Page 154 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 154
The Commissioner: Have you considered, or has anybody considered, the desirability of contrivances for the application of compressed air to a breach of the ship’s side? Mr. Butler Aspinall: No, my Lord, that has not been considered by any of us. The Commissioner: I wish you would think about it. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, certainly, my Lord, it will receive consideration. The Commissioner: It is a suggestion that I make. You may think there is nothing in it, but just think about it. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Yes, my Lord. Would your Lordship develop it a little? The Commissioner: Salvage. Mr. Butler Aspinall: I thought that was what your Lordship had in your mind. The Commissioner: Yes. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Putting a pad, as it were. The Commissioner: Yes, I will tell you what the suggestion is - making the deck above the leak watertight and then working compressed air into the place where the water is, and so forcing the water out, and by means of the compressed air keeping the water out. Mr. Butler Aspinall: That will receive consideration. The Commissioner: Have you ever heard of such a thing. Mr. Butler Aspinall: Personally I never have. Sir Robert Finlay: I am told it has been used in salvage operations sometimes under special circumstances. The Commissioner: Is it done for the purpose of enabling the salvers to work? Sir Robert Finlay: It is used for that purpose, my Lord, and also for the purposes of floatation. The Commissioner: Lifting the ship? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: What you mean to say is, it is used only in connection with a ship that is sunk? Sir Robert Finlay: I believe so, my Lord. The Commissioner: Not in connection with a ship that is still afloat? Sir Robert Finlay: That is my understanding. The Commissioner: Well, it may be, but I wish you would think about it. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. EBER SHARPE, Sworn. Examined by Mr. BUTLER ASPINALL. 24533. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) This is the gentleman who finally cleared the ship at Queenstown before she left for the West. (To the Witness.) Are you Board of Trade Surveyor stationed at Queenstown? - Yes. 24534. Did you occupy the position of Emigration Officer? - Yes. 24535. And was it your business to give a certificate of clearance to the “Titanic” before she left the United Kingdom for the United States? - Yes. 24536. And did you do so? - I did. 24537. And when she left was the ship, in your opinion, seaworthy, in safe trim and in all respects fit for her intended voyage? - Yes. 24538. One other matter. I think his Lordship asked about this. Did you, before you gave your certificate of clearance, ascertain the exact number of passengers, divided into first and second and third class, and crew on board? - I took the passengers in two classes, cabin and steerage, and the crew.
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