Page 83 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
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7150. That is to say, on how quickly she responds to the rudder? - To the rudder and engines. 7151. Now, supposing you saw ice right ahead, what message would you send down from the bridge to the engine room? - It all depends what the ice was like. 7152. Supposing you saw a berg of ice on your starboard side? - One solitary berg? 7153. Yes? - On my starboard side? 7154. And you were making for it head on? - That would be right ahead; that would not be on the starboard side. 7155. Slightly to the starboard? - I should starboard the helm; go further away from it. 7156. What direction would you give as to the engines? - I would not give any. 7157. You would go right on? - I would go right on if it was a single berg. 7158. There were two engines, a starboard engine and a port engine on the “Titanic.” Suppose you sent the message, “Starboard engine ahead; port engine reverse,” what effect would that have on the steamer? - It would twist her head to port. 7159. Would it turn the steamer in her own length? - I do not know; I have no experience of 21 knot steamers. 7160. You have not? - No. 7161. Would it be likely to get rid of the berg quickly? - Oh, yes, to get away from it; that would be the idea of stopping the port engine or reversing it. 7162. Reverse the port and keep ahead with the starboard? - That would twist it quicker. 7163. At once? - Very quickly. 7164. That would be the quickest way of altering the course of the steamer? - I should think so. 7165. You have told us you have four lifeboats for a crew of 102? - Four lifeboats and two ordinary ships’ boats. 7166. Is that the normal complement for cargo boats like yours to carry, prescribed by the Board of Trade? - We have more, I think, than are really required. 7167. (The Commissioner.) Is it a crew of 102? Mr. Harbinson: Yes. The Witness: That is including the passengers. Mr. Harbinson:. I am including passengers and crew. 7168. (The Commissioner.) But you had not any passengers? - No, we only had 48 at the time. 7169. (Mr. Harbinson.) But you have a carrying capacity of 102? - Yes. 7170. And four lifeboats to make provision for them? - Yes, and two ships’ boats. 7171. Is four lifeboats the number of boats prescribed for steamers of your class by the Board of Trade? - I do not know; I think that would be excessive. They do not require you to carry double the boat accommodation for the crew you have in the ship. The Commissioner: I do not want to hurry you at all, but we are not at present concerned to inquire whether this ship, the “Californian,” was properly supplied with lifeboats. If I am to sit here and inquire into the manning and equipment of every vessel referred to I shall never finish. Mr. Harbinson: Quite so, my Lord. The Commissioner: I do not want to hurry you or to shut out anything, but do not ask needless questions. Mr. Harbinson: If I may say so, my Lord, of course, I accept your Lordship’s suggestion. The point I was going to make was that if this proportion of lifeboat accommodation had been provided for the “Titanic,” of course the whole of the passengers would have been saved. The Commissioner: Well, that may be. You can do that without asking these questions. 7172. (Mr. Harbinson - To the Witness.) Now I want to put a further question to you about the look-out men. You have a crow’s-nest on your boat? - Yes. 7172a. Is it an able-bodied seaman you keep posted there usually? - Yes, always. 7172b. Is it a most responsible position? - Oh, I suppose it is.
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