or not they all reached the “Carpathia.” There was nothing wrong with them which was of any consequence. If it was a question of seaworthiness that would be another matter, as we know. 20582-3. (Mr. Rowlatt.) As a matter of fact did you supply a compass for every boat? - 14 compasses for the 14 lifeboats, but not for the emergency boats or the Englehardt’s. 20584. And had they all sea anchors and provisions? - I believe so; except, again, I think the Englehardt’s - 20585. (The Commissioner.) The Englehardt’s are folded up when they are on deck? - The sides are; the bottom remains the same. 20586. But the bottom is an empty space, full of air? - Either full of air, or full of cork in some cases. 20587. There is no room for kegs, or whatever they are, of biscuits and barrels of water? - Quite right, my Lord, but a certain small equipment is kept in the boats. 20588. In the collapsible boats? - A little on the thwarts. 20589. What is kept on the thwarts? - I could not say off-hand. The Commissioner: If it wants looking for, never mind. Mr. Rowlatt: Now your next page we have dealt with because it is all about “access of passengers to boat deck.” On page 26, my Lord, there are many paragraphs about the electrical installation. The Commissioner: They are of no consequence.
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