WRECK COMMISSIONER'S INQUIRY

REPORT

ORDERS GIVEN AND WORK DONE AFTER THE TORPEDOING


The Captain was on the bridge at the time his ship was struck, and he remained there giving orders until the ship foundered. His first order was to lower all boats to the rail. This order was obeyed as far as it possibly could be. He then called out, "Women and children first." The order was then given to hard-a-starboard the helm with a view to heading towards the land, and orders were telegraphed to the engine room. The orders given to the engine room are difficult to follow and there is obvious confusion about them. It is not, however, important to consider them, for the engines were put out of commission almost at once by the inrush of water and ceased working, and the lights on the engine room were blown out.

Leith, the Marconi operator, immediately sent out an S.O.S. signal, and, later on, another message, "Come at once, big list, 10 miles south Head Old Kinsale." These messages were repeated continuously and were acknowledged. At first, the messages were sent out by the power supplied from the ship's dynamo; but in three or four minutes this power gave out, and the messages were sent out by means of the emergency apparatus in the wireless cabin.

All the collapsible boats were loosened from their lashings and freed so that they could float when the ship sank.