is entitled to cancel or suspend his certificate or that of any other officer. If the
captain were alive his certificate would be
cancelled. There was plenty of time to
get the boats out if orders had been
given promptly and obeyed.
It is evident that the crew did not know their places in the different boats, and the so-called boat drill was only a farce. Mainly owing to want of efficient knowledge in the handling of the boats, many lives were lost. After the mismanagement and smashing of the boats occurred and there was no longer hope of saving the passengers by the boats, the ship's company remaining on the vessel did not do what might have been expected, and what always is expected, from British seamen worthy of the name when women and children are in peril.
The evidence showed that the chief officer
left the bridge for the rigging before the
engines were stopped and the electric
light was extinguished, and while there
was plenty of light for the ship's company
to have got the women and children into
the rigging. A grave error of judgment
was committed in not keeping the boats
that had been got afloat nearer the wreck.
For the chief officer's conduct in connection
with the raft which he saw floating near
the Needles with people on it, no censure
is severe enough. He knew that two
boats were available; but he made no
effort and gave no instructions that these
boats should be sent to see what became
of the raft and look for people who might
be floating about on the wreckage. No
examination appears to have been made
of the coast from the wreck till nearly
three days after the disaster, nor was any
attempt made to use the boats to pick up
the dead bodies until Thursday. This
conduct was inhuman and inexplicable.
The second officer's conduct was of a
negative character; and the third officer
was the only navigating officer who rose
to the occasion. He deserves to be
commended for his prompt and utter
disregard of self. The fourth officer
appears to have done all he could. The
engineers deserve great commendation.
All that can be said about the purser is
that he saved himself. The stewards did their duty well, and the conduct of the stewardess was beyond praise. Very little can be said as to the crew. They have not explained to the satisfaction of the court how they came in the only two boats that got away.
The court also expressed an opinion that a steamer should have been sent to the wreck immediately the news reached Auckland, and the delay was unfeeling.
An example of how horribly wrong everything could go..... "The only way to infallibility is to confess to one's fallibility.” ― Vincent Marc Hoherz
And so through the learning curve of confronting human fallibility, could improvements be made in favour of progress and safety for all at sea......