Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry




of the D.G.S. Lady Evelyn,




Examined by Mr. Newcombe:


5496. You are the captain of the Canadian Government steamer, Lady Evelyn?
- Yes, sir.

5497. You went to the assistance of the Empress on the night of the 29th of May?
- Yes, sir.

5498. That would be Friday morning, May 29th?
- Yes, sir.

5499. You were called by telephone and informed by the wireless operator at Father Point that the Empress was asking for assistance, sinking?
- Yes, sir.

5500. The position was given 20 miles from Father Point; couldn’t specify whether east or west - that is according to your statement?
- Yes.

5501. Now will you tell at what time you received that message?
- When I left the telephone it was 2.12.

5502. 2.12 ship’s time?
- Ship’s time.

5503. Would that be right Montreal time?
- Well, we generally keep eastern standard time there.

5504. Then what did you do when you got this message at the telephone?
- I gave orders to call up every man of the crew.

5505. Where was the ship then?
- Lying at Rimouski wharf.

5506. You ordered all hands to be called?
- Yes.

5507. And the firemen?
- Every fireman to be sent on duty.

5508. Chief engineer?
- The chief engineer was informed by me of what had happened to the Empress.

5509. Did you get up steam as quickly as possible?
- We did, sir.

5510. You received another message at 2.25?
- At 2.25 they gave me the position of the Empress; that is, they told me it was east of Father Point.

5511. That message came from the captain of the Eureka?
- Yes, sir.

5512. That the Empress was east of Father Point, and also that the Empress did not answer the wireless calls?
- Yes, sir.

5513. What time did you get away?
- We left at 2.45.

5514. At 2.45 you left Rimouski wharf; at what time did you arrive at the place of disaster?
- About 3.45.

5515. What did you find when you got there?
- We could see nothing of the Empress.

5516. The Empress was gone?
- The Empress was gone.

5517. Was it clear weather then?
- It was clear weather, yes, sir.

5518. You saw the Storstad?
- We saw the Storstad, and lots of wreckage on the water; life boats and all kinds of wreckage and lots of floating bodies.

5519. Were the life boats out then looking for the survivors?
- There were many boats out then.

5520. Was the Eureka there then?
- The Eureka was there, yes sir; she had arrived a few minutes before.

5521. Her boats were out?
- Her boats were out.

5522. And the Storstad's boats?
- And the Storstad’s boats were out.

5523. Did you put out your boats?
- Our boats were out immediately after we arrived; they were ready before our arrival.

5524. How many boats?
- Two boats.

5525. The boats from the Empress and the Storstad came alongside of your ship and you took on board some of the survivors?
- Four life boats came alongside of our boat, boats from the Storstad and the Empress.

5526. Did you take on board the passengers and the crew?
- Well, we took one crew on board, five men from one of the Empress boats.

5527. Do you mean to say that these were the only survivors you took on board?
- No.

5528. Just tell me what you did do, please?
- That is, from the life boat; we took five men from the life boat. After that I got a request from the Storstad to go and take away passengers, that is, the survivors that they had picked up.

5529. On the Storstad?
- On the Storstad.

5530. But from the boats, did you only take five?
- From the boats, only five.

5531. Then you took the passengers off the Storstad, the survivors who had been rescued?
- Yes, sir.

5532. You also with your boats picked up some of the bodies there?
- Many bodies were picked up, yes.

5533. How many did you take off the Storstad?
- The number was given to me by the pilot of the Storstad, he counted them. The report I gave was 237, but I have been informed from that pilot since that that the real number was 337.

5535. 337?
- Yes, and with the Captain, 338.

5536. Did you provide clothing and medicines and attendance for these people?
- We did provide everything that we could give on board, medicine and liniment -

5537. How long did you stay there? At what time did you leave the scene of the wreck?
- We left at a quarter past five.

5538. And went to Rimouski to land the survivors?
- Land the survivors.

5539. You left two boats among the wreckage to pick up the bodies?
- We left two of our boats there to pick up the bodies.

5540. At what time did you arrive at Rimouski?
- Six o’clock, I think.

5541. Then did you go back again?
- We went back again, yes, sir.

5541Y. Leaving there at a quarter to seven?
- Can I look at my notes?

Lord Mersey:
It doesn’t matter whether it was quarter to seven or quarter after seven.


By Mr. Newcombe:


5542. Then you went back to the wreck?
- Yes, sir.

5542§. What did you do when you went back to the wreck?
- We picked up bodies.

5543. And you went back again at five minutes past eleven, according to your statement, to Rimouski?
- Yes, sir.

5544. At 12.45 you arrived at Rimouski wharf and landed 134 bodies?
- Yes, sir.

5545. At 3.55 p.m. you left Rimouski wharf?
- Yes, sir.

5546. 4.47, back to the wreckage, cruised about looking for more bodies; turned over all capsized boats you could see, as well as rafts, found two more bodies in a lifeboat?
- Yes, sir.

5547. 7.25 p.m., left the place of the. wreck, two bodies in tow, going dead slow; 9.28 arrived at Rimouski wharf, landed the two bodies and secured the life boats?
- Yes, sir.

Lord Mersey:
Any questions, Mr. Haight?

Mr. Haight:
No, my Lord.

Lord Mersey:
Mr. Gibsone, you might like to ask something?

Mr. Gibsone:
No, my Lord, I am quite satisfied.

Witness discharged.