Page 190 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 190
24945. (The Attorney-General.) Have you considered whether it would be possible on a ship which is manned by one operator for a person who is not an expert in wireless telegraphy, to receive some simple signal which could be devised so that he could then call the operator? - I have considered that, and think that if the International Regulations allowed it, a member of the crew could be instructed to stand by the instrument, to be in attendance at certain hours when the operator is off duty, and give the alarm and inform the Captain in the event of a danger signal being sent. I think that might be done. At the same time I have got a certain feeling that it might not in many cases be altogether reliable. I have another way that suggests itself to which I have given a great deal of attention since the “Titanic” disaster, and that is, of making the wireless apparatus ring a bell and thereby give warning that a ship in danger needs assistance. In order to make this system effective, given that the apparatus was all right, it would be necessary to alter the regulations of the International Convention so as to enable the danger signal to consist of, or to be accompanied by, a long dash as we call it, an impulse or sequence of waves which would last for a period of 15, 20 or 30 seconds. This would cause a bell to give a prolonged ring like that which is given on shore by a fire alarm, and that would be a signal to denote that a ship requires assistance. Of course following that signal particulars might be given of the position of the ship and everything else. 24946. If a signal was once given, then the operator could be called and he could come and receive the particular message? - Yes. Some tests have been made with an apparatus such as I have referred to, and I have considerable confidence that it can be employed, although so far it has not been tested in actual practice. 24947. You think that is more feasible than the first suggestion? - I think that is more feasible than the first suggestion. 24948. (The Commissioner.) At all events, Mr. Marconi, at present the better plan is to have two men on board? - Yes, my Lord; that is the only reliable plan at present. 24949. You know nothing about bulkheads, I think, or boats on the deck? - No, my Lord. I have seen a lot of them, because I have crossed very often. The Commissioner: Then you do not want to ask him any questions, Mr. Scanlan. Mr. Scanlan: I do want to ask him one question, on manning. Examined by Mr. SCANLAN. 24950. Has it been suggested to you, Mr. Marconi, that on first class ships, where there is a good deal of traffic in messages, it would be desirable to have a messenger boy, like a telegraph messenger boy, to assist the operator? - Yes, I think, that is provided on every ship on which I have crossed. 24951. It is provided? - It is provided, and not only is it provided but it is in our agreement with the shipping companies and particularly in our agreement with the White Star Line. Examined by Mr. COTTER. 24952. Do you place much importance upon those charts which are issued to the ships each trip? - I think they are very important in regard to assisting the operator, and letting him know approximately at what time he may expect to be in communication with a certain ship. Mr. Cotter: We have evidence of one operator not having one of these charts. The Commissioner: Have we, which one? Mr. Cotter: The operator of the “Californian,” my Lord. The Commissioner: I do not remember it. Mr. Cotter: It is on page 192, my Lord.
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