British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 5

Testimony of Thomas Ranger

Examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

3981. Are you a greaser?
- Yes.

3982. Were you employed as greaser on the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

3983. And do you remember on Sunday, the 14th of April, going on watch in the evening at 6 o'clock?
- Yes.

3984. Was it your duty as greaser to oil the electric fans of the vessel?
- Yes.

3985. That was one of your jobs?
- Yes.

3986. Do you remember, just about 20 minutes to 12 that night, being in the electric workshop?
- Yes.

3987. Where is that? Do you know what deck that is on?
- On C deck, I think.

3988. Do you know what deck that is that you call C deck?
- I do not think it is the letter "C"?
- It is the top of the turbine engine room.

3989. It is E deck, my Lord. If you look at the E deck you will see it just abaft of the "engine casing" there.

The Commissioner:

3990. (The Attorney-General.) Yes, abaft of the "engine casing" on E deck. (To the Witness.) Is it close to the fan store?
- It is underneath the emergency dynamo.

3991. I think it is marked "Electric Store." If you look just abaft of the "engine casing" you will find "turbine engine casing"; the next aft is the "Electric Store."

The Commissioner:
Yes, I see that.

3992. (The Attorney-General - To the Witness.) What were you doing there?
- Repairing the electric fans.

3993. You were at work there with the chief electrician [Peter Sloan], were you not?
- Yes.

3994. Do you remember feeling something happen?
- Yes.

3995. Just describe it to us?
- There was just a slight jar - just lifted us off our feet.

3996. Just a slight jar - just lifted you off your feet?
- Yes, it just moved us like that. (Demonstrating.)

3997. Did you take any notice of it as regards your work, or did you go on with your work?
- No, we turned round and saw the turbine engine was stopped. We turned round and looked into the engine room and saw the turbine engine was stopped.

3998. (The Commissioner.) Was it stopped?
- Yes.

3999. (The Attorney-General.) Do you mean at the time you felt the bump?
- About two minutes afterwards.

4000. First of all you felt the bump?
- Yes.

4001. Then did you go on with your work?
- Yes.

4002. Then, if I understand you, about two minutes afterwards you looked around and saw the turbine engine had stopped?
- Yes.

4003. Is that right?
- Yes.

4004. Then what did your chief electrician do?
- He went down below and stood by the main lighting engines.

4005. That would be down on the tank top?
- Down on the bottom platform.

4006. It is the same one we were looking at just now, 3; I pointed out to you, first of all, there was a reciprocating engine room, and then we went along the boiler rooms. Now, if you go aft, the next to the reciprocating engine is the turbine-engine room, and just aft of that you will find an electric engine. That is what you mean, is it not?
- Yes.

Your Lordship will see on the big plan it is very well marked. There is the turbine engine which my friend, Mr. Rowlatt, is pointing out. Just abaft of that you see "electric machinery" in the centre. That you see from the tank top plan here and fresh water tanks at the sides. That is really only giving you there what you have on the tank top plan.

The Commissioner:
The chief engineer went below and stood by the electric engines?

4007. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. (To the Witness.) You stopped in the workshop, did you?
- Yes.

4008.(The Attorney-General.) The chief electrician, not the chief engineer, my Lord. (To the Witness.) When did you get the order from your chief electrician?
- About a quarter of an hour afterwards.

4009. Then you remained there in the workshop for a quarter of an hour?
- Yes.

4010. Were you doing your work?
- Yes.

4011. Mending an electric fan?
- Yes.

4012. And during the time you were there, did you know that anything had happened?
- I knew the ship had struck something.

4013. You knew that?
- Yes.

4014. (The Commissioner.) By this time the ship had stopped, I suppose?
- Yes.

4015. (The Attorney-General.) You got an order from your chief, did you?
- Yes, to go and stop all the electric fans, the stokehold fans first.

4016. Do you know what that was for. So that the steam would not rise in the boilers, I think.

The Commissioner:
I do not understand that.

4017. (The Attorney-General.) To keep the draught down, I suppose - to reduce the draught. I suppose that is the object of it. (To the Witness.) How many fans were there to close down?
- There were 45 working.

4018. Did you then go to stop all those fans?
- Yes.

4019. The 45?
- Yes.

4020. Beginning at the stokeholds?
- Yes.

4021. How long did that take you?
- About three quarters of an hour.

4022. When you want to stop a fan in the stokehold, do you have to go into the stokehold itself to do it?
- No, in the fan rooms.

4023. Where are they?

Mr. Laing:
F Deck.

4024. (The Attorney-General.) I think your Lordship will find them all on F deck, four decks up. If you look at F deck you will see a number of fans marked. It is the same one which we were dealing with just now which had the tank top. If your Lordship will look at F deck you will remember the squash racquet Court which we were dealing with there. Then passing along aft you came to the first one - "fans." Then there is a "boiler casing," and then you go along again, "boiler casing," "fans," then "fans" again, and so on. So that really what you had to do was to go from the E deck to F deck; is that right?
- Yes.

4025. By the time you had stopped the 45 fans, did you see members of the crew going on deck?
- No.

4026. When you had finished after the three quarters of an hour what did you do next?
- I went back to the electric storeroom.

4026. Back again to E deck?
- Yes.

4027. When you got to E deck did you go to the electric store room which you had been in before?
- No, I went up the dummy funnel. There are four fans situated up the dummy funnel.

4028. Where is that? You have told us where the electric store room was. Now where is that? Is it forward or aft?
- Aft.

4029. Is it immediately aft, or some way aft?
- The after funnel of the ship leads down to it.

The Commissioner:
The after funnel is a dummy funnel?

The Attorney-General:
Yes; it does not serve fire at all.

The Commissioner:
It is that funnel that is the dummy?

The Attorney-General:
Yes, it is plain if you look at that.

The Commissioner:
It is used for ventilation?

The Attorney-General:

The Solicitor-General:
The six boiler rooms are grouped in pairs of two.

4030. (The Attorney-General.) The three forward funnels work the six boiler rooms; each one works two; and the third one works the one lot of double-ended boilers and the one lot of single; that is how it stands. (To the Witness.) Then you went up the dummy funnel to the boat deck?
- Yes.

4031. Then when you got to the boat deck what did you see?
- I went from there to the second-cabin deck, aft, the starboard side.

4032. What were you doing that for?
- I had stopped all the fans, and I went on deck to see what was being done.

4033. You got to the boat deck. You have told us you went up the dummy funnel to the boat deck?
- Yes.

4034. You had no order to do that, but you had done your work?
- Yes.

4035. Then when you got on to the boat deck, what did you see then?
- Nothing.

4036. Before you go on from there, tell us this: Up to this time had you seen any water in the ship?
- No.

4037. You had not seen any at all?
- No.

4038. From the boat deck where did you go?
- To the second-cabin deck.

4039. The second-cabin deck on the starboard side?
- Aft - starboard side aft.

4040. I am not quite sure that I know which you mean by the second-cabin deck. Do you mean the deck where the second cabins are?
- The second deck down from the boat deck.

4041. That is bridge deck B, according to the plan.

4042. (The Solicitor-General.) Is it where the second class smoke-room is?
- Yes.

4043. (The Attorney-General.) You will see the second class, if your Lordship has a painted plan, is painted green. You will see it marked in the centre there, "Second class smoke-room." (To the Witness.) What did you do when you got there?
- There were about 20 more men there; 20 men stood there.

4044. Members of the crew?
- Yes.

4045. Did you know what they were?
- Firemen mostly.

4046. Were there any women there?
- No.

4047. Were there any children?
- No.

4048. Did you have any talk with the firemen and trimmers?
- Yes.

4049. Well, just tell us, did you find out from them what was happening?
- No, we heard that all the boats had left the ship then.

4050. That is just what I wanted to get. Let us get this quite clearly. You heard by that time all the boats had gone?
- Yes.

4051. You were down in the second class cabin and you saw no women and children - that is right, is it?
- Yes.

4052. Only these 20 men of the crew?
- Yes.

4053. What did you do then?
- I went to the port side of the boat deck aft.

4054. And then?
- There was me and a greaser by the name of Scott. We climbed up the davit and down the boat falls, and I got into a boat, and Scott dropped into the water.

4055. You are speaking of the port side as I understand?
- Yes, port side.

4056. Did you notice at all whether there was any list on the ship at this time?
- There was a slight list to port, Sir.

4057. Did you notice whether she was down by the head?
- Yes.

4058. Badly?
- Yes.

4059. Did you see at all whether the water was over her foc'sle deck; could you see that?
- No, you could not.

4060. You could not see that?
- You could not see whether her foc'sle deck was under water at the afterend of the boat.

4061. You could not see so far from where you were?
- No.

4062. But you noticed she was down by the head; you could feel that?
- Yes.

4063. I thought you told us that all the boats had left the ship?
- This boat came back to the ship as they only had two men in the boat.

4064. She came back to the ship with only two men in her; is that it?
- She never had enough men in the boat to pull her away.

4065. Not enough men to man her?
- Yes.

4066. Was she full?
- Full of women and children.

4067. Do you know what number the boat was?
- No. 4.

4068. Did you get any orders to go down into the boat?
- No.

4069. Was there anybody there on the boat deck; was there any Officer there?
- No, Sir.

4070. Is this right, that you saw one of the lifeboats, No. 4, come back to the ship?
- Yes.

4071. And you and another man called Scott started, and you climbed the davits?
- Yes, and down the falls.

4072. And you dropped into the boat?
- And the other man dropped into the water.

4073. How many people were there in the boat?
- I should think about 40.

4074. And how many men were there in the boat?
- Two.

4075. Do you know who they were?
- Perkins, a quartermaster, and Foley, a sailor.

4076. Those were the only men in the boat?
- Yes.

4077. You do not mean the only seamen, but the only men?
- The only men.

4078. Were there any other men standing at the ship's side when this boat came alongside?
- No.

4079. Did they call out at all; did anybody hail you?
- We never heard no one.

4080. How did you know when she came back; you looked over the side and saw her, I suppose?
- Yes.

4081. Did you know then what she had come back for?
- No, not till we had got back into the boat.

4082. If I understand you aright, she came back with 40 people in her, all told?
- Yes.

4083. No orders were given?
- No.

4084. There was no Officer standing where you were?
- No.

4085. And you and the other man climbed the davits and dropped down into the boat?
- Yes.

4086. Did the boat then push off?
- We pulled away from the ship after we got the man in the boat by the name of Scott.

4087. You picked him up after he had dropped into the water?
- Yes.

4088. Do you remember which davit it was that you climbed?
- The after davit of all, the port side.

4089. That is the davit for lifeboat No. 16. It is the aftermost one on the port side. If I follow correctly what you said, there was nobody there except you two?
- No one - only us two.

The Commissioner:
This was on the boat deck?

The Attorney-General:

The Commissioner:
And all the boats had gone away by this time?

The Attorney-General:
Yes, by this time, and she came back.

The Commissioner:
There were no boats for any one to get into unless they climbed down the davits, or jumped into the sea.

4090. (The Attorney-General.) Quite. (To the Witness.) Did you see the vessel go down?
- Yes.

4091. You got into the boat, and I suppose, pulled away from the side of the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

4092. Did you help to pull the boat?
- Yes.

4093. When you drew away from the "Titanic" did you lay-by, or, what did you do?
- No, we only just got away in time before the ship went down.

4094. Just tell us what you saw of the ship going down; describe it to the Court?
- The forward end of the ship went underneath and seemed to break off, and the afterpart came back on a level keel.

4095. Then, when she came back on a level keel, what happened to the afterpart of her, then?
- It turned up and went down steadily.

4096. Turned up that way, stern up. (Showing.) - Yes.

4097. Did she remain like that at any time?
- No.

4098. Will you just describe to us what you mean?
- She just slowly turned up and went down. You could see the three propellers in the air.

4099. The foremost part of the afterpart of the vessel began to go down into the water?
- Yes.

4100. And the stern went up?
- Yes.

4101. And then you saw the propellers in the air?
- Yes.

4102. And then that all disappeared?
- Yes.

4103. Was there room in your boat for more people?
- Yes.

4104. Did you go back?
- We pulled back to the wreckage and picked up seven persons.

4105. Were they men?
- Yes.

4106. Did you see the last Witness who was here just now?
- Yes, that was one of the men.

4107. Dillon. Your Lordship will remember he said he was picked up by No. 4 boat. Now I will ask you just one question about the lights. When you went away in the boats, did you see any lights?
- Yes, the lights were burning.

4108. The lights of the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

4109. You would have a particular interest in the lights?
- The emergency light engine was running as I passed it coming up the dummy funnel.

4110. Just above the electric store that was pointed out before. Now just tell us about the lights. You saw the lights of the "Titanic" as you moved away. Did you notice at all when the stern, the afterpart of the vessel, got on a level keel whether there were any lights then?
- The lights seemed to be going out then.

4111. Did you hear any explosion?
- No, Sir.

4112. When you say "The lights seemed to be going out," will you explain to us what you mean? You saw the vessel dive down?
- Yes.

4113. The fore part of her?
- Yes.

4114. When you say the forward end seemed to break off, and the afterpart came back on a level keel, and then you say the lights were going out. When she came back like that on a level keel were there any lights?
- Right aft. The lights were right aft what were burning, on the afterend what was floating.

4115. You mean the afterpart of the aft end?
- Yes.

4116. Where, the taffrail, or where? Did you notice?
- Along here. (Showing on model.)

4117. Just about abeam of the dummy funnel, do you mean?
- Yes.

4118. And did they continue burning then right away aft to the taffrail?
- Yes, right aft.

The Commissioner:
I do not understand this.

4119. (The Attorney-General.) How long did you see them burning?
- The lights gradually went out as the aft end of the ship went under.

The Commissioner:
That is what I do not understand. I should have thought that the lights would either remain all alight or all go out.

The Attorney-General:
When the water gets over the dynamo it would stop them, would not it?

The Commissioner:
They were being worked, as I understand, at this time by the emergency dynamo.

4120. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. That, if it were working, would be as he describes, just about abreast of the dummy funnel, directly underneath it. As I understand it, he says the lights were burning in the afterend. (To the Witness.) I suppose that when the emergency dynamo got into the water the lights would go out?
- Yes, it stops the fuse.

The Commissioner:
I understood him to say - I do not know whether I am wrong - that aft of the dummy funnel some of the lights were out and some of them were in.

The Attorney-General:
I understood him to say so at first, but I understood him to alter that, and at last I think he was right in what he said. At first I took the same view as your Lordship. I understood him to say he was dealing then with the afterpart of the ship which had righted itself on to a level keel.

The Commissioner:
She was only at the top of the water for a few minutes.

4121. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. And then he says from the point which he marked for us there, which was just about abreast of the dummy funnel right away aft to the taffrail the lights were burning. (To the Witness.) Is that right?
- Yes.

4122. (The Commissioner.) All the lights were burning?
- All the lights aft.

4123. (The Attorney-General.) At the afterend of the aft part of the ship they were all burning, but nothing forward, I understand.
- No.

Examined by Mr. SCANLAN.

4124. Had you any light in this No. 4 lifeboat?
- No.

4125. When you started to descend by the falls did you know there was a boat below?
- We could see it coming back to the ship.

4126. Was that from the reflected light from the ship itself?
- Yes.

4127. After you had picked up seven persons I take it that you still had less than 50 on board your lifeboat?
- Yes.

4128. Had you then accommodation for still more people?
- A few more, Sir, but it would not give you room to pull the oars in the boat.

4129. Had you sufficient seamen in that boat, when you got in and Scott, to properly man that boat?
- No, Sir.

4130. How many men would be necessary to adequately man that lifeboat, and enable you to row?
- 10 I should think.

4131. 10 men?
- 10 men.

4132. What did you do; were you rowing?
- Yes.

4133. Were those who were there unable to row the boat?
- The men we got out of the water, Sir, were not fit to pull the oars. We had to rub them to fetch them round.

4134. Had you difficulty all the time in rowing this boat and navigating her?
- Yes, there was not room.

4135. At the time you left by the falls, were there a number of deckhands near you?
- No.

4136. They had remained down below at the time you came up to the upper deck?
- Yes.

4137. Had you a boat station given to you?
- Yes.

4138. What boat were you in?
- No. 6 was my boat.

4139. Had you had any exercise, any practice, any boat drill?
- No.

4140. Do you know something about the management of lifeboats, rowing boats?
- Yes.

4141. Have you been at sea long?
- About 16 years.

4142. Have you been on a number of liners?
- Yes.

4143. Was it usual on the liners you have been sailing on to have regular boat drill and boat masters?
- In the Royal Mail Company it is.

4144. Do you know if this No. 4 boat had a compass?
- I could not say, Sir.

4145. Had she water - drinking water?
- I do not know.

Examined by Mr. HARBINSON.

4146. When you came up the dummy funnel, how much of the "Titanic" continued to be lighted?
- All the part that was out of the water.

4147. How much of it then was out of the water?
- Three parts of the ship.

4148. How much of the ship was served by this dynamo that you have described; was it the upper portion?
- All over the ship.

4149. It served the whole ship?
- I believe so.

4150. The wires that carry the current are protected, I understand, by indiarubber, is not that so?
- Yes.

4151. Am I right in suggesting that immediately water reaches the wires and finds an entrance between the indiarubber - pierces the indiarubber, or gets into the indiarubber, what is known as a short circuit of the line immediately occurs. Is that right?
- Yes, they fuse.

4152. They fuse, and the lights go out?
- Yes.

4153. So that as the "Titanic" gradually sank short circuits would be produced and there could only be light remaining in the portion above water?
- That is so.

4154. At the time that you came up, the only portion lighted was the stern?
- Yes.

4155. How many people did you see about there?
- About 20 men.

4156. Only 20 men?
- In the part of the ship I went to.

4157. You did not see any passengers?
- No.

4158. There were none about?
- I did not see any.

4159. No Officers?
- No.

4160. No one at all?
- No.

4161. No confusion?
- No.

4162. Did you hear any cries at the time?
- No, not till the ship was going down.

4163. When you attempted to get into No. 4 boat did you see any people struggling in the water?
- No.

4164. None at all?
- No.

Examined by Mr. EDWARDS.

4165. Did you hear any order or any signal to get to your boat station?
- No.

4166. Can you say in relation to the fore funnel at what point the ship broke off?
- About the second funnel from forward - between the first and second funnel from forward.

Examined by Mr. LEWIS.

4167. Did you hear the band playing on the ship?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. COTTER.

4168. Will you tell us whether there were any fidleys on board the "Titanic"?
- I do not know.

4169. You do not know whether there were any fidleys from the stokehold?
- No.

4170. I suggest to you that the after funnel was simply used in place of fidleys?
- There was a ladder to go up the after funnel.

4171. It is a way for the sailors and firemen or anybody from the engine room or stokehold to get on deck?
- Yes.

4172. Is there any place on the boat deck where the sailors can go and get fresh air, or where do they go to get it?
- Sailors and firemen are not allowed on the boat deck, not unless their work lay there.

4173. You do not know that in some ships there is a place for them to go to on the boat deck to get fresh air, and even to smoke?
- I could not say.

4174. When you saw the fore end of the boat break off, did the afterend come back suddenly or slowly on to a level keel?
- She came back slowly.

4175. You heard the last Witness state that the patent bulkhead doors in the stokeholds had been opened after they had been closed automatically from the bridge?
- Yes.

4176. Is it your opinion that, after the forward end had fallen off, the leaving open of these doors caused the afterend of her to sink?
- That I could not say.

4177. (Mr. Cotter.) I am only asking for your opinion. These ships, I may state, are supposed to float if they break in two, if the bulkhead doors are all acting as they ought to act.

Examined by Mr. LAING.

4178. How can you tell from your electric shop how the turbine is working?
- Because there are two arms come up as the turbine engine stops.

4179. You have to go and look to see?
- No, you can turn round and look through the wires in front of you.

4180. When you looked did you find that the turbine had actually stopped?
- Yes.

4181. And when you noticed that it was two minutes after the shock?
- Yes.

(The Witness withdrew.)