Page 40 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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sending the boats to the gangway doors to be filled up. So with these considerations in mind I certainly should not have sent the boats away. (Q.) That is what I meant. Did you give any order or direction to the man in charge of boat No. 6 that he was to keep near or was to go to the gangway doors? - (A.) Not that I remember. The boats would naturally remain within hail. (Q.) You do not recollect whether you gave any actual order to the man in charge? - (A.) No. (Q.) It is just as well to read this question and answer. This man Poingdestre was asked, “Did Mr. Lightoller give you any orders as to what to do with the boat”; and the answer was, “He gave me orders before the boat was lowered what to do. (Q.) What orders did he give you? - (A.) To lay off and stand by close to the ship? - (A.) Perhaps I did; I daresay. (Q.) Now let us pursue the two things you have mentioned. You say you gave those orders to the boatswain to go down with some men and open the gangway doors? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Will you point out on the starboard side where they are” - then he explains the doors. Then Question 13905, “Did the boatswain go off after receiving the orders? - (A.) As far as I know he went down.” It was not done; it must have been countermanded. The Attorney-General: There is no evidence that it was done. Sir Robert Finlay: There is no evidence of any kind. It certainly was not done. I suggest it was not done for the reason I have mentioned, that they might have been apprehensive of the ship sinking. The Attorney-General: It might be because they were expecting the “Carpathia.” They knew she was coming and they did not want them to stray where they might not be picked up. Sir Robert Finlay: And also they may have thought that the light on the port bow belonged to a vessel which would come to them, and that would entirely account for the order which the Captain is said to have given to row for that vessel with that light, put the passengers on board, and come back. That would have been an almost impossible order if that light had been many miles off, but if the Captain assumed that the vessel was coming it was a very natural order. The Commissioner: It is said it would have taken them about two hours to row to that light. The Attorney-General: It was about five miles. Sir Robert Finlay: That would be if the light remained stationary. If, on the other hand, the vessel with that light came towards them, the order becomes perfectly intelligible. The ship would be there in half an hour. Then with regard to Number 8 you have the order to which I have referred. It is the second boat on the port side. Crawford, at page 426, Question 17817: “(Q.) And before you left the ship’s side did Captain Smith give you any directions with regard to a light? - (A.) Yes, he pointed to a light on the port side, the two masthead lights of a vessel, and told us to pull for there, and land the people and return to the ship. (Q.) Did you see those lights yourself? - (A.) I did. (Q.) And what did you think they were? - (A.) I thought they were a vessel with two masthead lights? (Q.) A steamer’s masthead lights? - (A.) Yes.” I have made my observation with regard to that, that they thought the vessel was coming. Then with regard to No. 10, there is no evidence of any order. Mr. Wilde was there: he was the Chief Officer. He was there as appears at page 141, Question 5999. This is in the evidence of Joughin “(Q.) Why was it that you did not get in. - (A.) Well I was standing waiting for orders by the officer to jump in, and he then ordered two sailors in and a steward - a steward named Burke. I was waiting for orders to get into the boat, but they evidently thought it was full enough and I did not go in it.” At the top of page 140 is a reference I ought to have given to your Lordship. (Q.) (5943) “What did you find was the situation then? - (A.) Everything orderly.” That is with reference to No. 10 as appears in the immediately preceding question. “The Chief Officer was there. (Q.) Is that Mr. Wilde? - (A.) Yes, Mr. Wilde.” Then “(Q.) What was happening; how far had things got? - (A.) They were getting the boat ready for getting the passengers in, and Mr. Wilde shouted out for the stewards to keep the people back, to keep the men back, but there was
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