Titanic Sinking - Close Ship Refuses Aid
SAILORS SAW SHIP THAT REFUSED AID
Men of Titanic's Crew Tell Senators She Was Only a Few Miles Away
WASHINGTON, April 26.---The results of the special inquiry conducted by individual members of the Senate Sub-Committee among the surviving members of the Titanic's crew were made public to-day. The inquiry lasted well into the night.
Three Titanic lookouts, each of whom had charge of a lifeboat when picked up by the Carpathia, testified before Senator Perkins. All three had done duty in the crow's nest before the collision and they regretted that the Titanic did not have glasses for the lookouts.
"If we had had the glasses," said G. A. Hogg of Hull, "we might have seen the berg before."
A positive declaration that within three miles of the Titanic when that vessel sank was another steamer, whose two masthead lights were plainly visible, was made by Edward John Buley testified that this shop was in sight when the Titanic struck and that "she passed right by" without any signal.
"We thought she was coming to us, and if she had, every one could have boarded her," said Buley. "She had her steamer lights burning."
He said that all the lifeboats started for that same light, which kept the boats together. For about three hours, he said, she was stationary and then she disappeared.
"She could not help but see our rockets. She was close enough to see out lights and to see the ship itself. She was bound to see them," he said.
G. Simons of Weymouth, England, said his lifeboat easily could have accommodated ten more when it was ordered away. Hogg had 47 in his boat, one of the "big ones," which was intended to carry 65.
Walter J. Perkins of Isle of Ryde testified that eight men were picked up from the water by his boat. Two died later.
Message to the Chief Engineer.
George Frederick Crowe, of Southampton, a steward, examined by Senator Bourne, gave a new version of how the Titanic went down.
"After we got clear off the ship her lights were still burning very brightly," said Crowe, "but as we got away she seemed to go lower and lower and she almost stood up perpendicular and her lights went dim and presently she broke clean in two, probably two-thirds of the length of the ship--two-thirds in the water, one-third of the aft funnel sticking up. She broke and the after part floated back. Then there was an explosion and the aft part turned on end and sank."
Alfred Olliver, standby and quarter-master on the bridge at the time of the crash, told of taking a mysterious message from Capt. Smith to the chief engineer. It was a written message---that he did not read. The engineer told him to take it back to the Captain.
"What kind of a message was it?" asked Senator Burton.
"I cannot say as to the message. It was on a piece of paper, and the paper was closed."
"Where did you find the chief engineer?"
"Down in the engine room."
"Were the engines running?"
"The engines were stopped. I delivered the message and I waited for an answer. I waited for two or three minutes. Then he saw me standing and he asked me what I wanted. I said I was waiting for an answer to the message I took him. He told me to take it back---to tell the Captain that he would get it done as soon as possible."
"Do you know what it was?"
"I do not, Sir."
Frank Osman, a seaman, was in the lifeboat with Fourth Officer Boxhall, which was the first to be picked up by the Carpathia, because of box of rockets mistaken for a box of biscuits, had been put in the boat.
"The officer fired some of these rockets off," said Osman, "and the Carpathia came to us and picked us up a half hour before anybody else."
Osman added another strange chapter to the sinking of the Titanic. He said that after his lifeboat shoved off he suggested going alongside to try to save more people. The officer agreed but the women disagreed. They pulled back, got astern of the Titanic, and lay on their oars and saw the ship go down. "When she got to a certain angle," he said, "she exploded, broke in halves, and it seemed to me as if all the engines and everything that was in the after part slid out into the forward part, and the after part came right again and as soon as it came up down it went again.
"The steerage passengers were all down below on the Titanic, and after she sank a certain distance it seemed to me all the passengers left on board, first, second, and third classes, climbed to the top deck."
"Did you see them?"
"It looked black. It looked like a big crowd of people."
It was necessary for women and children on the sinking Titanic to jump a three-foot chasm from the deck to the life-boats, and babies were tossed into the boats, according to testimony given to Senator William Alden Smith, Chairman of the Senate committee, by F. O. Evans, one of the Titanic's crew. Evans credited this method of loading the boats with the heavy loss of life among the women and children. Evans was examined by Senator Smith last night, and the purport of his testimony was made public to-day.
Evans told Senator Smith that when the boats were swung out they were at least three feet out from the steamer's deck, which was seventy feet above the sea. The height was so terrifying that women refused to attempt the jump. Several were thrown bodily across the gap, Evans, said, and one was propelled with such force that she went over the far side of the boat, and was saved from plunging into the sea only by her shoe, which caught in an oarlock.
"Babies and children." said Evans, "were tossed into the boats like sacks of grain. There was no other way."
Senator Smith further announced that a lamp trimmer on the Titanic, whom he examined last night, declared that there were no lights in the lifeboats. He said that after four boats had cleared the ship he went to the storeroom and discovered the lamps, flares, and oil there. By order of the Captain, he said, he hurriedly equipped as many of the remaining boats as he could.
The New York Times, New York, NY 27 Apr 1912