Page 72 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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deal with them - all these points tend to prevent one making up one’s mind at the present moment as to what should be a reasonable and proper increase. The danger of getting boats down from a height in ordinary Atlantic conditions is so great that it would be, in my opinion, absurd to pile the ship’s deck up with a whole heap of boats that you could not possibly handle. 23425. (Mr. Scanlan.) With all those considerations, what I gather to be at the back of your head is that there should be a considerable increase on what was carried on the “Titanic” for such boats? - By all means, yes. 23426. But you have not formed a definite idea of the increase which you yourself would be prepared to recommend? - Quite so; it has to be thought out yet. We have to get the various reports in from the different Committees that are sitting at the present time dealing with the subject. 23427. As to any increase in boat accommodation, is it necessary that an increase should be provided of the crew for manning those boats? - Oh, most decidedly. The Commissioner: It is of no use having boats if you have not men to manage them. 23428. (Mr. Scanlan.) I want to get from the Witness how he would make up the crews. (To the Witness.) How many seamen do you think it would be necessary to have on board for each lifeboat? - I would not have less than two - call them sailors or what you like. I would regard them as men qualified to deal with boats. 23429. Do you speak of deckhands now? - Well, yes, certainly, to a great extent; but, at all events, two boatmen - I will put it in that way. The Attorney-General: May I say with reference to what your Lordship said just now - that was an expression of opinion which I know is not intended to be final - of course, your Lordship is not shutting out, and I am sure your Lordship did not intend to shut out, the considerations of unduly encumbering the deck or of impairing the stability of the vessel in any way by making it tender. Your Lordship, of course, will take all that into consideration. You were, I think, dealing with one aspect of it, as I understand? The Commissioner: Yes, one aspect - the commercial aspect - which, I think, is a very important one. Mr. Scanlan: Yesterday, while the learned Attorney-General was not here I think a Witness was asked questions on tenderness. The Commissioner: Yes, I did ask him a question as to the boats making the vessel tender. The Attorney-General: I know your Lordship had it in mind; I was only anxious to have it on the Note in order that it should not appear that it had been left out of consideration. The Commissioner: Yes. 23430. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) I think it is quite within your knowledge that the shipowners of this country have expressed their willingness to provide accommodation for all on board? - Yes, they have, certainly. 23431. In one of the documents which you read today reference was made to the manning scale for boats? - Yes. 23432. Do you think it is desirable to set up a manning scale? The Commissioner: When you come to deal with it, Mr. Scanlan, you will have to remember that, in point of fact, only a comparatively small percentage of the space in the boats on the “Titanic” was used. What I mean is this: If you provide boats for every soul that can be carried by the ship, it does not at all follow that would be sufficient for the purpose of getting the people from the ship. Mr. Scanlan: Of course, my Lord. That is the reason why I have insisted so much on the manning scale, on the question of efficiency and boat drill. The Commissioner: But even the manning scale would be no good. I am satisfied - and I am not astonished at it - that a large number of people would not go into the boats. They preferred to stick to the vessel. Mr. Scanlan: I have grave doubts as to whether any person who believed this was their last chance, and
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