British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 9

Testimony of Samuel Rule, cont.

Examined by Mr. CLEMENT EDWARDS.

9699. How long were you taking passengers in from A deck?
- I could not really say; perhaps about 15 minutes.

9700. Were they being passed through windows?
- No.

9701. Do you say that A deck under boat 15 is an open deck on the "Titanic"?
- Yes.

9702. Is it not the fact that on A deck on the "Titanic" the widows come right up to the edge?
- Yes. (Pointing on the model.)

9703. That is boat 15 (Pointing on the model.)?
- Yes.

9704. Then how do you say if the windows come right on to end these passengers were passed in?
- They were passed in from A deck.

9705. But A deck comes right up here?
- Yes.

9706. That is to say the front of A deck is flush with this?
- Yes.

9707. Do not the windows open?
- No; it is a closed in deck.

9708. It is a closed in deck?
- yes.

9709. That is what I thought. Now if it is a closed in deck, how do you say that the passengers were passed to the boat?
- From A deck.

9710. But how if it is closed in - through the windows?

The Commissioner:
The suggestion is, you know, that they could not walk through a sheet of glass. Did they walk through a sheet of glass?
- No, Sir.

9711. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) There are windows all along there?
- Not on A deck.

Mr. Laing:
No, there are not.

The Witness:
A deck is an open deck.

The Solicitor-General:
You will find windows on the next deck.

9712. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Then it is wrong information I have?
- The windows are forward on A deck.

Sir Robert Finlay:
The model is quite right.

Mr. Clement Edwards:
But this, I understand, is a model of the "Olympic." I will say at once that my instructions are that on the "Titanic" the a deck is a closed deck right to the end, and is different to this model of the "Olympic."

Sir Robert Finlay:
No, this model is made as it was on the "Titanic."

The Commissioner:
Then we may take this as an exact model of the "Titanic"?

Sir Robert Finlay:

The Solicitor-General:
That is so.

Mr. Clement Edwards:
With very great respect to Sir Robert Finlay, I trust that will be proved, because my instructions are very positive upon this point as to the character of the construction of A deck.

The Commissioner:
At the proper time I suppose this model will be proved.

Sir Robert Finlay:

9713. (Mr. Clement Edwards - To the witness.) You say A deck is an open deck?
- Yes, aft.

The Commissioner:
Did you hear his additional word "aft"? My recollection is that, although there are windows, they do not extend the whole length.

Mr. Clement Edwards:
That is so, My Lord, on the "Olympic."

The Commissioner:
You come to a point where the windows stop, and, for all I know, this boat may have been at that point.?

9714. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) You say that A deck is an open deck aft?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
Not aft - near aft.

9715. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) What is the position at which A deck ceases to be a closed deck. Go to the model and point out?
- The windows finish there; and this is open. (Pointing on the model.)

9716. So that right away under the after-boats it is all open?
- Yes.

Examined by Mr. HOLMES.

9717. At the time No. 15 was lowered the "Titanic" was very badly down by the head?
- Yes.

9718. So much so that you nearly came down on boat No. 13?
- Yes.

9719. And there was, therefore, no time to waste in getting passengers in?
- No.

9720. Now as to the order in which the other boats were lowered. Are you quite satisfied that when you came on deck No. 1 was already in the water?
- Yes.

9721. And that 5 and 3 were lowered after No. 1?
- Yes.

9722. Just think carefully. Was not No. 5 lowered before No. 3, and No. 3 before No. 1?
- No, I do not think so.

9723. You do not think so. Are you quite certain about it?
- No. 5 was there.

9724. Are you quite sure Nos. 3 and 1 were not there?
- No. 3 was on the deck.

9725. Was not No. 1 there also?
- No; No. 1 was in the water.

9726. No. 1 was the emergency boat, which is swung right out?
- Yes.

9727. Might it not be that because it was not in the same position as the other boats you did not notice it when you came on deck?
- No.

9728. You say you do not know whether there were any Officers there or not?
- Forward?

9729. Yes?
- I could not say.

9730. Was there anyone on the bridge then; did you see the captain?
- No, I was a long way from the bridge.

9731. Did you hear any orders given at all?
- No.

9732. To any of the boats as they were being lowered?
- No.

9733. Nor to them in the water?
- The only order I heard was to stand off.

9734. Was there any mention of gangways?
- No; the only orders I heard was to come back to the ship when called.

9735. Which boats did you see lowered. Did you see Nos. 5 and 3 actually lowered into the water?
- No.

9736. Neither of them?
- No.

Examined by Mr. COTTER.

9737. How long have you been going to sea?
- 40 years.

9738. How long?
- About 40 years.

9739. How long have you been in the White Star Company's employment?
- 35.

9740. Have you ever taken part in boat drill?
- Yes.

9741. In the White Star Line?
- Yes.

9742. So you have a thorough grasp of what boat drill really means?
- Yes.

9743. Did you see a boat list with your number or the number of your boat on before you left Southampton?
- Not before I left Southampton.

9744. When did you see it?
- About the day after I left Queenstown.

9745. Where was it posted up?
- In the saloon pantry.

9746. What position do you hold on board?
- Bath steward on B deck.

9747. So you would have a thorough knowledge of the run of the decks?
- Yes.

9748. So you would know whether A deck was covered in or whether it was not?
- Yes.

9749. Where were you when the ship struck?
- In my bed.

9750. In your bunk?
- Yes.

9751. Who got you out?
- Myself.

9752. Who called you up?
- Myself; the stopping of the engines woke me.

9753. The stopping of the engines woke you up?
- Yes.

9754. Did you get up out of bed because somebody told you, or did you go to see for yourself what was the trouble?
- I just jumped up myself.

9755. Did anyone come to the glory hole and tell you to get up?
- Not then.

9756. When did they come?
- I got up and dressed immediately the engines stopped. The engines reversed.

9757. She reversed?
- Yes.

9758. When did it stop?
- Almost immediately and the electric bells below started ringing, and I dressed and went right up on deck.

9759. The electric bells started ringing; was that attached to the Stone-Lloyd doors, the automatic doors?
- Down below in the fidley.

9760. You could hear them ringing?
- Yes, from my room.

9761. Did anybody come then and give any orders?
- No.

9762. Did anybody receive any orders that night?
- Not till later on in the night.

9763. Who gave orders then?
- I come back to my room and the chief bedroom steward then came down.

9764. How long after she struck did you come back to your room?
- Possibly it may be 20 minutes.

9765. When you got back to your room whom did you hear giving orders?
- The chief bedroom steward came down.

9766. What is his name?
- Penrose.

9767. Did you see the chief steward or second steward, or any Officers along B deck?
- I saw the second steward on B deck, in the deck pantry, as I passed up the second time, and the purser.

9768. What were they doing?
- They were in conversation one with the other.

9769. Did anyone give the stewards' department any orders what to do?
- They gave me no orders.

9770. Did you see any orders given by any of these people in position?
- No.

9771. Did you see any stewards going forward or aft to the third class?
- As I passed out on E deck, Muller, the interpreter, was getting all his people from forward aft, and they were taking their luggage with them on E deck.

9772. He was getting them from forward to aft?
- Yes, the afterend of the ship.

9773. Were there any women among them?
- No, all men.

9774. They were passing the men along E deck?
- All the foreigners.

9775. And they were bringing the baggage along?
- Yes, the trunks and valises and all that, with them.

9776. Was there any chaos in the alleyway?
- None whatever; you would think they were landing on the tender taking their baggage to New York.

9777. Can you tell me how many bulkheads there are on E deck; that is Scotland Road as you call it?
- Yes.

9778. How many?
- I could not say.

The Commissioner:
The plans will tell us that far better than this Witness can.

The Witness:
There are two on the port side by the engine room, one outside our door, the next one is by the engine room door, and then aft there are two more before you get to the end of the third class.

9779. (Mr. Cotter.) The stewards would know where those bulkhead doors were?
- Yes.

9780. Is it not the fact that it would be their duty if they had been taught or shown any drill, to close those doors immediately there was a collision?
- Naturally it would be.

9781. No one went to close those doors that night?
- No, because when I left the deck the interpreter was forcing people along the watertight doors in the alleyway.

9782. Showing it was taking in water forward, I put it to you the water would come along that deck and would get level with E deck, would it not?
- Not that night, she would be down by the head. [Question originally refers to T deck - in place of E deck.]

9783. The water would find its level down E deck?
- Yes.

9784. If the bulkhead door was closed then the water could not get along that deck?
- There is no bulkhead door forward.

9785. Just think a bit?
- No; on the starboard side there is; not on the port side.

9786. On the starboard side there is?
- Yes on the starboard side, but not on the port side.

9787. I think you will find there is one on each side; just think it out; are you sure?
- I do not remember one on the port because you go right up to the staircase to take you to the different decks.

9788. Where did you go after you left your room the second time?
- On the boat deck.

9789. Had you heard any orders then?
- No.

9790. You simply went on your own account?
- Only what the chief steward said to the bedroom stewards, to see passengers out of their rooms with their lifebelts and lock their doors.

9791. (The Commissioner.) He told us this before.

The Witness:
And everyone else to go to the boat deck.

9792. (Mr. Cotter.) I will take you to your boat. There has been a little discrepancy. You were sitting in the bow, you say?
- Yes.

9793. Was there anyone sitting with their back to you?
- Yes.

9794. Is that how you made a mistake with regard to the number of women?
- Yes.

9795. You found you made a mistake?
- The part was full of men where I was sitting. There were two to each oar.

9796. So you thought it was full of men. It was like an optical illusion to you that night. Thank you.

Examined by Mr. LAING.

9797. Was there a steward called Stewart with you in that boat?
- Yes.

9798. Was there a man called Lewis with you in that boat?
- I do not remember.

9799. Was there a man called Diamond, a trimmer?
- That I could not say.

Examined by the SOLICITOR-GENERAL.

9800. I just want to get this clear. As far as you are clear, you have told us several times how many people there were in this boat, No. 15, altogether. You have given their number. Now, what is the number?
- Sixty-eight.

9801. You are sure about that?
- As far as Stewart told me.

9802. You heard it from Stewart?
- Yes.

9803. Now we will take 68. You have told us several times that of the crew there were seven in the boat. Is that right?
- The crew altogether, do you mean?

The Solicitor-General:

The Commissioner:
There were seven of the "Titanic's" crew in your boat? You have told us so very often. I do not know whether you have some doubt about it now.

9804. (The Solicitor-General - To the witness.) I do not want to put it on you if you are not certain. You told us how Mr. Murdoch stood on the top deck and told some of you to get into that boat?
- There were six got in then.

9805. And you were one of them?
- No, I did not get in then.

9806. You got in at A deck?
- Yes.

9807. That is one amongst seven?
- Yes.

9808. Is that all you know of the crew that were in that boat?
- That is all I know, yes.

9809. Very well. This is clear. Now there is one other thing it seems to me you can tell us. You say six got in from the top deck, the boat deck, and the boat was lowered to the next deck, the a deck. Is that right?
- Yes.

9810. Now, did all the rest of the people get in from the a deck?
- Yes.

9811. And nobody got in below that?
- No.

9812. You yourself got in from the a deck?
- Yes.

9813. And what were you doing while this boat was level with the a deck?
- After she got down to the a deck?

9814. Yes, lowered from the top deck to the a deck. When she was lowered she had six of the crew in her?
- Yes.

9815. Now it comes to A deck?
- Yes.

9816. What were you doing on A deck during the time the boat No. 15 was level with the a deck?
- I was on the boat deck and came along to the a deck.

9817. You mean you followed the boat down?
- Yes.

9818. And you came down to A deck yourself?
- Yes.

9819. And when you got to A deck did you get into the boat at once?
- No.

9820. What did you do while the boat was level with A deck?
- I assisted the women and children in that I was speaking of.

9821. Where were you standing?
- By the rail.

9822. That is what I want to know. You were standing by the rail and you helped them in?
- Yes.

9823. Do you mean you remained standing by the rail until you got in?
- On the rail, yes.

9824. You did?
- Yes.

9825. All the time?
- Yes.

9826. And when you got into the boat, by that time was the boat full or not?
- Yes.

9827. You mean you got in then, one of the last?
- Yes.

The Solicitor-General:
I have got some other Witnesses about this boat, My Lord; it is just to see how much he does know. I think it would be better to call my other Witnesses about this boat instead of recalling Cavell for the moment.

The Commissioner:

9828. (Mr. Cotter.) May I ask one question? It may clear the air. (To the witness.) Have you suffered in health since this accident?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
Suffered in health?

9829. (Mr. Cotter.) Yes. (To the witness.) Several nights without sleep?
- Yes.

9830. Thinking of this disaster?
- Yes; I have been to a doctor.

9831. You agree it has affected your memory a lot?
- Yes.

9832. Have you been to a doctor?
- Yes.

Mr. Cotter:
I think that will clear the air a little, My Lord.

(The Witness withdrew.)