British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 2

Testimony of Archie Jewell, cont.

180. Now you say you heard some explosions?
- Yes.

181. Did you hear more than one?
- Yes; I heard two or three.

182. Were the explosions close together or at intervals?
- Close after one another.

183. And how near was that to the disappearance - to the end?
- Not long.

184. Was it before you saw the stern up in the air?
- No, just as the stern went up in the air.

185. Were the lights burning when you heard the explosion?
- Some on the afterend.

186. Did you hear any noise apart from the explosion? Some people have spoken of the noise of the machinery?
- I never heard nothing.

187. It is suggested that the heavy machinery fell. Now just come back to your boat for a minute. Did your boat pick up anybody out of the sea?
- No, not one.

188. So that you landed the same number of people into the "Carpathia" as got into the boat at the rail level?
- Well, we took two or three out of Mr. Pitman's boat.

189. That is the Third Officer?
- Yes.

190. Because you had got more room than he had, I suppose?
- Yes, to make it more even.

191. Did he remain in command of your boat the whole time till you got to the "Carpathia"?
- Yes.

192. And how many of you were rowing?
- Me and Hogg was doing most of the work; the rest were trying to pull. I was pulling from the time I went in the boat to the time we got alongside the "Carpathia."

193. What time did you get alongside the "Carpathia"?
- It must have been somewhere about 7 or 8 in the morning or getting on that way.

194. (The Commissioner.) What time was it?
- 7 or 8 in the morning.

195. (The Solicitor-General.) I will just ask you this: Had you seen any ice after the accident and before your boat was launched?
- No.

The Commissioner:
He saw a little, as I understand, on the deck.

196. (The Solicitor-General.) I meant really in the water. (To the Witness.) Did you see any icebergs when you were in your boat?
- When it became daylight.

197. (The Commissioner.) What time did it become daylight?
- That I could not say; there was nobody had any time.

198. Would it be about half-past five?
- I should say it would be about that time.

199. When it became daylight you saw some icebergs, do you say?
- Yes.

200. (The Solicitor-General.) Did you see many of them?
- Yes, a lot, all around us.

201. Except for drifting, how far were you from where the boat sank?
- We could not tell. We were drifting along with the wreckage. We could not tell where the boat went down; when it came daylight we had no idea; we had been drifting all night.

202. And had the wreckage been drifting with you alongside?
- Yes, I expect so.

Examined by Sir ROBERT FINLAY.

203. You say that when you looked over the side the ship was stopped?
- Yes.

204. Can you tell us when it was that you looked over the side?
- Just after the accident, just after she struck; I rushed right up from below. I got out of my bed and went on deck.

205. Only one other question. Did you try to find any people to pick up?
- Yes. There were only two to do any pulling; we could not get the boat about.

206. You did your best?
- Yes; we done our very best.

Mr. Scanlan:
With your Lordship's permission, I propose to ask some questions.

Examined by Mr. SCANLAN.

207. While you were on the look-out, were you given glasses?
- No, we never had any glasses.

208. Had any glasses been supplied from the commencement of the voyage?
- No.

209. When you have been on other liners, has it been usual to provide the look-out man with glasses?
- Well, we had them in the "Oceanic." I was on the look-out once there.

210. Is the "Oceanic" the only other large liner you have been on?
- Yes.

211. So far as you know it is the practice to supply glasses?
- I can say nothing about that, because I could not say.

212. Did you ask for them?
- Yes.

213. Whom did you ask?
- My mate went and asked. I do not know who he asked - I did not ask.

214. (Chairman.) You did not ask?
- No, I did not ask.

215. (Mr. Scanlan.) You did not ask yourself?
- No.

216. Do you derive much help from the glasses when you are on the look-out?
- Yes, they are very useful.

217. I think you said there was no look-out man forward?
- [No answer.]

218. (The Commissioner.) Will you tell me this: How often have you used glasses?
- Well, we had them on the "Oceanic"; we used them there all the time.

219. How often have you used them in your life?
- Well, I have used several glasses, not on the look-out.

220. But I am talking of on the look-out. How often in your life have you used glasses on the look-out?
- Only on the "Oceanic."

221. How often did you use them there?
- Oh! very often.

222. Did you see anyone else using them?
- Yes, my mate.

223. How many had you?
- Only one pair.

224. And where were they kept?
- In a little bag on a little box in the crow's-nest.

225. Was there a box or bag on the "Titanic" for these glasses?
- There was a box there.

226. But nothing in it?
- No, nothing in it.

227. (Mr. Scanlan.) Did you look in the box on the occasion of your first watch to find out if there were glasses there?
- Yes.

228. So that you are quite certain that from the commencement of the voyage you were not supplied with glasses?
- Yes, we never had any glasses.

229. Tell me this: Is it usual on liners to have a look-out man stationed forward of the crow's-nest?
- Well, it is not all big liners that have lookout men.

230. (The Commissioner.) How many liners have you been on?
- Only the "Titanic" and the "Oceanic."

231. Have you ever been working on any other liners?
- No, only sailing ships.

232. Then your knowledge is confined to these two vessels?
- That is right.

233. How many voyages have you made on the "Oceanic"?
- Seven or eight.

234. And half a one on this?
- Yes.

235. (Mr. Scanlan.) Was the "Titanic" provided with a flashlight?
- What do you mean?

236. Was there any electric light - any searchlight?
- I never saw any. I could not say that.

237. (The Commissioner.) Was there one on the "Oceanic"?
- I never saw any. I do not think so.

238. (Mr. Scanlan.) At the time you were taken on board the "Carpathia," was your boat full?
- Well, nearly full.

239. Could you even then have accommodated a few more?
- Very few.

240. You stated in answer to the Solicitor-General, that when your watch was finished, your watch finishing, I think at 10, you passed on to the two men who succeeded you the information you had got?
- Yes, that was my orders from the bridge.

241. That ice was ahead?
- Yes.

The Solicitor-General:
His orders were to keep a sharp look out for ice.

242. (Mr. Scanlan.) You had a warning about ice?
- Yes, and I passed the word along.

243. Is it usual for a man on the look-out - is it part of his duty to pass the word along in these circumstances?
- Yes.

244. Now, did the two watchmen whom you and your mate replace, give you any word?
- No, they had had no message then.

245. So that the first message of ice was not communicated until half-past time?
- No, it could not have been.

246. Now, with regard to the boat drill, did you personally take part in it at Southampton?
- Yes.

247. What boat did you go to when the order was given for boat drill?
- Well, there was only two got ready, and so many told off for each.

248. Were you assisting in lowering one of the two lifeboats that were actually let down into the water at Southampton?
- Yes, the two forward ones.

249. How many assisted at each boat?
- Nine sailors and a quartermaster and an Officer.

250. How many?
- About eleven, I think.

251. Eleven seamen?
- Yes, something like that; a quartermaster, an Officer, and seven or eight seamen.

252. Did any firemen assist in the lowering of the boats at the trial?
- At Southampton?

253. Yes.
- No.

254. Did any stewards assist at the lowering of the boats?
- No, only sailors.

255. You have told us that in the list which was set up in the forecastle you were assigned to this boat, No. 7. Who were the others set down for this boat?
- Weller. I know Weller was there; who else I could not say.

256. At this boat which you assisted in lowering in Southampton, you say eleven seamen were engaged in the lowering?
- Not in the lowering; two men would lower away the boat.

257. How were the eleven engaged?
- They were the crew of the boat.

258. What was the crew of the boat's work?
- To pull and practice - pulling round the harbour and back.

259. How many were engaged in pulling her round the harbour?
- I suppose there were six or seven pulling.

260. And were these six or seven able seamen?
- Yes.

261. What I want to make clear is, amongst the six or seven you had not any firemen?
- No.

262. Or stewards?
- No, all able seamen.

263. Now, so far as the firemen and stewards were concerned, did they at Southampton or anywhere else get any practice or any training either in lowering boats or rowing them?
- I never saw them.

264. (The Commissioner.) You saw none?
- No.

265. (Mr. Scanlan.) Can you tell the Court how many firemen were expected to assist you as part of the crew of No. 7?
- No, I could not say; I never saw their list. Their list is down in a different place from mine.

266. Is the list which is exhibited in your cabin merely a list of the deckhands?
- Of the deckhands.

267. And on that list is it the case that there was no other name except yours and Weller's?
- I think there was a quartermaster; I am not sure. We only go and look for our own name when we are on a job like that.

268. Then a third man came on?
- Yes.

269. Hogg?
- Yes.

270. Are you quite sure that Hogg's name was not on this list?
- I am not sure.

271. So that you do not know whether No. 7 was Hogg's boat or whether he belonged to some other?
- I could not say that.

272. Is it not a usual thing when there is boat practice to call to the boat deck all the men who are expected in an emergency to go with that boat?
- Yes. Once on the trip. Once going out and once coming home - twice on the trip.

273. Had this been done on this trip?
- No; it is generally done on the Sunday, but it was not done on that day. There was a strong wind.

274. (The Commissioner.) This was the first Sunday you were out?
- Yes.

275. Had it been done on that day?
- No. It was blowing hard that day; there was a strong wind that day; that was the reason why it was not done.

276. (The Commissioner.) A strong wind on what day?
- On the Sunday.

277. What Sunday?
- On the day of the accident; a strong breeze blowing all that day.

278. I thought the sea was quite smooth?
- So it was when the accident happened.

279. Then the wind had gone down?
- Yes, it had gone down as the sun set.

280. (Mr. Scanlan.) What time did the wind abate on the Sunday?
- It went down as the sun began to go away.

281. And you say that that was the reason you had no boat practice. Who told you so?
- Well, that is the only thing we knew.

(After a short Adjournment.)

Mr. Quillium:
Will your Lordship allow me to make an application on behalf of the National Union of Stewards. They had over 200 members on board the "Titanic," and they have over 15,000 stewards, members of their union, in the British Isles, and they am greatly concerned that they should be represented here, as there are many points which they wish to bring out which concern the stewards on these boats?

The Commissioner:
Very well. Be moderate in the questions which you ask.

282. (Mr. Scanlan.) I have a few more questions, my Lord. (To the Witness.) I understand there were three of you seamen in the lifeboat No. 7?
- Yes, Sir.

283. Besides you three was there any fireman?
- No.

284. Had you any assistance in the manning of that boat besides the three of you?
- There were two gentlemen there who helped as well as they could.

285. They were passengers who by chance knew something about handling a boat, and they gave you assistance?
- They did not know much about it, Sir.

286. To handle a lifeboat in a rough sea, in an ordinary sea, how many men would you require?
- We would want six at the least, Sir.

287. Six trained men?
- Oh, yes, we would want six men who understand the boat.

288. And you had only three?
- That is all, Sir.

The Commissioner:
It was similar on this occasion.

Mr. Scanlan:
Yes, Sir, it was similar on this occasion.

289. (The Commissioner.) I suppose when you did get on board this lifeboat, in point of fact the men you had with you were able to manage it?
- There were only three.

290. Was it swamped?
- No, Sir, it was not swamped.

291. (Mr. Scanlan.) I think you said you were tired out when you were picked up?
- I was myself.

292. (The Commissioner.) What do you say?
- He asked me if I was tired when I was picked up, and I said I was.

293. You were on the boat for something like eight hours, were you not?
- About seven hours.

294. Had you anything to eat?
- No.

295. Had you anything to drink?
- No, I had nothing, Sir.

296. (Mr. Scanlan.) When you speak of six men being required do you mean seamen, or would that allow for some of the men being stokers?
- It does not matter who it is, so long as they understand how to handle a boat.

297. Now to your knowledge, had any of the men in the ship's complement knowledge of manning boats except the seamen, the A.B.'s, and the deckhands?

The Commissioner:
But, Mr. Scanlan, you must be a little reasonable. Did he know all the other men? He cannot answer that question.

298. (Mr. Scanlan.) Very well, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Did you know in point of fact of your own knowledge how many seamen were on board?
- No.

The Commissioner:
It is no use asking him that question, because if he said he did I should not believe him.

299. (Mr. Scanlan.) Were the collapsible boats tested at all?
- I could not tell you that, Sir.

300. You did not see it?
- No.

301. From what part of the ship did the passengers come who were on your boat?
- I would have a hard job to say; they were on deck when I got there.

302. Did you have instructions not to allow men on board?
- Yes.

303. (The Commissioner.) Men as distinguished from women?

Mr. Scanlan:
Yes, male passengers.

The Witness:
Yes.

304. Had the lifeboat a compass?
- No, Sir, not on board.

305. Should a lifeboat have a compass?
- I do not think it is much use in an open sea like that. A compass is no good to anyone, it is all right if you see the land and know where you are.

The Commissioner:
Would you ask him the question, do lifeboats carry compasses as a Rule?

306. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Do lifeboats as a Rule carry compasses?
- There is one on board for every boat.

307. Where is it kept on board?
- I do not know where it is kept on the big ship - on the "Titanic."

308. Whose duty is it to put on board the lifeboats all that is required in the way of provisions and appliances?
- That is done in port; I could not say.

309. Is it done in port before the commencement of the voyage?
- Yes.

The Commissioner:
Do they put water on board before the commencement of the voyage?

310. (Mr. Scanlan.) Do they put water in the boat?
- Yes, there is water in every boat.

311. (The Commissioner.) And how often is it changed; ever?
- I could not say.

312. But have you known it ever changed?
- I have never seen it.

313. And what food do they put on board?
- A box of biscuits.

314. Is the box of biscuits kept on board the lifeboats while they are swung on the deck as we see them in this model? Has every lifeboat a box of biscuits?
- I think so, Sir.

315. Or is a box of biscuits put on board when the lifeboat is being lowered into the water?
- I do not know; I have never seen any on board; I could not say.

316. Have you ever seen any on board any lifeboat?
- No, Sir.

317. (Mr. Scanlan.) There were not any of these things in yours - neither water nor biscuits?
- Yes, there was water; but as to biscuits, I cannot say. I do not think anyone looked.

318. (Mr. Lewis.) There is one question I should like to ask first with regard to the speed. Could you say what speed you were going at?
- No.

The Commissioner:
He does not know anything of that kind.

319. (Mr. Lewis.) I am merely asking the Witness whether he noticed any appreciable difference in the speed on the Sunday, the day of the accident, and on the Saturday; could you say?
- I could not say anything about that.

320. You did not see any difference?
- No.

321. With regard to glasses, did you make any personal application to anyone?
- My mate did, Sir.

The Commissioner:
He says his mate told him that he did.

The Witness:
Yes.

322. (Mr. Lewis.) Which one?
- Symons.

323. Could you tell how long the boat you were in took to prepare and lower?
- Half-an-hour at the most, I should think.

324. Half-an-hour at the most?
- Yes, we were all in a hurry; I could hardly judge the time.

325. Have you a knowledge of the ship itself, of the different parts; the first class, the second class, and the third class quarters?
- No, I could not say much about that, because I was not over the ship much.

326. You could not express an opinion whether it was difficult for the third class passengers to reach the deck where the boat was?
- There were some, so I heard.

327. You could not say how difficult it would be to reach it?
- No.

Mr. Searle:
I do not know if any of us are allowed to put any questions.

The Commissioner:
What do you mean by "any of us"? I do not know whom you represent.

Mr. Searle:
I understood we had to get permission from you.

The Commissioner:
Who are you?

Mr. Searle:
I represent persons who are some of the deceased passengers' relatives, relatives of waiters and different persons.

The Commissioner:
What is it you want to ask?

Mr. Searle:
One or two questions.

The Commissioner:
Will you tell me what it is?

Mr. Searle:
I should have liked to have asked him how he got to know that the ship had absolutely stopped.

The Witness:
That is a very foolish thing to ask. Any man looking over the side could tell whether the ship was going ahead or stopped.

The Commissioner:
Who is it you represent? I do not know.

Mr. Searle:
I can give you their names.

The Commissioner:
But who are they?

Mr. Searle:
Those who have lost relatives, Sir, fathers and husbands.

The Commissioner:
Have you made any application previously?

Mr. Searle:
Not to you, my Lord. I have only come this morning. I have only just come in.

The Commissioner:
I cannot listen to people who have only just come in. I must have some sort of limit to these questions. Will you tell me what it is you want to ask the man?

Mr. Searle:
I wanted to ask him how long it was after he came up from below that the ship struck. (To the Witness.) You said when you came up from below the ship had stopped?

The Commissioner:
The engines had stopped.

Mr. Searle:
That is another thing. He said the ship had stopped.

The Witness:
The ship had stopped.

Mr. Quillium:
May I ask a question, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
What do you want to ask?

Mr. Quillium:
Had they any practice with regard to the collapsible boats?

The Commissioner:
Oh, yes, that is right enough; you may ask him that.

328. (Mr. Quillium.) Did you have any practice with regard to the collapsible boat or boats before the "Titanic" sailed?
- Not the collapsible boats.

329. Have you ever had any practice on any liner with regard to collapsible boats?
- No.

The Commissioner:
He has only been on two, you know.

330. (Mr. Quillium.) Now with regard to the food on the lifeboats - during the boats drills did the stewards bring the biscuits to the boat?
- I never saw it done.

Re-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL.

331. When you were in the boats did you see any steamer?
- Not before the "Carpathia."

The Commissioner:
Is there any other question that you want to ask, Sir Robert?

Sir Robert Finlay:
No, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
Thank you, Jewell; and if you will allow me to say so, I think you have given your evidence very well indeed.

The Witness:
Thank you, Sir.

(The Witness withdrew.)