British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry


Board of Trade's Administration
Extension of Life-Saving Apparatus Tables

It will be seen that I have given priority in importance to the form of ships' boats rather than to their number on the principle that a few reliable boats are of greater value than a large number of indifferent ones; but if the former desirable condition can be obtained by the proposed alterations in our Rules as to measurement, &c., we are freer to approach the question of adding to the number of boats provided for in the existing tables.

As with the question of ratio D: B dealt with by the Advisory Committee last year, so with the question of boat increase and relative increase of cubic capacity dealt with by them on the same occasion, perhaps the Board might inform the Committee that they are not satisfied that a slightly different recommendation might not have been made had the matter been still further considered at the time.

Referring to the table of boat capacities computed by them particularly it might be helpful if the Board laid before them for consideration the table, which I attach hereto and submit, as showing a more reasonable proportionate increase in capacity than appears so far, in my opinion, in the other papers before us. It will be seen in this statement that the number of boats recommended by the Advisory Committee is practically retained, but the unit of increase in capacity is put at 300 cubic feet.

Perhaps I should state here what actuated me in fixing upon this rate of increase. I realised that in all probability it would become the practice on these large liners to provide boats under davits which would contain the entire cubic feet required by the L. S. A. Rules, that is - the quantity required by rule under davits plus the addition of 3/4ths and it occurred to me that if, after the figure 5,500 cubic feet the increase of capacity were uniform and moderate it would result in a total at 1 3/4 which would by incidence fit in with the scale of boats already recommended as requisite in the report of the Advisory Committee and in my own, i.e., assuming that the boats are of 500 cubic feet. Example: take a vessel of 30,000 tons and under 35,000 tons, according to the table I submit she would be required to have by the 1 3/4 rule a total boat capacity of 12,250 cubic feet which at 500 cubic feet per boat equals 24 boats nearly. There should be no difficulty on the large ships in carrying this quantity under davits, i.e., 18 directly under davits and six boats inboard.

Please see incidental table attached.

A. H. Y.
(Mr. A. H. Young, Professional Advisor to the Board of Trade.)