British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry
Lifebuoys. - Forty-eight, with beckets, were supplied, of pattern approved by the Board of Trade. They were placed about the ship.
Lifebelts. - 3,560 lifebelts, of the latest improved overhead pattern approved by the Board of Trade, were supplied and placed on board the vessel, and there inspected by the Board of Trade. These were distributed throughout all the sleeping accommodation.
Lifeboats. - Twenty boats in all were fitted on the vessel, and were of the following dimensions and capacities: -
14 wood lifeboats, each 30 ft. long by 9 ft. 1 in. broad
by 4 ft. deep, with a cubic capacity of 655·2 cubic ft., constructed
to carry 65 persons each.
1 wood cutter, 25 ft. 2 in. long by 7 ft. 2 in, broad by 3 it. deep, with a cubic capacity of 326·6
cubic it., constructed to carry 40 persons.
1 wood cutter, 25 ft. 2 in., long by 7 ft. 1 in. broad by 3 ft. deep,
with a cubic capacity of 322·1 cubic ft., constructed to carry
|4 Engelhardt collapsible boats, 27 ft. 5 in. long by 8
ft. broad by 3 ft. deep, with a cubic capacity of 376·6 cubic ft.,
constructed to carry 47 persons each.
Or a total of 11327·9 cubic ft. for 1,178 persons.
The lifeboats and cutters were constructed as follows: -
The keels were of elm. The stems and stern posts were of oak. They were all clinker built of yellow pine, double fastened with copper nails, clinched over rooves. The timbers were of elm, spaced about 9 in. apart, and the seats pitch pine secured with galvanized iron double knees. The buoyancy tanks in the lifeboats were of 18 oz. copper, and of capacity to meet the Board of Trade requirements.
The lifeboats were fitted with Murray's disengaging gear with arrangements for simultaneously freeing both ends if required. The gear was fastened at a suitable distance from the forward and after ends of the boats, to suit the davits. Lifelines were fitted round the gunwales of the lifeboats. The davit blocks were treble for the lifeboats and double for the cutters. They were of elm, with lignum vitae roller sheaves, and were bound inside with iron, and had swivel eyes. There were manila rope falls of sufficient length for lowering the boats to the vessel's light draft, and when the boats were lowered, to be able to reach to the boat winches on the Boat deck.
The lifeboats were stowed on hinged wood chocks on the Boat deck, by groups of three at the forward, and four at the after ends. On each side of the Boat deck the cutters were arranged forward of the group of three and fitted to lash outboard as emergency boats. They were immediately abaft the navigating bridge.
The Engelhardt collapsible lifeboats were stowed abreast of the cutters, one on each side of the ship, and the remaining two on top of the officers' house, immediately abaft the navigating bridge.
The boat equipment was in accordance with the Board of Trade requirements. Sails for each lifeboat and cutter were supplied and stowed in painted bags. Covers were supplied for the lifeboats and cutters, and a sea anchor for each boat. Every lifeboat was furnished with a special spirit boat compass and fitting for holding it; these compasses were carried in a locker on the Boat deck. A provision tank and water beaker were supplied to each boat.
Compasses. - Compasses were supplied as follows : -
One Kelvin standard compass, with
azimuth mirror on compass platform.
One Kelvin steering compass inside of wheel house.
One Kelvin steering compass on captain's bridge.
One light card compass for docking bridge.
Fourteen spirit compasses for lifeboats.
All the ship's compasses were lighted with oil and electric lamps. They were adjusted by Messrs. C. J. Smith, of Southampton, on the passage from Belfast to Southampton and Southampton to Queenstown.
Charts. - All the necessary charts were supplied.
Distress signals. - These were supplied of number and pattern approved by Board of Trade - i.e., 36 socket signals in lieu of guns, 12 ordinary rockets, 2 Manwell Holmes deck flares, 12 blue lights, and 6 lifebuoy lights.