Page 15 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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22785. In the event of a fire on one of these leviathan steamers, would it not be, as a matter of fact, necessary to have boats to transfer all the passengers and crew to some place of safety, if that were convenient? - I think so, certainly. 22786. I suggest to you that is another consideration that would weigh in the scale in the case I am pressing upon my Lord and the Court, that is, having boat accommodation for all? - I have no doubt that has been considered. Examined by Mr. HOLMES. 22787. Carrying on that point about fire, is there any requirement in the Rules for supplying lifesaving appliances, for having extinguishers, or other appliances with regard to fire? - I do not remember that there are any. 22788. Is the only statutory provision on the point Section 432 of the Merchant Shipping Act, which requires that every British sea-going steamship shall be provided with a hose capable of being connected with the engines of the ship, and adapted for extinguishing fire in any part of the ship. That is the only requirement? - That is the only one I can recollect. 22789. Is there any provision for periodical survey of the appliances which may be voluntarily provided on board a ship by the owners? - I think it was one of the points that would receive the attention of the Emigration Officer before he cleared. 22790. Can you point out anything in the report by the Emigration Officer which deals with the fire appliances on the ship? - I have not a copy of the declaration before me. 22791. Beyond the words “the other equipment”? - He is required to satisfy himself with regard to everything on board the ship, that she is seaworthy and fit to proceed. 22792. That is only in the case of an emigrant ship? - Yes. 22793. In the case of an ordinary passenger ship there would be no examination whatever? - We have one regulation I should like to read with regard to passenger steamers. It is paragraph 78 of the Regulations: “Passenger steamers going to sea should be provided with a hose adapted for the purposes of extinguishing fire in every part of the ship, and capable of being connected with the engines of the ship, or with the donkey engine, if it can be worked from the main boiler. The Surveyor must take care that it answers the required purpose. The fire hose should be connected and stretched to judge of its length, and thoroughly examined at every survey, and at least once a year (and at any other time that the Surveyor thinks it necessary) tested with the conductor in its place by pumping water through it by the main or donkey engines at full speed. A proper conductor and metal bend or goose neck form part of its equipment, and should be provided.” 22794. That simply deals with the statutory hose that is required? - Yes. 22794a. Is there any provision made for a fire drill on board ship? - This is the only supplementary regulation to that. This refers to emigrant ships: “Means for extinguishing fire.” 22795. The importance of the point appears to me to be this, that unless provision is to be made for the sufficient boatage on ships to carry all passengers, the most stringent Rules should be applied for putting out fire on board a ship, which appears to be one of the points which will not be assisted very much by the increased watertight bulkheads? - May I finish my reply? The next is paragraph 20: “Means for extinguishing fire. The Emigration Officer should be satisfied that the means for extinguishing fire are adequate and in good working order. Approved chemical extinguishers should be provided for use in the steerage compartments.” 22796. That is, again, on emigrant ships only? - That is on emigrant ships only, yes; and I wish to add to that a provision in the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, Section 290, Sub-section (1): “Every emigrant ship shall, in addition to any other requirement under this Act, be provided with the following articles” - they are then detailed; and it says in sub-section “(d) with a fire-engine
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