Page 167 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Commissioner: This evidence comes to no more than this, that Lightoller was afraid. The Attorney-General: That is all, my Lord. The Commissioner: My attention was drawn to Mr. Lowe’s evidence. The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord. There is a little more at page 477. The Commissioner: That has been read already. The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord, it is a passage that I called attention to. The Commissioner: “And that was why you lowered the boats from the boat deck when they were not altogether full? - (A.) I was working on the idea that the gangway doors were going to be opened, and take people from there.” Then he says in answer to that last question, “Certainly; we were not going to load the boat with its floating capacity from the davits.” (The Commissioner.) Do you see any reason why the lifeboats should not have been lowered full of people? - (A.) Yes, I do. (Q.) Did you see any one of them lowered full of people - I mean with about 60 in the boat? - (A.) No, Sir; I could not say that I did. (Q.) What, in your opinion, is the reason why the boat should not be lowered full of people? - (A.) The reason, my Lord, is that the boat is suspended from both ends, and all the weight is in the middle, and that being so the boat is apt to buckle, that is, break in the middle, and both ends buckle up like that (showing), and shoot the whole lot out of her.” Well, I do not know whether this man was cross-examined or examined about it again. Had he ever seen such a thing? The Attorney-General: I am much obliged to your Lordship for calling my attention to it. Would your Lordship mind reading the next two Questions? The Commissioner: “At all events, you would not think it safe to do it? - (A.) No. (Q.) How many were in your boat when it was lowered? - (A.) I mustered them when I got away from the ship, and there were 58 passengers - that would be 65 altogether. (Q.) That was lowered without buckling? - (A.) Yes, but I said I was taking on risks, Sir.” “Do you think the boats were fit to be lowered with their full complement,” and Lightoller and this man Lowe seems to have thought that there was some risk. What business they had to think there was some risk, I do not know. The Attorney-General: At page 427 your Lordship will see according to that, Mr. Wilde, the Chief Officer, thought so too. Question 17897, “Can you give any explanation of this boat No. 8 being lowered and launched with only 35 passengers? - (A.) No. The only thing is that Mr. Wilde, the Chief Officer, said there were quite enough in that boat to be safe to lower it.” The Commissioner: That is another man. The Attorney-General: Yes. “Was that in reference to the strength of the falls? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And the tackle for lowering? - (A.) I should say that is what he thought.” Then your Lordship says “That is rather a leading question. (To the Witness.) This boat was being lowered, like the others, from the davits? - (A.) Yes, my Lord. (Q.) And being lowered a long way? - (A.). Yes. (Q.) From the davits to the water? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Does it occur to you that Mr. Wilde might have thought that the load in her was quite enough? - (A.) Yes, I think that is about what he thought. He said there was quite enough in it to lower from the davits.” Then there is a little discussion about it, and your Lordship says: “What occurred to me was that you were putting the blame on the davits and the falls, and I do not think myself, at present, that the davits and falls had anything to do with it, but it was the fear of the boat buckling and throwing the people out.” Then there was some examination about that - “The falls were perfectly new. There was no difficulty experienced in lowering.” The Commissioner: I remember the suggestion made in this examination was that the falls and boats were not strong. This examination was being conducted by Mr. Scanlan. The suggestion, you know, against this ship was that the boat was not strong enough; that was the suggestion thrown out by the examination. It was not well founded, because the boats were strong. The Attorney-General: There is no suggestion that they were not. The Commissioner: According to this man, a boat which would hold about sixty was allowed
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