Page 183 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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approved on the 15th July, requesting that practical tests should be made by officers at London, Liverpool and Glasgow on the 21st July, suggesting that practical tests should be made with a view to determining - (a) a standard type of boat, (b) a maximum depth, (c) a maximum proportion of depth to breadth, and that full details should be given, with drawings of the best and worst forms tested, and notes on the height of gunwales, use of the oars, and the question of stability. The first report was received from the London Principal Officers on August 25th, and related to two boats that had been tested.” I will not trouble your Lordship with reading the result of the test. He gives the particulars in detail: (a) That is London, then (b), about 15 lines down: “A further Report from the London Principal Officer was received on September 19th and gave results of tests as follows.” Those were tests which were made by Captain Clarke at Southampton. Various examinations of boats which he had made and which had continued apparently up to September 15th; and again on September 16th Mr. Penney of London made a suggestion that the divisor should be 12 instead of 10 or 8. That exhausts London. The last of the Reports is September16th. So that what we have got is that after the report of the Advisory Committee of the 4th July, which, at any rate, made some recommendations with reference to the questions submitted to them about the construction of the boats, and the dimensions of the boats that were hereafter to be used, according to Board of Trade requirements, the London Principal Surveyor made his experiments by September 15th. From Glasgow, on November 3rd, the report was received. It is at the bottom of page 644. “On November 3rd the Glasgow Principal Officer forwarded reports of tests, as follows.” He gives a series of reports which had been made in October and the beginning of November, and then in the right-hand column, about five lines down, there is the report from the Liverpool Principal Officer, dated 11th November; it was stated to have been delayed owing to the recent labour troubles. “The Principal Officer forwarded details by Mr. Jenkins, the Senior Ship Surveyor, of eight tests that he had made.” Then he goes into the particulars of those tests. Then, if your Lordship will look eight lines further down. “A further report was received from the Liverpool Principal Officer, dated November 15th, with remarks by two nautical Surveyors, Messrs. Rice and Jenkins. They recommended a minimum depth of 3 feet 4 inches, or breadth by 4, and a breadth of 3.5. This was a mere matter of discussion, which we went into, and did not quite agree with.” Then he goes on: “A summary of all these reports was drawn up and completed on January 4th, 1912, and the Principal Ship Surveyor was asked for his observations on the whole question.” Now may I pause there for a minute and see where we are at this date. From that time, that is from July, 1911, until this period of January 4th, 1912, the experiments had been made of which the last report comes in on November 15th, 1911. They are all considered, and the summary of them is drawn up and then presented to the Principal Ship Surveyor, who is asked for his observations upon it. “The Principal Ship Surveyor was away ill at this time, and the matter was taken up by Mr. Daniel, an officer in his department acting as his deputy, who reviewed the reports of the Surveyors and their suggestions. He replied on the 27th January.” Then there is the substance of his report, “the question of the form of boat is important. Boats are generally built ‘to the eye,’ with simply a midship mould. It has been found that boats of the same dimensions differ considerably in actual carrying capacity. Mr. Daniel, therefore, suggested the following method: A boat should not be regarded as capable of accommodating the number of persons for which it measures according to the Rules unless it has half an inch of sheer per foot of length, and unless the half-girth of midships is at least 90 percent of the sum of the depth and half-breadth.” I need not trouble your Lordship with the details of these dimensions which they were considering there, “a draft amendment of the General Rules on these lines was prepared on 1st February” - that is the draft amendment of the Rules which were to carry out the report of the Committee which had been made in July, 1911 “and it was decided to submit the
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