Page 74 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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was that they did not get the people into the boats? Mr. Scanlan: That is it, my Lord. The Commissioner: They managed, discipline or no discipline, to get all the boats into the water. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: I leave out the one collapsible boat. What they did not do, for some reason, was to get the people into the boats. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Now, have you thought about that? Mr. Scanlan: I have, my Lord. I have given a good deal of consideration to the suggestion that people would not go into the boats, and I daresay that at the beginning that was true; but I do think if, when the terrible seriousness of what had happened was recognised by those in charge of the ship, they had told the people plainly that the ship was doomed, and was sinking, and would sink in a very short time, I think there would have been no indisposition to get into the boats. There is a reference in Mr. Ismay’s evidence, which I accept, to the fact that up to the time he left the “Titanic” he was not told by the Chief Engineer or the Captain or anybody else, that the ship would certainly sink. He was told that the condition of the ship was dangerous, and I think he was told, in one part of his evidence, that the engineers hoped that by working the pumps they would be able to keep the “Titanic” afloat. The Commissioner: Have you looked at the Marconigram which says “sinking”? I will tell you which it is. It may be taken as showing that they, at all events, realised the condition then. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Attorney-General: It is at the top of page 7, I think your Lordship means - “Titanic” to “Olympic.” The Commissioner: Yes. “We are in collision with berg. Sinking. Head down.” Now that is 1.10 a.m. ship’s time. Now I think probably that message was sent from the Marconi room upon information given by the Captain to the Marconi operator. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: So that it was realised apparently at that time. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: That is an hour and ten minutes before the vessel went down. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, but there is no evidence, so far as I know, to the effect that when the seriousness of the catastrophe was realised, the passengers were apprised of the seriousness of their position. The Commissioner: Just think about that; let us see. They began, I think, to uncover the boats very soon after twelve o’clock, did they not? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: That is within about a short half hour of the striking? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, from 11.40. The Commissioner: Large numbers of people were then coming on deck. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. The Commissioner: Does not that show this, that there was the very clearest notification of danger? People do not uncover lifeboats, you know, and begin to lower them, until there is danger. Mr. Scanlan: I thought I should indicate this to your Lordship as one explanation that has appeared to me. I think they would not have had any difficulty in getting the passengers; I do not think that any passengers would have held back, who knew that this was a last chance - if they were told, upon a boat going away, “If you do not go into it you will go down with the ship in
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