Page 71 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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23409. And I think you have expressed the view that it is practicable in the case of a ship like the “Titanic” to carry a full complement of boats for all on board? - I do not say that. Mr. Scanlan: “What is practicable,” you said. The Solicitor-General: “Reasonably practicable.” 23410. (Mr. Scanlan.) What is the limit of practicability? - You would have to see what the arrangements of the boat deck were, and see what the space available was, and see whether it was essential in order to get the number of boats that you require stowed on that deck to pile them up indiscriminately one over the other, which is a practice the Board is extremely averse to. 23411. Will you tell me - and I wish you to be very short because I do not wish to detain the Enquiry - according to your view now, with the knowledge you have of the “Titanic” accident and of the construction of ships like the “Titanic,” what provision do you think it would be desirable to make in the way of lifeboat accommodation in such a vessel? - I would certainly increase it considerably. Give me the extent to which you would extend it. If you would not provide for all on board, for how many would you provide? 23412. (The Commissioner.) Do not give us a guess about a matter of that kind. If you have not considered it, say that you have not considered it? - I have considered it. 23413. Have you considered the number? - Yes, and I am still of the opinion that for all ordinary purposes, all ordinary cases of collision, which is what we are chiefly concerned with, she need not be required to carry more than about 50 percent. of the persons on board. 23414. Do you mean this, that notwithstanding the experience which you gained by the circumstances of this casualty, you think that the right thing to do for a vessel of this kind would be to carry lifeboat accommodation for 50 percent of the permitted number of crew and passengers? - I think, in accordance with the opinions I have formed and have had for some time, that for all ordinary cases of collision that would be sufficient, because I am relying upon the bulkhead system for ordinary cases of collision. 23415. I am asking you something more than that; having in view this particular casualty, would you increase the 50 percent? - I think I should be inclined to do so; I think it should be extended. 23416. How much would you increase it? - I would extend it in accordance with the merits of the ship itself. If I could stow the boats on the boat deck, so that one boat would not impede another, so that the crew would have easy access to them, and there would be no impediment in getting them out, then I should say by all means have a considerable extension. I would not like to say what it is at the present moment, because it requires much consideration. 23417. That is a question I should like an answer given to, if you have considered it? - I have considered it. 23418. Then have you formed an opinion? - I have formed an opinion. 23419. Then will you express it? - The opinion I have formed is this, that you require boats more for transfer purposes than for the saving of people on board. 23420. I mean on the question of number, or percentage, if you like? - No, I have not decided upon that. 23421. Never mind whether you have decided; have you formed an opinion? - Certainly I have. 23422. Well, what is it? - That the boat scale should be considerably extended. 23423. But how far; have you formed an opinion on that point? - Not exactly; no. 23424. If you have not, then I do not want you to express any opinion. You know, what occurs to me is this (and it will be my difficulty, I can see, in this matter), that to provide boat accommodation to the extent of 100 percent of the numbers carried, or permitted to be carried, as I would really say, might be a burden upon the shipowner, which would be unnecessary and extremely expensive; and I want to know whether that is true or not, because it is no use having boats without having men? - That is one of the considerations which has prevented me from arriving at a decision in my mind, or an opinion as to the precise number of boats that a particular ship should have. It is on account of those side issues, which are very important, and the necessity, as you remark, of having a proper number of qualified deckhands to
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