British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 10

Testimony of Charles Hendrickson, recalled

The Commissioner:
Now, Mr. Laing.

Mr. Laing:
I have only one Question I want to ask him.

Examined by Mr. LAING.

11072. When your boat No. 1 was lowered into the water did you see any other steamers' lights near?
- No.

11073. Nothing at all?
- No, I saw a light while I was on board the "Titanic."

11074. Before she was lowered, you mean?
- Yes.

11075. What light did you see?
- I saw a bright light.

11076. What did you take it to be?
- A ship, five or six miles ahead of us.

11077. I think you have told us when the Officer told you to lower away he told you to keep near the ship and come back if called on?
- Yes.

11078. Did you hear any calling?
- No.

11079. Was there anybody using the megaphone on board?
- I could not say; I do not know.

Examined by Mr. DUKE.

11080. The boat was what is called a dinghy, was not she?
- Yes, an accident or emergency boat.

11081. Are you a seaman?
- No, a fireman.

11082. Perhaps you are not able to express any opinion as to whether she was the sort of boat that was ever intended to navigate in the Atlantic?
- I do not know; I do not understand a boat.

11083. Were you there when the lifeboats put off?
- Yes.

11084. You saw them put off. I mean the lifeboats on the starboard forward quarter?
- No, not the starboard, the port side.

11085. I am speaking of the lifeboats on the starboard side forward?
- I saw one or two, that is all.

11086. Did you see the boat that was launched next before the dinghy was lowered?
- I never took that notice.

11087. Were you there at the time?
- I was there at the bridge then - the fore end.

11088. Was it Mr. Murdoch that was giving orders as to the boats?
- I do not know.

11089. Did you know Mr. Murdoch?
- I did not know him. The only Officer I saw there was the Officer who fired the rockets.

11090. Did not you see the Officer who was giving the orders as to the boats?
- I saw him, but I did not recognise him; I did not see his features.

11091. Was that because of the darkness?
- Yes.

11092. Did you hear what he said?
- He told me after we got into the boat and were lowering down: "Come back if you are called upon."

11093. Is that the first you know about it?
- About what?

11094. About the lowering of the boat - the manning of the boat and the lowering of her? Is that the first you know?
- No, it is not the first. When I got round the boat, I was at the boatswain end at the same time the Officer was firing his rockets. After the Officer finished firing the rockets he sung out, "How many seamen are there in the boat?"

11095. At that time were there men in this dinghy?
- Yes, two seamen.

11096. You say the Officer asked how many seamen there were?
- In the boat. They answered, "Two."

11097. Did he then order in some firemen, or was it subsequently?
- He called out, first of all, were there any more seamen there, and he got no reply, and he said, "Six firemen jump in that boat."

11098. And did the six firemen jump into the boat?
- Five, I found out after.

11099. Were you one of the five?
- Yes.

11100. Did you hear what he said about ladies or passengers?
- He called out was there any more ladies about, and got no answer, and then gave the order to lower away.

11101. But before that had you seen the lady you now know as Lady Duff-Gordon?
- Not at the time.

11102. Not at the time?
- No.

11103. Had you seen her at all until you were in the boat and were rowing?
- Not to take notice.

11104. Did you become aware of the circumstances under which she was in the boat at all?
- No.

11105. Was the first you knew about her that she was in the boat when you were rowing?
- The first time I saw the lady was in the boat.

11106. The first time you knew of her being there?
- Yes.

11107. And you did not hear anything of the conversation which led to her going into the boat?
- No.

11108. You were standing by. Had you become aware that she had refused to leave her husband and refused to leave the ship in either of the lifeboats that had been lowered on that side of the ship at that end?
- No, I do not know.

11109. You did not know about that? Did you hear what the Officer said when the boat had been lowered and was afloat?
- The Officer called out and said: "Stand by and come back if called."

11110. Now, stop a minute. Did he first say, "Who is the seaman who is there?" - Oh, yes. He called his name.

11111. Was it Simmons or Symons?
- I do not know whether it was Symons or Simmons.

11112. We will call him Simmons. Did Simmons say - Simmons, the look-out?
- I did not know his capacity at all.

11113. I am asking you what he said to the Officer?
- The Officer told him to take command of the boat.

11114. Did the Officer say to him, "Now you take command of this boat. These men are under your orders, and see they obey you"?
- Yes, I remember that.

11115. And did he then say to him, "Follow the other boats"?
- I never heard that.

11116. "Row as hard as you can for about 200 yards, to get away from the ship"?
- No, I never heard that.

11117. Just think it over?
- I do not remember it, Sir.

11118. You would not say he did not say it?
- No, I would not say he did not say it, but I do not remember him saying it.

11119. Did the boat, in fact, stand by at 150 or 200 yards?
- We were just pulling around there about that distance.

11120. Just let us see what was done. Was this what was done, that you did pull as hard as you could for some considerable time?
- For a time, yes.

11121. Did you then rest a bit?
- Yes.

11122. Did you then pull again?
- We kept on resting and pulling.

11123. At the time the "Titanic" went down had you rested and pulled, rested and pulled, several times?
- Yes.

11124. And all that time had you been pulling away from the ship in the direction the other boats had gone?
- Yes, we were pulling about, and just keeping watch of them at the same time.

11125. By the time the "Titanic" went down were you many hundreds of yards from the ship?
- I could not say.

11126. Have you any judgment at all about distances at sea?
- As I said before, somewhere about 200 yards.

11127. But you pulled in the first instance what you considered 200 yards, did you not, with a strong pull to get away from the ship?
- Yes, but we were not pulling right straight away all the time. We were pulling away, and going along a little bit, and coming back again.

11128. I suggest you were pulling in the direction the other boats had gone and pulling away from the "Titanic"?
- We were pulling away, yes.

11129. Up to the time the vessel sank. When the vessel sank she left the sea in darkness at the point where you had been able to see her lights?
- Yes.

11130. And was all you were able to see of the "Titanic" the outline of the figure as the stern rose in the air and the boat went down?
- Yes.

11131. Can you tell the Court whereabouts you were sitting in the boat?
- In the bow.

11132. That would have been, as near as possible, to Horswell, who was keeping the look-out?
- Yes.

11133. Simmons was in the stern of the boat?
- Yes.

11134. And he was steering?
- He was steering.

11135. And was Simmons there in charge of the boat and doing his duty in a very seaman-like way the whole of that night?
- Yes.

11136. And in absolute command?
- Yes.

11137. I understand you to say that you came to the conclusion the boat ought to have gone back?
- Yes.

11138. When did you come to that conclusion?
- At the time when she sank and we heard the cries. After we heard the cries, I sang out in the boat, "It is up to us to go back and pick up anyone in the boat."

11139. You thought that then?
- Yes.

11140. When did you first tell anybody that from the time you were on board the "Carpathia"? I am not speaking of the time you were in the boat; I will deal with that presently. From the time you got on board the "Carpathia" until the present time, when did you first tell anybody that, while you were in the boat, you thought the boat ought to go back?
- I told the Court here last week.

11141. Was that the first time you have told anybody?
- The first time to my knowledge.

11142. Now, I understand your present impression to be that the boat was prevented from going back by the action of Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon?
- Yes, they protested against going back.

11143. When did you first make that statement to anybody?
- Last thursday.

11144. Did somebody take your proof of what happened on board this boat?
- I could not say.

11145. Did not anybody take down a statement from you in writing of what you were able to say here to throw light upon the matter?
- I never said anything about Sir duff-Gordon at all. I made a statement which I gave at Plymouth, just the workings of the boat, what I knew went on on board the boat.

The Attorney-General:
He made a deposition.

11146. (Mr. Duke.) I follow. (To the witness.) You have told the Court that you said "It is up to us to go back"?
- Yes.

11147. To whom did you say it?
- Well, to the men who were in the boat.

11148. The men that were in the boat. Some of them were your own comrades on board the ship?
- Yes, of course.

11149. You know the name of every one of them, do you not?
- Pretty well now, yes.

11150. Tell me to what man or to what person in that boat did you at that time say, "It is up to us to go back"?
- I never said it to anyone personally.

11151. Not to anyone personally?
- Not personally, no; I called out.

The Commissioner:
He did not speak individually, but he spoke to all of them.

The Attorney-General:
I have the deposition. I will ask my friend if he has seen it.

Mr. Duke:
No, I have not seen it.

The Attorney-General:
I notice he says this upon the point you are now cross -examining to: "I proposed pulling in to pick up any who should be in the water after the ship sunk, but the passengers objected, and it was not done. We left the ship about 1. 30 a.m., remaining near other boats until the 'Carpathia' came up." That is what he says about it in the depositions.

The Commissioner:
When was the deposition sworn?

The Attorney-General:
On the 25th. I am not sure whether it is the 25th or 28th April, on his return in the "Lapwing."

11152. (Mr. Duke - To the witness.) You had forgotten that?
- Yes.

11153. Is not your memory pretty good?
- It is not so bad, I think.

11154. Have you been a good deal badgered about this business from first to last?
- What do you mean, badgered?

11155. Bothered about it; asked questions about it by all sorts of people?
- Yes, everybody asked questions about the turn out and everything.

11156. Before the time you made that deposition had you said to anybody that Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon prevented that boat being put back?
- Not to my knowledge, not before that time.

11157. From that time forward, or at any time until you named Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon in Court here last week, had you suggested that it was Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon who prevented that boat going back?
- No, not to my knowledge; I had no cause to.

11158. Now, I was asking you what man in the boat you could name - or was intending to ask you - as a man who heard you, to your knowledge, say, "It is up to us to go back"?
- I think Taylor was the nearest man to me in the boat.

11159. Was he on the same seat with you?
- I think he was sitting alongside sir duff-Gordon.

11160 Did Taylor say anything to you?
- Nothing at all; no one said anything.

11161. No one?
- No one at all.

11162. No one said anything?
- No.

11163. Do you mean that nobody said anything in answer to your suggestion?
- He said it would be dangerous to go back; we should get swamped.

11164. Who?
- Sir duff-Gordon and Lady Duff-Gordon.

11165. To you?
- I do not know whether it was to me. It was when I put this proposition to go back.

11166. The man you put the proposition to was Simmons?
- No, any one at all; I called out for everyone to hear.

11167. The man to decide whether the boat should go back was Simmons, was it not?
- Yes, he was the man in charge of the boat.

11168. Had everybody on that boat been perfectly obedient to his orders up to that time?
- Yes.

11169. Was everybody on that boat perfectly obedient to his orders from that time?
- Yes.

11170. Did you in Simmons' hearing so that effect could be given to anything you said, suggest so that Simmons could hear it, that you wanted that boat to go back?
- I do not know whether he heard it or not.

11171. What was the use of suggesting it to anybody else, Hendrickson?
- Well, I do not know.

11172. Was this a momentary impulse of yours, or had you thought about it?
- No, it came across me after I heard those cries.

11173. You heard cries, and you say you said, so that somebody could hear, "It is up to us to go back"?
- Yes.

11174. Did you have any conversation with Taylor?
- No.

11175. Taylor was sitting alongside of you?
- He was sitting on the next thwart to me alongside sir duff-Gordon.

11176. Who was the man alongside of you?
- No one alongside of me.

11177. You were sitting on a seat alone?
- I was sitting on a seat alone.

11178. Taylor was the next member of the crew to you?
- Yes.

11179. Horswell was the seaman immediately ahead of you?
- Yes.

11180. Do you think he heard you?
- I do not know.

11181. He was a seaman and had more to do with the management of the boat than you?
- I had nothing to do with the management of the boat at all.

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