Page 167 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
P. 167
9278. What lifeboats do you provide? - We had 20 lifeboats when we left London. 9279. And how many passengers? - 1,466; I believe that is about the number. 9280. And how many crew had you? 9281. (The Commissioner.) How many people altogether had you on board? - About 1,609; that is the crew and passengers. The Commissioner: I did not hear how many passengers and how many crew. 9282. (Mr. Scanlan.) He said 1,466 passengers, my Lord. (To the Witness.) And what is the total of the crew? - 143 of the crew; that makes 1,609 altogether. 9283. Now, what is the capacity of each of your lifeboats? - On an average about 49 persons. 9284. You have lifeboat accommodation for 1,000? - Yes. 9285. And that is the extreme? - That is the extreme. 9286. Have you not increased your lifeboat accommodation? - We are increasing it now. 9287. What kind of boats are you supplying? - The ordinary lifeboats. 9288. (The Commissioner.) Where are you registered? - In Liverpool. 9289. Then I suppose you comply with the Board of Trade regulations? - Yes, my Lord. 9290. (Mr. Scanlan.) You are supplying now additional lifeboats? - Yes. 9291. Is that with a view of providing lifeboat accommodation for every soul on board? - Yes. 9292. Explain what class of boats you are providing? - Ordinary wooden lifeboats, and also the Berthon boats - at least, not Berthon boats but the semi-collapsible boats. 9293. Not the Englehardt? - I believe they are to be Chambers boats - a great number of them are to be Chambers boats, and then we will have two or three Berthon boats. 9294. Are the lifeboats sufficiently stout in their construction to live through a heavy sea? - Yes; they are approved by the Board of Trade. 9295. (The Commissioner.) That may be a different thing. Are those lifeboats, in your opinion, of any use in a rough sea? - Oh, yes, my Lord. 9296. Because we have been told by other people that the lifeboats on the “Titanic” would have been of no value in a rough sea? - I believe my lifeboats are well built, and they are very buoyant; and they would be able to live in almost everything, my Lord. 9297. It is not so much living; it is getting down from the deck to the water with a vessel rolling or pitching, or whatever it may be. Is it a practical thing to get these lifeboats down from the deck to the water with a ship standing 90 feet above the water? - I should say it is a very dangerous operation, because if there was any rolling of the ship and the boat came back against the ship’s side, I am afraid there would not be any boat left, not at that great height. 9298. (Mr. Scanlan.) Even with a swell on, a fairly heavy roll, could not you lower your boats from the boat deck of the “Mount Temple”? - We could lower them down, but if the ship was rolling very heavily, you can understand, if the ship was swinging, the boats would come with a heavy swing against the ship’s side. 9299. For strength and durability how do your lifeboats compare with the coastguard lifeboats? - I cannot say; I never examined any of them. 9300. But you are aware that in great storms these boats go out to the rescue? - Yes. 9301. You do not know anything of the construction of those? - No. 9302. Or how yours compare with them? - No. 9303. In order that a lifeboat may be serviceable in a disturbed sea, have you any suggestion to offer as to any method of safely lowering them or taking passengers from a lower deck than the boat deck? - The better plan would be if there is no motion in the ship to take them at the lower deck, because if you put too many people in the boats they are bound to break the boat down. 9304. The back of the boat might break? - The centre will break with a heavy weight. The boat is hung by the two ends. 9305. At what lower deck could the people be taken? - In a ship like the “Titanic,” I believe
   162   163   164   165   166   167   168   169   170   171   172