Page 75 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 75
half an hour.” That would be a crude way of doing it. The Commissioner: I doubt whether they knew when they first began to uncover the boats that the ship would go down. They knew at ten minutes past one when the Marconigram was sent off. Mr. Scanlan: At all events, I do not think that can be put forward as an explanation why the boats were not filled to their full capacity. Two explanations suggest themselves to me. There was an idea in the mind of the Captain and in the mind of Mr. Lightoller as appears from the evidence of Mr. Lightoller at page 316, Questions 13953 and 13958. Shall I read those, my Lord, or just refer to them? The Commissioner: Just wait a minute. There is a telegram sent from the ship at 12.26. It is on the top of page 5, the second telegram, and it leaves the “Titanic” at 12.26 a.m. “Require immediate assistance. We have collision with iceberg. Sinking. Can hear nothing for noise of steam.” That makes the notification of the sinking three-quarters of an hour before. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. What that shows is that the responsible people, the officers, knew that this message presumably was sent by the Captain’s orders. The Commissioner: I want you to tell me your view. Do you think the officers ought to have announced in some sort of way to the passengers that the ship was sinking? Mr. Scanlan: Well, I do, my Lord. I think the stewards - The Commissioner: I cannot imagine myself any more likely way to defeat the object that they had in view. Mr. Scanlan: I do admit that the situation then was a difficult one, and a delicate one, but at all events the stewards should have been instructed by the officers to make it quite clear to any passengers who were holding back that if they did hold back they did so at their peril, and to let them know as quietly as might be the serious condition in which affairs were then. They might have even been forced into the boats, the women. In one department a large number of the women were not saved, and it would probably be the duty of the stewards, if discipline were rigorously carried out, to have put those people into the boats. The Commissioner: To have done what? Mr. Scanlan: To have put those people into the boats. I say the women, my Lord, who were held back by fear, should have been forcibly put into the boats. The Commissioner: I cannot imagine anything more alarming than for stewards to be dragging women by force; it would be a most terrifying thing. Mr. Scanlan: It is very alarming, my Lord, but it is not quite so terrible as being left behind on a ship that is doomed. The Commissioner: But, as you said just now, and you were quite right, it was a very difficult and delicate duty to perform. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: You must not frighten the people too much, because if you do, you may have panic. Mr. Scanlan: I agree, my Lord. The Commissioner: And yet, you must get them into the boats. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: You have to reconcile those two things. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. I think probably something more might have been done. It is difficult, it is impossible, for me to say how much more might have been done; but this has occurred to me now as one explanation, and which I have put before your Lordship. There is another matter. We had it in the evidence of a number of Witnesses that certain of the officers did not know the carrying capacity of the boats, and that certain of the officers entertained doubts as to the strength of the falls. It is true that the boats were new. I believe the boats were sound; I believe the falls were sound, but I think reading together the evidence of a
   70   71   72   73   74   75   76   77   78   79   80