British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 6

Testimony of Frederick Scott, cont.

The Commissioner:
Yes.

5683. (The Attorney-General.) That will correspond, at any rate. It is the best description a man can give of what he saw on a dark night. (To the Witness.) You were behind her stern?
- Yes.

5684. You could not see how far forward she parted?
- No.

5685. When you were looking over the starboard side was there anybody near you?
- Yes, all the engineers and firemen and all that.

5686. All the engineers?
- Yes.

5687. Do you mean the Officers?
- Yes; the engineers that were on watch.

5688. Then, if I understand it aright, all the engineers had come up too?
- They were all at the top.

5689. Did they come up when you came up?
- Just afterwards, but some of them went up on the boat deck with me. They came up the ladder just behind me.

5690. When you say they were standing there, where were they standing?
- Just against the electric crane aft.

5691. Will you indicate to us on the model where that is?
- Yes, just about here. (Pointing on the model.)

5692. On the boat deck?
- On the boat deck.

5693. That is the last you saw of them?
- That is the last I saw of them.

5694. When the boat came to the port side we have heard either from you or from Ranger they shouted out from there they wanted two more men?
- Yes.

5695. Were you and Ranger the only ones who ran to the port side?
- Well, I do not know whether Ranger came over at the same time as me or not, but there were some stood on the port side then. There were a lot of firemen there, but they did not think about getting up on the davits to get out on to the falls.

5696. That had to be done?
- Yes, we had difficulty to get out there with lifebelts on, because they are only about that wide (Demonstrating.)

5697. You and he were the first to get out on to the davits and get down by the falls into the boat?
- Yes.

5698. And so got away?
- Yes.

The Attorney-General:
I do not propose to go through the story again of the boat, because we have heard from two or three Witnesses what happened in boat No. 14.

Examined by Mr. SCANLAN.

5699. At the time of your leaving, going down from the davits, were there any passengers on the deck?
- I could not say.

5700. You said that when you went for the lifebelts, you went to the steerage quarters?
- Yes, we were ordered to go there.

5701. I suppose at that time you could not get to your own quarters?
- Certainly not, we could not go there to get our clothes, let alone the lifebelts.

5702. There were lifebelts in your own quarters, I take it?
- Yes.

5703. You were one of the last of the crew to leave the ship. Do you know where the collapsible lifeboats were kept on the deck?
- No, I was never on the boat deck before - not till I went up and got on the boat.

5704. We have heard of two collapsible lifeboats of the four that were on the deck being lowered?
- I never saw them.

5705. You never heard anything of the other two?
- No.

Examined by Mr. ROCHE.

5706. I want you to tell me with regard to the engineers you saw on the deck, when did they come up?
- They came up just after I did.

5707. How long was that?
- It was 20 minutes past 1 when I left the engine room.

5708. How long before you climbed down the falls to the boat?
- I should say about half-an-hour.

5709. Were all the boats launched then?
- No; all barring two.

5710. Which of the engineers did you see? Can you tell me their names?
- Mr. Farquharson. I do not know the names of the others.

5711. How many of them did you see?
- I should say there were about eight of them.

5712. There are 20 or more in the ship?
- Yes.

5713. You think you saw eight, of whom you can remember the name of one?
- Yes.

5714. Were the pumps running at this time still?
- Certain pumps were.

5715. What do you mean by certain pumps, most of the pumps, of the ship?
- Circulating pumps.

5716. Where did the circulating pumps get their steam from?
- That I cannot tell you.

5717. You do not know whether they got it from the main boilers or not?
- No.

5718. You went from the turbine room back into the aftermost compartment in the tunnel?
- Yes.

5719. You had to get through two watertight doors to get there?
- Yes.

5720. Were they both open when you went?
- Not when we went first, not when we released the greaser in the after-tunnel; they were closed.

5721. How did he get out?
- We went up the turbine-engine room way along the working alleyway and down an escape.

5722. I follow. Did anyone send you to fetch him?
- No.

5723. Did you get before you went up to the deck any summons to go on deck, or did you go on your own account?
- No, we were ordered up out of the engine room.

5724. Who by?
- The Senior Engineer, I think it was.

5725. Who was in charge of your section, the turbine room?
- One of the juniors I think it was, about the sixth.

5726. What is his name; do you know?
- No.

5727. Do you know the name of the engineer who ordered you out?
- I think it was Mr. Farquharson.

5728. The gentleman you did see on deck afterwards?
- Yes.

5429. And were the other engineers you saw on deck those belonging to your section, the turbine room?
- They were doing six-hour watches then; some had come on at 8 to 2.

5730. But were the gentlemen that you saw, the engineers whom you saw, the engineers you had been connected with in the turbine room?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. HARBINSON.

5731. You said you could not get to your quarters to get your lifebelts?
- No.

5732. Who told you to go to the third class quarters?
- One of the firemen I think told us to go along and get our lifebelts that way.

5733. To go and get lifebelts in the third class quarters?
- Yes.

5734. Now this was, I understand, about an hour after the collision?
- This was 20 minutes past 1.

5735. When you were going to the third class quarters did you see many of the third class passengers about?
- No.

5736. What section of the third class quarters did you find those lifebelts in?
- I cannot exactly point it out to you, but it was where some of the third class sleep.

5737. In the sleeping quarters of the third class passengers?
- Yes.

5738. Had you ever been there before?
- No.

5739. Who told you to go there?
- One of the firemen.

5740. But who told you to go to this particular place?
- The Chief Steward of the third class.

5741. What is his name?
- I could not tell you.

5742. Did you ever see him before?
- Yes.

5743. He told you where to find those lifebelts?
- Yes.

5744. These lifebelts were, I suppose, intended for use by the third class passengers?
- I do not know. I do not know whether they were spare ones or what they were.

5745. You know nothing further than you went and got them?
- No.

5746. Were there many there?
- Yes.

5747. You say you did not see any of the third class passengers about?
- No.

5748. How many men went along with you?
- I should say about 30 or 40.

5749. Thirty or 40 went and got those belts?
- Yes.

5750. You saw no one at all?
- No; no passengers.

5751. Did you look for any?
- No.

5752. You did not look for any?
- No.

5753. How did you get from the position you were into the third class quarters? Was it through the tunnel or up the ladder or how? What means of access was there?
- Our engine room door leads up into the alleyway where the third class is.

5754. The alleyway leads direct to the third class sleeping compartments?
- Yes.

5755. Where were those lifebelts kept?
- Aft.

5756. But in a compartment by themselves?
- Yes, up a little alleyway. There are seven alleyways there; I could not point out to you which one it was.

5757. Did you look into any of the third class compartments to see if there were any of the passengers there?
- No.

5758. Did you see any stewards about?
- Yes, some stewards were getting belts there.

5759. They were looking after themselves also?
- Yes.

5760. And taking these third class lifebelts?
- Yes.

5761. Was not it rather curious that you saw no third class passengers at all?
- No, I never saw one. There might have been some there if I had looked round, but I was not looking.

5762. You were not looking for passengers?
- No.

5763. Did you see any women about?
- No.

5764. Or any children?
- No.

5765. How did you get from the third class sleeping apartments to the boat deck?
- I went to the third class compartments and up the staircase.

5766. Was that the most direct way?
- Yes.

5767. Had you any difficulty in getting up?
- No.

5768. None at all?
- No.

5769. Did all the other members of the crew follow you?
- Yes.

5770. The 40 firemen?
- Yes.

5771. You all went in a bunch and got these lifebelts?
- Yes.

5772. And you all went up in a bunch?
- No, we had to get them one at a time.

5773. But you followed each other afterwards?
- Yes.

5774. How long were you occupied in getting these lifebelts?
- Not long.

5775. It is at any rate an appreciable distance from the sleeping apartments of the third class passengers to the deck, is it not?
- I should say we would get up in five minutes in a case like that.

5776. Did you see any third class passengers on your way from the sleeping apartments up to the deck?
- No.

5777. You saw none?
- No, I never looked for any.

5778. Your evidence is that during the whole of this time you did not see from beginning to end a single third class passenger?
- There may have been some about there, but I never noticed them.

5779. You did not see them?
- I never noticed any.

5780. Were many belts left in the compartments?
- I cannot say.

5781. Were you one of the first or one of the last of the men?
- I was about the fourth one to get a belt.

5782. At the time did you think whom these belts were intended for?
- No.

5783. You made no inquiries?
- No.

5784. All you did was to go and get them?
- Yes, the Chief Steward of the third class told us.

5785. Told you to do so?
- Yes.

5786. And you cannot tell me his name?
- No.

Examined by Mr. HOLMES.

5787. Were there any third class passengers by the boats?
- I could not tell you; there were only two boats left; those were the two on the port side.

5788. That is where you saw the shots fired?
- I saw one shot fired, that was by the Officer in one of the boats.

5789. Do you know which Officer it was?
- No.

5790. Do you know what it was that led to his firing the shot?
- I could not tell you.

5791. You did not see any confusion on deck?
- No, none at all.

5792. Did you see him fire any shots anywhere but into the water?
- No, that is all I saw him fire - one shot between the ship's side and the boat.

5793. You did not see the circumstances that led up to that?
- No.

5794. When you got the order, "All out of the engine room," did you see any of the engineers coming up?
- No, not at the time.

Examined by Mr. EDWARDS.

5795. Between the time when you left the engine room and the time that you say that you saw certain engineers on the boat deck, how much time had elapsed?
- I should say about half-an-hour.

5796. Did you at the time, or immediately after you heard the order, "All out of the engine room," hear any orders given to close the watertight doors?
- No.

5797. It has been said that there is a float that automatically closes the doors?
- It works by electricity.

5798. Is not that float below the level of the engine room?
- I cannot say; I never saw one.

The Attorney-General:
We will give some evidence of it later on - we know something about it - so that you may ascertain what it is.

Mr. Edwards:
All the engineers are gone, and I wanted to get something more than mere theoretical evidence.

The Attorney-General:
Such evidence as we can give, we will call about it.

5799. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Do you know anything at all about the working of the float?
- No. I never saw a float.

Examined by Mr. LAING.

5800. Do you know the "Titanic" was fitted for about 1000 third class passengers?
- No.

5801. Was there a large number of lifebelts in the third class accommodation?
- Yes, in this locker there were.

5802. You know she only carried about 700 third class passengers?
- I could not tell you.

5803. Do you know of the little disc we have been told about which shows what the engines are doing?
- The revolutions?

5804. No, a little red-coloured glass which shows when the engines are stopped?
- I hardly follow you.

5805. We were told that when the engines are stopped -
- Oh, that is in the stokehold. We know inside when the engines are stopped; that is in the stokehold; that is when they ring up separate from the telegraph. That is a little thing about so big to show when the engine is stopped. That is rung by one of the engineers in the engine room.

5806. Is it your view that the engines were not stopped until after the crash?
- No. We did 75 revolutions at 11 o'clock.

Mr. Laing:
Your Lordship remembers Barrett, whose evidence was that the little red disc came up and he got an order about the dampers, and then followed the crash.

The Attorney-General:
Yes. Everything followed very quickly upon the other, but you are right in saying it was before.

The Commissioner:
What is the reference?

Mr. Laing:
Question 1855 down to 1862.

The Commissioner:
Will you read it to me?

Mr. Laing:
Yes. In Question 1856 he describes where he was, and at 1860 the question is: "Now just tell us what happened that you noticed? - (A.) There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop; a white light for full speed, and I think it is a blue light for slow."

The Witness:
I cannot say what light goes up in the stokehold.

Mr. Laing:
"This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, 'Shut all dampers.' (Q.)You saw this red light? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) You knew that was an order to stop the engines? - (A.) It says 'Stop' - a red piece of glass and an electric light inside. (Q.) Shutting the dampers I suppose, would be? - (A.) To shut the wind off the fires. (Q.) To shut the draught off the fires. And you gave an order, 'Shut the dampers'? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was that order obeyed? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was the next thing that happened? - (A.) The crash came before we had them all shut. (Q.) They were shutting them when the crash came? - (A.) Yes." That is Barrett.

The Attorney-General:
That is right.

The Commissioner:
Can that be accurate, that the crash came after he saw the red light?

Mr. Laing:
Yes.

The Commissioner:
"This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, 'Shut all dampers.'" The red light means the engines are stopped.

The Attorney-General:
No, the order to stop, I understand; it is the order to stop. It does not mean they are stopped.

The Commissioner:
Until this morning I thought the order to stop and the stopping were fairly simultaneous.

Mr. Laing:
So they are, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
Apparently, according to the evidence we have heard this morning, it takes about ten minutes for the engines to stop.

The Attorney-General:
I do not think he said that, oh no.

Mr. Laing:
He said some substantial time, but as a matter of fact it only takes a few seconds.

The Commissioner:
He gave the order "Stop" and it was obeyed. I took down that this took about ten minutes.

The Attorney-General:
Ten minutes between that and the next order, which was "Slow ahead." (To the Witness.) Is that right?

The Commissioner:
I wish you would get it quite clear.

The Attorney-General:
I think it is right.

The Commissioner:
Will you allow me to ask so that I understand it myself?

The Attorney-General:
Certainly, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
You remember the order to stop?
- Yes.

5807. That, I suppose, was obeyed instantaneously by the men in the engine room?
- Yes.

5808. The next order was "Slow ahead"?
- Yes.

5809. Now, what time elapsed between the order to stop and the order to slow ahead?
- About 10 minutes.

5810. And what was happening during that 10 minutes? Had the ship ceased to move and the engines ceased to move?
- When they rang down "Stop" they shut the steam off, and then it is bound to go on until the steam is right out of her.

5811. How long does that take?
- About 10 minutes.

The Commissioner:
That is what I understood.

Mr. Laing:
That is what he said.

The Commissioner:
That is to say, that although the engineers do all they can to stop the engines they do not in fact stop for 10 minutes. One of my colleagues says that is absurd.

The Attorney-General:
So I think it is, from our evidence.

The Witness:
Do you mean from the time they stop till they go again?

5812. (The Commissioner.) Let us get it clear. There comes the order to stop?
- Yes.

5813. And that is obeyed by the engineers instantly?
- Yes.

5814. But you say there is some steam that has to be exhausted?
- Yes.

5815. And while that steam is being exhausted, although the engineer has stopped his engines - that is, say, done what is necessary to stop them - the engines continue to revolve?
- Yes.

5816. Now how long after the engineer has put on the stop do the engines revolve?
- About five revolutions.

The Attorney-General:
We must take the 10 minutes to be, what I understood him to say, and what I think is clear now, between the order to stop and the going slow ahead.

The Commissioner:
That is a very different thing altogether.

The Witness:
That is what I thought you meant.

The Commissioner:
The five revolutions are of no account, and therefore my first impression that "Stop" meant what it says was right. The engines had stopped.

Mr. Laing:
Yes.

The Witness:
It just turned five times, that is all.

5817. (The Commissioner.) And then they remained in that stopped condition for 10 minutes?
- Yes.

The Attorney-General:
That is the point.

The Commissioner:
And then came the order, "Slow ahead."

The Attorney-General:
That is it.

5818. (Mr. Laing.) The point I am upon is whether you felt the shock before the stop came or after?
- After - no, before. It was when the shock came that they rang down to stop the engines.

5819. Do you say the shock came first?
- No, afterwards.

5820. After the order to stop came the shock?
- No.

5821. Very well, then you put it the other way?
- When the shock came they rang down, "Stop the engines."

5822. (The Commissioner.) The shock comes and then the order to stop?
- Yes.

5823. That is what I understood?
- We thought it was something in the engine room that had gone wrong.

Mr. Laing:
That does not agree with Barrett and it does not agree with Dillon. Both of those Witnesses put the stop order first and the shock very shortly afterwards.

The Attorney-General:
I was going on to refer, your Lordship will remember, to the orders that came from the bridge; there is first the three bells and then the telephone.

The Commissioner:
That comes from the crow's nest.

The Attorney-General:
From the crow's-nest to the bridge; then the telephone to the bridge, the response from the bridge; immediately then the order to the telegraph. The first order relates to the telegraph and gives the order which goes down to the engine room, "Hard-a-starboard." That is what happened. We shall be able to fix it later when we come to examine all the evidence together.

The Commissioner:
The question is in what order of events does the shock come.

Continued >