Page 78 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 78
Mr. Scanlan: It is dealing with that point, my Lord. Your Lordship remembers the Witness, I think it is Crawford, who said that as he understood his orders from the Captain, they were to take the load of people he had off to that ship, pointing to a light, and then to come back for more. What appears to me, my Lord, is that there was a confused idea in the minds of the Captain and officers that those doors might be used. Of course, the ship was new and the crew were new to the ship, and even this method of filling the boats with passengers does not seem to have been understood. The Commissioner: It was not adopted. Mr. Scanlan: It was not adopted, but I think it was meant to be adopted, because you have from Mr. Lightoller’s evidence that he gave directions to have the door opened, and he told your Lordship the reason. The Commissioner: I can imagine that many of the women would have preferred going down steps to get into a boat rather than being swung out. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: Than being swung out 90 feet above the water and dropped down by means of the falls. Mr. Scanlan: I think it can be conceded that it would have been, in the circumstances of that night, a calm night, a most desirable way to have adopted. The only point I am trying to make now on this is that it is evident that the officers did not know properly that this was a means, and that there was no decision come to, and communicated from one to another for the adoption of those means; because had it been adopted, I think quite a number of people who were left behind might have been got in, especially in the earlier stages. In my examination of Mr. Lightoller, at page 323, I asked this question at Question 14228: “Had you understood between you and the Captain that this was one way of filling the lifeboats in the event of the lifeboats being required? - (A.) I had not discussed the matter with the Captain. (Q.) How was it that it occurred to you and to the Captain at the same time? - (A.) I do not know that it occurred at the same time. (Q.) But it did occur to both of you? - (A.) It came to both our minds, and naturally anyone familiar with the ship, any seaman, anyone attached to the ship, would know at once that was the best means of putting the people into the boats - by the gangway doors.” I think it of importance to indicate this as one explanation for the lifeboats not being filled. The Commissioner: It does not account for one or more boats going away with only 12 people. Mr. Scanlan: No, it does not. I do not think there would have been any danger in lowering a boat with more than 10 or more than 12, or more than 20. The only boat that had 12 in it was this No. 1 boat. The Commissioner: Yes, and I am reminded that she was told to stand by the steamer. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. They say that there were no other people there at the time, but she was to stand by. The Commissioner: How many people were there in the boat that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon went away in? Mr. Scanlan: Twelve. The Commissioner: That is the one. Mr. Scanlan: That is the same boat; 12 people - five passengers, and seven of the crew. I was pointing out this on the question of discipline. In the first place, it was not properly known and understood that this was a means of filling the boats, and there were no concerted means adopted between the officers and the crew to carry out this method of loading. There was an ignorance on the part of the officers as to the carrying capacity of the boats and the strength of the falls. Then, my Lord, we have this evidence from one of the officers, Harold Godfrey Lowe, on page 346, “What was the boat to which you belonged? - (A.) I do not know.”
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