Page 20 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 20
The Commissioner: The basis is tonnage in both cases. The Attorney-General: They have the same Rule as we have. That reference to cargo boats would introduce another Rule which the Germans have. The Commissioner: The observation was only made because I did not understand. The Attorney-General: She need never carry more boats than are necessary to carry all the persons on board. As your Lordship heard, in certain cases we have enough to carry all persons on board on each side. But, dealing with this particular question, as applied to steamers of what I may call the first class, requiring the most extensive and careful survey, passenger and emigrant ships, the result is that the boating accommodation required by the German law would be 34 lifeboats, and also a number of boats of the capacity of this 10,000 odd which would carry 3,198 people. So far as I can tell from the Note I have of the German requirements, I do not know that any difference would be made, except, of course, this, that according to the German law and German requirements a vessel need never carry more boats than are required for all the passengers. Supposing she had more passengers and crew than 3,198, she still would only be required to carry the boat accommodation with a cubic capacity which I have described. The Commissioner: The figures in that newspaper that I handed to you seem to have been carefully collected. I do not know whether they are accurate, but if they are accurate the German boats do not carry sufficient lifeboat accommodation to provide for all the lives in the boats. The Attorney-General: They do not. The Commissioner: But they provide considerably more than we do. The Attorney-General: That is right; I think it comes approximately to this. I am only giving now a rough average from looking at it. It would work out at 25 percent unprovided for, according to these figures we have before us, in the German boats, and according to the requirements of a vessel like the “Titanic,” with the number of passengers carried, it would be 66 percent unprovided for. The Commissioner: The “Titanic” carried 2,208 souls, passengers and crew. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Have you made any calculation to see what the German law would require in the case of a ship of that size, carrying that number of people. The Attorney-General: No, but we can. It is quite simple. The Commissioner: Because it is suggested to me - I do not know whether it is right - that if you make that calculation you will find that the “Titanic” was carrying as much in the way of lifeboats as the German law would require. The Attorney-General: That I am sure was not so. That is quite simple. The Commissioner: I am wrong, Mr. Attorney. The Attorney-General: There is a point in it, because in estimating with regard to the “Titanic,” at any rate for the purpose of this voyage, it not being necessary, according to German law, to carry more boats than would be required to carry all on board, what you have to consider is not the full complement on the “Titanic,” but what she actually did carry in passengers and crew. So that, whatever the tonnage is, she would never, according to German law, be required to carry boats to accommodate more than 2,208 persons. It might be that she might carry a good many more, but she was not carrying them, and one has to consider that in making the comparison in the case of the “Titanic” as she sailed. The Commissioner: What was suggested to me and what I ought to have put to you, was that if this boat with only 2,200 people on board had been provided with lifeboats in accordance with German requirements, there would have been sufficient lifeboat accommodation on the “Titanic” to carry everybody on board. The Attorney-General: Yes, assuming of course that she was provided with boats sufficient to carry the full complement of passengers and crew that she could carry.
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