WRECK COMMISSIONER'S INQUIRY

REPORT

THE VOYAGE

SPEED OF THE SHIP


It appears that a question had arisen in the office of the Cunard Company shortly after the war broke out as to whether the transatlantic traffic would be sufficient to justify the Company in running their two big and expensive ships - the "Lusitania" and the "Mauretania." The conclusion arrived at was that one of the two (the "Lusitania") could be run once a month if the boiler power were reduced by one-fourth. The saving in coal and labour resulting from this reduction would, it was thought, enable the Company to avoid loss though not to make a profit. Accordingly six of the "Lusitania's" boilers were closed and the ship began to run in these conditions in November, 1914. She had made five round voyages in this way before the voyage in question in this enquiry. The effect of closing of the six boilers was to reduce the attainable speed from 24 ½ to 21 knots. But this reduction still left the "Lusitania" a considerably faster ship than any other steamer plying cross the Atlantic. In my opinion this reduction of the steamer's speed was of no significance and was proper in the circumstances.