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Wreck Report for 'Egypt', 1922

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Unique ID:20532
Description:BOT Wreck Report for 'Egypt', 1922
Creator:Board of Trade
Date:1922
Copyright:Out of copyright
Partner:SCC Libraries
Partner ID:Unknown

Transcription

(No. 7782.)

"EGYPT" (S.S.)

THE MERCHANT SHIPPING ACTS, 1894 TO 1906.

REPORT OF COURT.

In the matter of a Formal Investigation held at the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, on the 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, and 31st days of July, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd days of August, and the 4th day of September, 1922, before BUTLER ASPINALL, Esquire, K.C., Wreck Commissioner, assisted by Admiral T. P. WALKER, D.S.O., Commander L. W. BAYLDON, R.N.R., Captain A. R. PILKINGTON, and JOHN W. JACK, Esquire, O.B.E., M.I.N.A., as assessors, into the circumstances attending the loss of the British steamship "Egypt" of Greenock, and the loss of 87 lives in or near latitude 48 deg. 10 min. N., longitude 5 deg. 29 min. W., on the 20th May, 1922.

The Court having carefully inquired into the circumstances attending the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons stated in the Annex hereto, that the loss of the s.s. "Egypt" was due to a collision with the French steamship "Seine" whereby No. 3 hold and the forward boiler room were thrown open to the sea, which caused a rapid inrush of water into the "Egypt," making her list heavily to port and eventually sink; that the loss of life was mainly due to default on the part of the Master and Chief Officer in failing to take proper measures to save life; default on their part in failing to exercise their authority to ensure good order and discipline at the time of the casualty; default on their part in failing to make the crew efficient in collision and boat drill; and failure on the part of the owners through their officials and servants to take proper and effective measures to ensure compliance with their regulations and to exact good discipline on the ship.

The Court suspends the Certificate No. 018399 of the Master, Andrew Collyer, for a period of six months from the date hereof. The Court also severely censures the Chief Officer, Charles Walter Cartwright.

Dated this 4th day of September, 1922.

BUTLER ASPINALL,

Wreck Commissioner.

We concur in the above Report.

T. P. WALKER,

Assessor.

L. WOOD BAYLDON,

Assessor.

A. R. PILKINGTON,

Assessor.

JOHN W. JACK,

Assessor.

ANNEX TO THE REPORT.

This Inquiry was held at the Royal Courts of Justice in the months of July, August, and September, 1922. The Solicitor-General (Sir LESLIE SCOTT, K.C., M.P.) and Mr. L. F. C. DARBY appeared for the Board of Trade; Mr. A. D. BATESON, K.C., and Mr. R. H. BALLOCH for the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company; Captain Collyer, the Commander of the "Egypt"; Mr. Cartwright, the Chief Officer; Mr. Cameron, the Second Officer, and Mr. Halliday, the Supernumerary Third Officer; Dr. GINSBURG for Mr. French, the Supernumerary Second Officer, and Mr. Brown, the Third Officer; Mr. SMITH (Solicitor) for the Wireless Operators' Association; Mr. ALFRED BUCKNILL for the India Office; Mr. JOSEPH COTTER for the Amalgamated Marine Workers' Union.

Description of the Vessel.

The "Egypt," official number 105581, was a British steel single screw steamship built in 1897 at Greenock. Her dimensions were as follows:—Length 499.8 feet, breadth 54.3 feet, depth of hold 32.9 feet, gross tonnage 7940'96, and registered tonnage 4207.20. She had triple expansion engines. Her horse-power nominal was 2,500. She was capable of making 18 knots at full speed. She was fitted with wireless installation and carried three operators. She was owned by the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, of 122, Leadenhall Street, London, her registered manager being Mr. Frank Ritchie. She was fitted with nine watertight bulkheads carried up to the spar deck. In the watertight bulkheads separating the various compartments were 23 watertight doors. The position and character of the doors are described in answer to question 11.

The "Egypt" carried 18 lifebuoys hung on the rail.

She had 953 lifejackets, and 18 lifeboats capable of carrying 860 persons. Each boat held from 40 to 50 persons.

At Bombay on the 14th October, 1921, she was granted a passenger certificate whereby she was certified to carry 301 first-class passengers, 208 second-class passengers, and 298 crew, making a total of 807 persons. She had 16 sets of davits, two of which were fitted with Collgrave's patent apparatus for lowering. Two of the boats were carried inboard on deck not attached to the davits. Boats Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 were carried on the starboard side; Nos. 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 on the port side. Nos. 1 and 2 were inboard on deck and not attached to the davits; Nos. 5 and 6 were worked by Collgrave's patent. The boats were in good order and condition and properly equipped according to Board of Trade Regulations. In all respects she was well fitted and found.

At the time of the casualty there were 338 persons on board, 44 of whom were passengers (14 first-class and 30 second-class) and 294 crew. Eighty-seven lives were lost (including one person who was rescued, but died in hospital), viz.: 16 passengers and 71 crew. The crew consisted of 86 Europeans and 208 Goanese stewards, Lascars, and other Indians. Shortly before sailing on the voyage in question 95 persons were newly shipped on the "Egypt," most of them from the P. and O. steamer "Palermo," which was then in the Thames.

The owners of the "Seine" were invited to take part in the Inquiry. They declined to do so. No witnesses were called from the "Seine."

Boat Drill at Tilbury.

On the 18th of May, two days before the ship sailed, there was a muster of the crew, later followed by a boat drill. The boat drill was held under the supervision of Captain Ram, the Assistant Dock Superintendent of the P. and O. Company. According to the evidence of Mr. Cartwright, the Chief Officer, the boat drill lasted for ten minutes; other witnesses, including Captain Ram, said ten to fifteen minutes. Mr. Cartwright, when recalled, said twenty minutes to half-an-hour. The Court thinks the time was probably somewhere in the neighbourhood of fifteen minutes, and was quite insufficient for the purpose for which the drill was held. Whilst the drill was being held an inspection of the ship was being made by Mr. Ritchie, the Managing Director, accompanied by Sir Frank Notley, the Marine Superintendent, the Commander, and other members of the crew. There were many absentees from the drill, most of whom were in attendance on the Managing Director, the rest being engaged in duties from which they could not be spared. In view of the great importance of boat drill, the Court thinks it essential that the Commander and all Officers should take part in it; and that it would be well if in future the Managing Director's inspection below should not take place during the boat drill. Only one boat, and that manned by a special crew, was put outboard and partly lowered. The Court thinks it would be well if all boats were swung out, lowered, and manned by their respective crews. During the boat drill the watertight doors were closed and found to be in good order. The Court was told that the Officers and crew were mustered at their respective boats, and that each member of the crew had been told the number of his boat. The Court cannot accept this as being accurate evidence. Sir Frank Notley stated that Captain Ram, Commander Collyer, and the Chief Officer were the three persons mainly responsible for seeing that effective boat drills took place, that the Officers and crew were properly instructed in boat drill, that boat drills were thoroughly carried out, that each member of the crew knew his boat, and that one Officer or European seaman and a due proportion of Lascars were arranged for in each boat. The Court is of opinion that they failed to discharge this duty. Boat stations and boat drills are of vital importance in the case of ships which carry a large native crew, and especially so in the case of a ship like the "Egypt" on which a large number of the crew were newly shipped shortly before she sailed. The Court is not forgetful of the fact that the Chief Officer said that at about 10 a.m. on May 18th he held a boat drill of his Lascar crew, including those transferred from the "Palermo." He said, "I gave them a run through in the morning at 10 o'clock," and that it occupied ten minutes. The Court is also not forgetful that the crew transferred from the "Palermo" were old servants of the Company, and therefore probably well acquainted with boat drill. According to the Regulations of the P. and O. Company, a fire and boat station bill should be prepared "upon the ship proceeding to sea" and shown in a convenient and conspicuous place. The purpose of the bill is to assign to each member of the crew a particular boat to which he must go in case of need. Sir Frank Notley, speaking of the Regulation, said, "I understand that it (the bill) should be in place before the ship proceeds to sea." it was the duty of the Chief Officer to see that the bill was prepared. He said that owing to the fact that certain members of the crew signed on very shortly before the ship sailed, it was impossible to draw up the bill until after the ship had proceeded to sea, that a bill had been prepared when the ship left Bombay in October, 1921, that it gave the name, rank, and rating of each member of the crew (other than firemen and Lascars), and his appropriate boat, that this bill was still posted on the spar deck alleyway aft on the port side when the ship sailed from Tilbury on May 19th, and that any member of the crew (other than firemen and Lascars), even if new to the ship, could inform himself of his boat station. In other words, the rank and rating—irrespective of name—was sufficient to inform the newcomer. The Chief Officer stated that a new list in completed form, giving name, rank, and rating, was being prepared when the ship was lost. The preparation and exhibition of the bill is, in the view of the Court, of great importance, but the main thing is (whether it be possible or impossible to prepare it in completed form before the ship proceeds to sea) for the Commander and Chief Officer to take the utmost care that every member of the crew knows his station and duty before the ship sails.

The P. and O. Company issue a book of regulations to their Commanders in relation to safe navigation, discipline, and attention to the requirements and safety of passengers. Rules 68, 69, and 70 are pertinent to the present Inquiry. They are as follows:

68.—A Fire and Boat Station Bill according to the Company's form is to be prepared, upon the ship proceeding to sea, and shown, with the heading, in a convenient and conspicuous place, and the utmost care taken that every man on board knows his station and duty. The crew are to be exercised at Fire and Boat Stations once a week, and the same noted in the Log Book. If this periodical exercise is duly and thoroughly carried out, the Company's ships will always be well prepared to meet any sudden or unforeseen emergencies. Bed Cabin Stewards and Stewardesses are to be instructed to show passengers the manner of putting on lifebelts.

69.—The Fire Station column is to be filled up by the Commander according to the vessel's requirements. In appointing crews to the different boats, one Officer or European seaman and a due proportion of Lascars should be arranged for in each boat, as far as the strength of the crew permits, to secure every boat having someone on board competent to direct her movements. Boats' gripes and lashings should be fitted with toggles, so that they can be instantly let go. The falls should never be coiled away under the boats' covers, but either stopped to the davits with beckets, or coiled on the deck ready for immediate use. One, at least, of the breakers in each boat should be kept filled with fresh water, and more if the weight is not likely to strain the boat. Preserved provisions, as required by Board of Trade Regulations operative from 1st March, 1913, must be kept in boats.

In foggy weather and in the Channel all boats' covers are to be taken off, and boats' falls coiled down upon deck.

70. The boats require constant care and supervision to ensure their good order and efficiency; an Officer and crew must be appointed to each, and the former is held responsible for his charge. He will personally inspect his boat, at least once a week, and satisfy himself that her equipment in masts, sails, oars, rowlocks, breakers, etc., is complete, that the tackles are good, and in running order, gripes ready to let go, and the boat in every respect fit for immediate use. Boats are not to be kept hanging too long at the davits, but lowered in the water at least once every voyage either at sea or in harbour. As far as practicable, any boat sent away from the ship, both at sea and in harbour, should have an Officer in charge. The Officer of each boat is responsible for its efficiency.

Boats to be secured outboard at sea whenever practicable.

Embodied in the Fire Stations, Collision, and Boat Station Bill were the following directions to the Purser:—

The Purser to see that all passengers are called by their Bedroom Stewards and report to Commander when all are out of their cabin. Instruct all ladies and children to assemble in the Music Rooms, and gentlemen to assemble on the Deck outside the Music Rooms, with their life-jackets on.

After seeing all passengers out of their berths and reporting to Commander, will remain with the passengers as at Fire Stations.

The Court is of opinion that in many important respects these particular regulations and directions were not given effect to, and that the shore officials, the Commander, and Chief Officer were responsible for this neglect of duty.

The Collision.

The "Egypt" left Tilbury for Bombay on the 19th May, 1922. The following four boats were swung outboard on leaving: on the starboard side Nos. 17 (which was the most forward boat) and 13; on the port side Nos. 18 (which was the most forward boat) and 14. On May 20th passing fog banks of varying density were met with. The fog whistle was being sounded in accordance with Board of Trade Regulations. Off Ushant, at about 5.30 p.m. or 5.20 p.m., the course was altered to South 28 West true; fog banks were passing over from Ushant out to sea. Ushant Lighthouse was not sighted; the speed at the time was 12 1/2 knots, the "Egypt's" working full speed was 15 knots, but in fog a full head of steam was net kept. This practice was being observed on the present occasion, and hence the "Egypt's" full speed on her then head of steam was about 12 1/2 knots. It was Mr. Cameron, the Second Officer's, watch from 4 to 8 p.m. He was assisted by the Third Officer, Mr. Brown. The Commander was on and off the bridge from time to time. About 5.30 p.m., owing to the density of a passing fog bank, the engines were stopped till the fog bank had passed over, and then the "Egypt" proceeded at full speed (12 1/2 knots) sounding her whistle for fog at intervals of two minutes. At about 6.45 p.m. Mr. Cameron left the bridge, and handed over the ship to Mr. Brown. He stated that the visibility then was "a good mile, rather more than a mile," there being a slight swell with light westerly wind. The look-out had been doubled when the fog came on, and consisted of a European and a Lascar. At about 6.54 p.m. (the times are all guessed, but approximately accurate) it came on very thick. Mr. Brown rang stand-by. The Commander at the same time came on the bridge. Almost immediately afterwards a faint whistle was heard somewhere on the port bow and the engines were stopped. The "Egypt" at once sounded her whistle in reply. About two minutes later the same whistle was again heard, and the "Egypt" whistled in reply. Mr. Brown was asked, "What happened then?" He said. "We waited for a bit to try to locate him. We blew one whistle again a very long blast, and as we were trying to locate him he came out of the fog and hit us." The "Seine," when seen, was heading at about right angles for the forward port side of the "Egypt," travelling fast, and after an interval judged to be from 10 to 15 seconds, hit the "Egypt" a heavy blow in the way of No. 3 hatch. When the "Seine" was sighted the helm of the "Egypt" was put hard-a-port in the hopes of making the blow a glancing one, but it had little or no effect, and then the helm was put hard-a-starboard. At the moment of collision the witnesses thought the speed of the "Egypt" was about 3 knots, that of the "Seine" about 6 to 8 knots. In order to ascertain as well as one can the interval of time between the order to stand-by and the collision, it is convenient to here refer to the evidence of Mr. Whyte, the Second Engineer, who was in charge of the engines at the time of the collision. He said (speaking from recollection as all his logs were lost) that at 6.55 he got the order "stand-by," "half" after about a minute's interval, then "stop" almost immediately after the "half." He said he then threw the gear over to astern, but did not reverse the engines, and stood waiting for further orders, when he felt a slight shock. In his opinion one to two minutes elapsed between the "stop" and the shock of the collision.

After the Collision.

Immediately after the collision some of the witnesses said the order was given "close watertight doors" and "man boat stations." More than four short blasts on the whistle is the signal for boat stations on the "Egypt," but it only partially sounded twice and then failed. The Commander went from the bridge to the hurricane deck to look at the damage; lie then ran back to the bridge, went to the wireless room, and told the operator to send out the "S.O.S." signal. This was done, the noon position being given. The carpenter was ordered to sound, and he reported that there was 18 feet of water in the forward stokehold. Very shortly after the collision, if not at once, the "Egypt" listed to port and continued to do so till she sank 20 minutes after the collision. After the Commander's return from the wireless room he told Mr. Brown to work out the collision position of the ship. This was done. The wireless operator then sent out the actual position. Replies were received from Ushant and certain vessels. The Court was informed by the Deputy Traffic Manager of the Marconi Company that the nearest vessel to the "Egypt" was the s.s. "Cahiracon," distant about nine miles, too far away to render assistance before the "Egypt" sank.

After the collision the stokers came out of the stokehold into the engine room, but in obedience to orders from Mr. Whyte, the Second Engineer, at once returned, and then called out that they could see water coming in. Mr. Whyte then went himself and saw water pouring through the port watertight door in the bulkhead between the two stokeholds. Mr. Whyte then tried to make his way forward to see where the water was coming from, but the inrush was too great, and he was compelled to return to the engine room. Meanwhile the stokers, firemen, and greasers had gone on deck. Mr. Whyte said he told them to "clear out." Mr. Whyte and the boilermaker then partially closed the watertight door in the forward bulkhead of the engine room. They were not able to close it entirely. The Chief and Fourth Engineers then joined them. The pumps were put on to the engine room bilge, but to no purpose, because the steam failed. The engineers then decided to leave the engine room as nothing more could be done. The facts relating to the watertight doors are set out in the answer to question 11.

Measures Taken to Save Life.

Meanwhile the Officers and crew were endeavouring to launch the boats. The evidence as to what happened is confused, uncertain, and in some respects conflicting.

Boat 18. This was the most forward boat on the port side. It was swung outboard on leaving Tilbuy. In regard to getting away boats the Chief Officer, Mr. Cartwright, stated that he "superintended more than anything else." He ordered Mr. Cameron, the Second Officer, to get away in boat No. 18, and to go alongside the after well deck and take off passengers. At this time no crews appropriate to their particular boat had fallen in abreast of their boat, and never did so. Mr. Cartwright ordered Mr. Cameron to take the first available men he could find. The boat was quickly got away. In it were Mr. Cameron, two quartermasters, the baggage master, the Serang, and several Lascars. The Court was told that the Serang should have stayed with the Chief Officer for the purposes of giving orders to and maintaining discipline among the Lascars and firemen. It is greatly to be regretted that Mr. Cameron saw fit to take him in boat 18, but the Court is not forgetful that boat 18 was the Serang's boat, and that the Chief Officer's orders to Mr. Cameron were to take the first available men he could find. After this boat was in the water Mr. Cameron shouted to Mr. Brown, the Third Officer, to get the women and children on to the after well deck. Mr. Brown did so, and told them the boat was coming alongside and to jump in. He then left them to discharge other duties. Mr. Cameron, who seemingly had an efficient crew in his boat, stated that he was unable to get near the "Egypt," that she drifted away although the European crew did their best to get to the well deck aft. In these circumstances he stated that he thought the best use he could make of his boat was to go to the "Seine" and bring her to the "Egypt." The "Egypt" then sank stern foremost. Mr. Cameron's boat having picked up some half-dozen people out of the water, proceeded to the "Seine." Mr. Cameron found the Master on the bridge and asked him to go towards the wreckage. Mr. Cameron took command with permission of the Master, put the telegraph half speed ahead, and sent Quartermaster Lyford to the wheel. The "Seine" then steamed towards the wreckage and various boatloads of people were picked up and taken on board her. It is difficult to understand why it was that Mr. Cameron's boat was unable to get alongside the "Egypt" in the vicinity of the after well deck. Had it done so, it might have been the means of saving many persons.

Boat 17. Immediately after the collision a large number of the non-European crew proceeded to this boat (which had been swung outboard on leaving Tilbury) and got into it. Unfortunately no Officer or European seaman assigned to this boat went to it for several minutes after the collision. According to the evidence, those who crowded into the boat were Goanese stewards and firemen, not Lascars. Mr. Cameron, with the assistance of two Lascars, partially lowered this boat; having done so, he shouted to the firemen and stewards in the boat to clear out, but they took no notice of his orders. Mr. Whyte, the Second Engineer, then came to this boat and ordered those in it to get out. Some twenty did so, and followed Mr. Whyte to the boats on the port side. The boat was then lowered to the hurricane deck. Mr. French, the Supernumerary Second Officer, and about the same time Captain Carr, a passenger, came to this boat. At this time there were two quartermasters at the falls. Captain Carr, who had an automatic pistol, handed it to Mr. French. Mr. French was then able to get certain men out of the boat which made room for passengers. The boat was lowered into the water. The pistol was returned to Captain Carr. Many passengers (male and female) went down the falls into it. Captain Carr got into this boat and took charge. In order to maintain order and prevent overcrowding in this boat, Captain Carr fired his pistol in the air. Quartermaster Scott then got into this boat and assumed control. Subsequently Commander Collyer walked down the side of the ship and got into this boat. Apparently he was the last man to leave the ship. He stated that the non-European crew in this boat were "absolutely terrorised with fear." Mr. Brown, the Third Officer, remained by the ship till she sank, and was then taken into this boat. Some time afterwards another boat containing one or two people was fallen in with. Mr. Brown and some passengers were transferred to this boat, the number unknown. Boat 17, with about 75 persons in her, eventually went alongside the "Seine." Boat No. 4 was immediately abaft boat No. 18 on the port side. The Chief Officer went to this boat. No one was attending to it. He pulled two firemen out of it and then left it for another boat on the port side. Mr. Brown's boat was No. 14. He said someone had taken it, and therefore he went to No. 4. When he got there he found Mr. Whyte, the Second Engineer, and some firemen trying to launch it. There was great difficulty in lifting the boat, owing to the heavy list of the ship and the fact that the men could not get a foothold on the deck. Ultimately, with the assistance of the Chief Engineer, the Chief Officer, the Fourth Engineer and boilermaker, the boat was got into the water. About this time a crash was heard which made Mr. Whyte observe, "There goes the bulkhead"; the ship gave a violent lurch, sank, and took the boat with her, thereby causing loss of life.

Boat No. 6 (Collgrave's patent). Mr. Brown went to this boat; no one was working at it. He could not find the handle of the Collgrave's patent gear, so he left the boat saying it was still on the chocks when the ship sank.

Boat No. 8. Mr. French's boat was No. 7 on the starboard side. He did not go to it because he said the list was so great it was not possible to launch it. He accordingly went to No. 8, and stated that he got there within a minute and a half of the collision. He knocked away the gripes, and was later joined by Mr. Halliday, the Supernumerary Third Officer, Mr. Whyte, the Second Engineer, Mr. Hamilton, the Third Engineer, and a quartermaster. As the boat was being got outboard, a steward, called Eagles, got caught in the fall, was dashed against the davit and killed. In order to free him, Mr. French cut the falls and the boat fell into the water. At the time Mr. Hamilton, the Third Engineer, and a number of Indians were in it, Mr. Hamilton ordered the men to pull towards the "Egypt," but they refused to do so. The "Egypt" sank. The boat then pulled to the "Seine." Mr. Halliday with three of the "Seine's" crew proceeded to the wreckage in a boat belonging to the "Seine" and saved about ten people. They made a second trip and saved several others.

Boats 10 and 12. For some reason not explained, no one seem to have gone to these boats. The Chief Officer states that he cut them adrift so that when the "Egypt" sank they could float clear of the ship.

Boat 14. This boat was swung outboard on leaving Tilbury. The Chief Officer, with the assistance of the boatswain and one or two stewards, lowered this boat into the water. The Chief Officer said there was no difficulty in doing so. A few passengers were put into her. The boat left in charge of Quartermaster Lissenden. It picked up a few Indians from the water and then pulled to the "Seine," when the passengers and Indians were taken off. A volunteer crew of Europeans then took the boat back to the wreckage. It fell in with Mr. Brown's boat, which was waterlogged, and took off its occupants. It then returned to the "Seine."

Boat 3. The Chief Officer said he understood this boat was cut adrift by the Third Officer.

Boat 5. This was Mr. Cameron's boat. He went to it, but owing to the list of the ship he was very doubtful whether it could be got out, and left it for boat No. 17. What happened to this boat is not known.

Boat 13. This boat had been swung outboard on leaving Tilbury. The Chief Officer superintended lowering this boat into the water. The boatswain, a quartermaster, and two or three others lowered her to the water. Owing to the list it was a task of great difficulty. In the language of the boatswain, "This boat was not lowered, it was rolled, rolled and pushed." The boatswain, chief steward, a quartermaster, a few Goanese stewards and firemen got into this boat. This boat at once proceeded towards the "Seine." It picked up no one from the water. Some of its crew, including the quartermaster, then got into another boat and proceeded to the wreckage. They rescued a considerable number of people.

Boats 16, 5, 7, 9, 11. There was no evidence as to what happened to these boats.

The Court fully recognises that every allowance should be made for the difficulties the Commander, Officers, and crew had to deal with. The ship was listing, and continuing to list heavily to port, it was difficult to get a foothold on the deck, some of the non-European crew were seized with panic, the time was short, no man knew when the stricken ship would founder. But after giving full weight to these mitigating circumstances, the Court is driven to the conclusion that had the boats been properly handled, great loss of life might have been averted. The system failed; the Commander, Officers, and crew failed. It is noticeable that in no case did the allotted Officer and his crew go to their appropriate boat. Whilst owing to the list many boats on the starboard side were put out of action, this should have left more effective aid for handling the boats on the port side. A great Company like the P. and 0. Company, with its many years of experience in passenger traffic, would do well to take lesson from this unhappy disaster and set for themselves the highest standard of care and efficiency in the future. Not only is it the duty of the Commander to perfect, so far as is possible, the system of boat drill, but there is even a higher duty imposed upon the shore officials of the Company to inform themselves that the Commander is carrying out their instructions. In the case of the "Egypt" there seems to have been a slackness and lack of discipline, which when the hour of trial came prevented proper use being made of the boats. The attention of the Court was called to a regulation of the Company which requires "boats to be secured outboard at sea whenever practicable." Four were swung outboard, and they all succeeded in getting away and saving life. The Commander stated that there was a difference of opinion among Commanders whether it was wise for all the boats to be swung outboard. Reference was made to the possibility of a collision carrying away all or many of the boats on the port or starboard side as the case might be. The Commander of the "Egypt," by way of justification, stated that he had warning by wireless of bad weather in the Bay of Biscay. If all the boats had been swung out the Court thinks it highly probable that more lives would have been saved.

The Passengers.

By the Company's regulations, bed cabin stewards and stewardesses should have shown passengers the manner of putting on lifebelts. This had not been done. The Company also instruct the Purser in the event of collision to see that all passengers are called by their bedroom stewards and report to the Commander when all are out of their cabins; to instruct all ladies and children to assemble in the music rooms and gentlemen to assemble on the deck outside the music rooms with their life-jackets on. The Purser told the Court that he went to the hurricane deck for the purpose of collecting passengers, that he met about eight walking from aft forward, and told them to muster outside the music room forward. He then told two bedroom stewards to pass their passengers up. Having done so, he went to the boat deck to assist in getting boats out, and stated, "I did not look for them (the passengers) again." Some of the Officers sent passengers aft in order to put them into boat No. 8, but it, as hereinbefore stated, pulled away to the "Seine." The Court do not think the non-European crew treated the passengers with violence. The passengers seemed to have received but scant attention from those directly responsible for their safety.

Life-jackets.

There were ample life-jackets for all on board the "Egypt." Certain Indian members of the crew (other than the Goanese stewards) stated that they were not told where their life-jackets were stored and had none allotted to them. The Court thinks this is true.

Non-European Members of the Crew.

The Court was informed that these men, if properly led, discharge their duties with efficiency and a ready obedience to orders. This especially applies to the Lascars. The Court believes this to be the fact. Their war record was excellent. There is no doubt that on this occasion many of them were panic-stricken and showed a ready desire to save their own lives, which largely contributed to the difficulty in getting the boats out. If the European members of the crew had shown more alacrity in going to the boats and in going to their allotted boats, it is highly probable that the non-European members of the crew would have been kept under effective control, and probably assisted instead of hindering in the saving of life. It was a great misfortune that the Serang, instead of remaining on board to assist the Chief Officer to give orders and maintain discipline, was taken away by the Second Officer in his boat.

The ship's Officers all stated that they could speak Hindustani, by this they meant Lascari Bat as spoken on board ship. The P. and O. Company encourage their Officers to learn the language, but do not make it essential. The Court thinks it of high importance that the Company should insist upon a knowledge of the language.

At the conclusion of the case for the Board of Trade the questions submitted by them to the Court (enumerated below in the Finding of the Court) were read, and the representatives of the various parties addressed the Court.

FINDING OF THE COURT.

The questions formulated by the Board of Trade, together with the Findings of the Court in answer thereto, are set out below:—

1. After the arrival of the "Egypt" at Tilbury and before leaving on her last voyage in May, 1922,

How many persons were newly shipped as crew in lieu of those who had left at Tilbury? What were their ratings and nationalities, and on what date or dates did they join the vessel?

(Answer). After the arrival of the "Egypt" at Tilbury and before leaving on her last voyage in May, 1922, 95 persons were newly shipped as crew in lieu of those who had left; the European portion joining on 19th May; the non-European portion on or about 9th May. Their ratings and nationalities were as follows:—

European.

Non-European.

 

Deck hands.

1 Officer.

 

4 Quartermasters.

 

10 Stewards.

25 1 Serang.

2 Tindals.

19 Lascars.

1 Cook.

2 Scullions.

2 Stewardesses.

 



 

17

 

 

Engine room hands.

 

53 2 Serangs.

2 Tindals.

1 Cook.

48 Firemen and Trimmers.

 



 

78

2. When the s.s. "Egypt" left Tilbury on the 19th May last,

(a) What was the total number of persons employed in any capacity on board her? What were their respective ratings and nationalities? Including Commander and Officers, what proportion of the crew were British subjects, distinguishing between Europeans and non-Europeans? Could all or any of the Officers of the ship speak the Hindustani language?

(b) Was the vessel adequately and efficiently manned?

(c) What was the total number of the passengers, distinguishing sexes and classes, and discriminating between adults and children?

(d) What was the number of boats of any kind on board the "Egypt"? How and where were they carried and what were their carrying capacities respectively? What was their condition and equipment?

(Answer). (a) The total number of persons employed on board the "Egypt" was 294.

Their respective ratings and nationalities were as follows:—

Officers and

Non-European Crew.

European Crew.

Deck Department—

1 Commander.

1 Serang.

5 Officers.

3 Tindals.

1 Surgeon.

38 Lascars.

1 Carpenter.

3 Topaz.

1 Joiner.

1 Bhandary.

1 Boatswain.

 

1 Baggage Master.

Engine room Department—

9 Quartermasters.

2 Serangs.

3 Wireless Telegraphy

2 Tindals.

Operators.

6 Panniwallahs.

8 Engineers.

1 Storekeeper.

1 Boilermaker.

1 Lampman.

1 Electrician.

1 Bhandary.

1 Refrigerating

43 Firemen.

Mechanic.

27 Trimmers.

1 Winchman.

 

1 Purser.

Purser's Department—

1 Chief Steward.

69 General Servants.

34 Stewards.

7 Cooks.

5 Stewardesses.

2 Bakers.

2 Bakers.

1. Butcher.

2 Butchers.



3 Cooks.

208

1 Writer.

 

1 Printer.

 

1 Barber.

 



 

86

 

Including the Commander and Officers, 85 of the European portion of the crew were British subjects and one Swiss subject; 129 of the non-European portion of the crew were British subjects and 79 Goanese.

The Court is of opinion that the Officers could not speak Hindustani in the true sense of the word, but it is satisfied that they all could at least make their orders understood in the usual Lascari Bat as spoken on board ship.

(b) The vessel was adequately and efficiently manned.

(c) The number of passengers was as follows:—

1st class

6 adult males.

1st class

8 adult females.

2nd class

14 adult males.

2nd class

14 adult females.

2nd class

2 female children.

 



Total

44

(d) The number of boats was as follows:—18 lifeboats capable of accommodating 860 persons. They were carried, 8 on swinging davits of the old type each side of the boat deck and 1 each side resting in chocks on the boat deck, and the davits were fitted with spars and gripes so that the boats could be kept swung out.

The carrying capacity of each boat was as follows:

1 of 51

persons.

3 of 50

"

2 of 49

"

4 of 48

"

7 of 47

"

1 of 40

"

Their condition and equipment was good.

3. What number of lifebuoys and life-jackets were on board the "Egypt"? Where were they stowed or carried? Were the members of the crew in possession of life-jackets in their quarters? If not, were there life-jackets on board for them, and in that event, where were they, and did all or any of the crew, including those newly shipped, know where to obtain life-jackets for themselves in case of emergency? Were proper steps taken to so inform them? Were sufficient life-belts carried in the passengers' accommodation? Were they properly stowed for immediate use in the case of emergency? Were proper steps taken by those in charge of the "Egypt" to inform the passengers where to obtain lifebelts and how to put them on? Were there any life-jackets for children?

(Answer). There were 18 lifebuoys and 953 lifejackets on board the "Egypt." The lifebuoys were distributed round the rail as usual.

The life-jackets were stowed as follows:—

Passengers—in brackets in their cabins.

Officers and Engineers—in their cabins.

Petty Officers and European Stewards—in their berths.

Goanese Stewards—in a locker under the companion way to their quarters.

Other non-European members of the crew—As to these the evidence on this point is contradictory. It was stated that after the reconditioning of the ship at Bombay on the previous voyage the lifejackets were stowed in the bunks of each individual man, but there is no reliable evidence of their still being in the same place on the vessel leaving Tilbury, and this being so, it is doubtful whether all of the crew, including those newly-shipped, knew where to obtain life-jackets for themselves in case of emergency beyond their previous experience in other P. and O. vessels. From the evidence no proper steps were taken to inform them as to the stowage.

Life-jackets were in full view of each passenger in the cabins, but there is no evidence to show that they were instructed how to put them on.

There were no life-jackets specially for children, but those carried on board were of a type recognised by the Board of Trade as suitable for adults or children.

4. On leaving Tilbury on the 19th May last, did every member of the crew know his boat station? Was the system in force on the "Egypt" for the purpose of informing her crew of their boat station proper and efficient? Had a complete boat station list for the crew been got out and posted? If not, why not?

Had a boat station list for the passengers been got out? If not, what were the arrangements, if any, made whereby the passengers should know what to do in the event of necessity arising to leave the vessel in the boats? Were these arrangements efficient and did the passengers in fact know what to do? Were the arrangements for manning and launching the boats in case of emergency proper and sufficient? If so, were they carried out? Had an efficient boat drill been held on board, and, if so, when?

(Answer). On leaving Tilbury on the 19th May last, every member of the crew did not know his boat station. The system in force on board the "Egypt" for the purpose of informing her crew of their boat station was not proper and efficient. A complete boat station list for the crew had not been got out and posted; the Chief Officer in his evidence stated there was not sufficient time for this to be done before sailing.

A boat station list for the passengers had not been got out. The arrangements made were that the 1st and 2nd class passengers should muster at their respective music saloons on the hurricane deck. The arrangements may have been efficient, but no steps had been taken to inform the passengers what to do.

In view of the manner in which boat drill had been carried out at Tilbury before proceeding to sea, the Court does not consider that the arrangements for manning and launching the boats in case of emergency were proper and sufficient. The Court does not think an efficient boat drill had been held on board.

5. What installations for receiving and transmitting messages by wireless telegraphy were on board the "Egypt"? How many operators were employed on working such installations? Were the installations in good and effective order?

(Answer). The "Egypt" was fitted with Marconi Wireless Standard Installation of 1 1/2 kilowatts; also with an emergency set run by accumulators.

There were three first class operators employed. The installations were in good and effective order.

6. Did the s.s. "Egypt" hold a Passenger Certificate and was she supplied with the boats and life-saving appliances required by the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances) Rules, 1914? Did she comply with the Merchant Shipping (Wireless Telegraphy Act), 1919, and the rules made thereunder?

(Answer). The "Egypt" held a Passenger Certificate granted in Bombay in September, 1921. She was then supplied with the boats and life-saving apparatus required by the Indian Steam Ships Act. 1884, which complied with the Merchant Shipping (Life-Saving Appliances) Rules, 1914.

The "Egypt" complied with the Merchant Shipping (Wireless Telegraphy Act), 1919, and the rules made thereunder.

7. What number of boats were swung outboard after leaving Tilbury? Should more boats have been swung out before the casualty occurred, having regard to the conditions prevailing? If all boats had been swung out, would more lives have been saved?

(Answer). The foremost boat on each side of the boat deck and the second from aft on each side of the boat deck were swung outboard after leaving Tilbury.

More boats should have been swung out before the casualty, having regard to the weather conditions prevailing.

If all boats had been swung out, in all probability more lives would have been saved.

8. What was the position or approximate position of the s.s. "Egypt" at or about 6.45 p.m. of the 20th May last, and what was the state of the weather at the time?

(Answer). The approximate position of the "Egypt" at or about 6.45 p.m. was lat. 48 deg. 12 min. N., long. 50 deg. 27 min. W.

The state of the weather at the time was passing fog banks with clear intervals.

9. Did the weather afterwards become thick with fog? If so, at what time? and thereafter.

(a) Was a prolonged blast sounded on the fog horn of the "Egypt" at intervals of not more than two minutes?

(b) Were fog signals from another steamer heard by those on board the "Egypt"? If so,

(c) At what time was the first fog signal from the other steamer heard? What was the apparent position of the vessel sounding the fog signal? What measures, if any, were taken by the "Egypt" either by stopping her engines or otherwise, to navigate with caution until danger of collision was over?

(d) Was the "Egypt" navigated on the 20th May at a moderate speed in fog? What was the state of the weather at 6.45 p.m. on the 20th May and thereafter until the casualty? At what speed was the "Egypt" moving when the signal of the "Seine" was first heard? Was that speed excessive? At what speed was the "Egypt" moving when the collision took place? Was the movement and/or speed of the "Egypt" a contributing cause of her loss? If so, in what way and to what extent?

Was a good and proper look-out kept on board the "Egypt"?

(Answer). At about about 6.54 p.m. the weather became thick with fog and continued thereafter.

(a) A prolonged blast was sounded on the steam whistle of the "Egypt" at intervals of not more than two minutes.

(b) and (c). About 6.55 p.m. a fog signal from another steamer which proved to be the "Seine" was heard about a point before the port beam. The engines of the "Egypt" were immediately stopped and an answering fog signal was sounded.

(d) Considering the state of the weather and that the fog which was coming off the land was merely intermittent and not continuous, the "Egypt" was navigated at moderate speed in fog.

The state of the weather at 6.45 p.m. was passing fog banks with clear intervals.

The speed of the "Egypt" when the signal of the "Seine" was first heard was about 12 1/2 knots; this speed was not in the circumstances excessive.

Considering the evidence, the "Egypt" was probably moving with engines stopped at 4 to 5 knots when the collision took place.

The Court is left in doubt whether the speed of the "Egypt" was a contributing cause of her loss. It is to be remembered that no witnesses from the "Seine" gave evidence.

A good and proper look-out was kept on board.

10. At what time, in what position, and at what distance was the French steamer "Seine" first sighted by those on board the "Egypt"?

Were prompt and proper measures then taken by the Commander of the "Egypt" to attempt to avert a collision? Was the "Egypt" at all times navigated with proper and seamanlike care, having regard to the conditions prevailing?

(Answer). The "Seine" was first sighted at about 6.59 p.m. about a point before the beam distant about 300 feet.

Prompt and proper measures were then taken by the Commander of the "Egypt" to attempt to avert a collision.

The "Egypt" was at all times navigated with proper and seamanlike care, having regard to the conditions prevailing.

11. At what time and where on the 20th May last did the collision between the s.s. "Egypt" and the French steamer "Seine" occur? What watertight bulkheads had the "Egypt"? What watertight doors were there in such bulkheads? Had proper measures been taken to ensure the prompt closing of the watertight doors on an emergency? Were any, and if any, which of these doors, closed before the casualty? Ought any other of the said doors to have been closed before the casualty, having regard to the weather conditions prevailing? Were any of the said bulkheads or doors damaged by the collision? After the casualty were any, and which of the said doors left open, and, if so, why? Were the steps taken to close the doors after the accident proper and sufficient? At what point of the "Egypt" did the "Seine" strike? What damage did the blow cause?

(Answer). The collision occurred at about 7 p.m. on the 20th May, 1922, in approximately lat. 48 deg. 10 N., long. 5 deg. 29 W. 22 miles S. 42 deg. W. (true) from Ushant.

The "Egypt" was fitted with nine watertight bulkheads. The following watertight doors were fitted in the bulkheads:—

 

 

In No. 2 W.T. Bulkhead

2 hinged W.T. doors on the

main 'tween deck.

" 3 "

2 hinged W.T. doors on the

main 'tween deck.

" 4 "

3 geared vertical W.T. doors

at the level of the stokehold

floor.

2 hinged W.T. doors in the

main 'tween deck.

" 5 "

1 geared vertical W.T. door at

level of stokehold floor.

2 hinged W.T. doors in the

main 'tween deck.

" 6 "

1 geared horizontal W.T. door

at level of stokehold floor.

1 hinged horizontal W.T. door

on lower 'tween deck.

2 hinged W.T. doors in the

main 'tween deck.

" 7 "

1 geared W.T. door at engine

room starting platform

level.

2 hinged W.T. doors in main

'tween deck.

" 8 "

1 hinged W.T. door in lower

'tween deck.

2 hinged W.T. door in main

'tween deck.

" 9 "

1 hinged W.T. door in main

'tween deck.

Proper measures had not been taken to ensure the prompt closing of the watertight doors on an emergency; from the evidence before the Court the organisation was incomplete.

The following W.T. doors were closed before the collision:—

The centre W.T. door in No. 4 W.T. bulkhead communicating between the forward boiler room and No. 3 hold was closed.

In No. 6 W.T. bulkhead the W.T. door at lower 'tween deck level giving access to the coal pocket in the engine room was closed.

It was not necessary for any other doors to be closed prior to the collision as it was not practicable for the working of the ship.

The following bulkheads and doors were damaged by the collision:—

No. 3 W.T. bulkhead in the main 'tween deck.

No. 4 W.T. bulkhead dividing No. 3 hold from the forward boiler room.

The port hinged W.T. door in No. 3 W.T. bulkhead in the main 'tween deck.

After the collision the following W.T. doors were left open:—

The port hinged W.T. door in No. 3 W.T. bulkhead in main 'tween deck was left open as it could not be closed owing to the buckling of the bulkhead due to the collision.

The two geared W.T. doors in No. 4 W.T. bulkhead at stokehold level were left partly open. These two doors could not be closed fully owing to the coal either having been trimmed or washed through the door.

The door in No. 5 W.T. bulkhead at stokehold level, according to the evidence, could not be closed on account of imperfect gearing.

The geared horizontal W.T. door in No. 6 W.T. bulkhead at stokehold level was closed but not absolutely closed. It could not be absolutely closed owing to some small obstruction.

Further, the Court is of opinion from the evidence that the hinged W.T. doors on the port side of the main deck abaft the saloon were never closed. The Court attaches importance to the evidence of the Supernumerary Second Officer, Mr. French, in which he states he observed, when looking down the after hatch, water rushing aft on the main deck like a torrent, which, in the opinion of the Court, could only have been passing through those doors.

The steps taken to close the W.T. doors after the accident were not proper and sufficient. Probably owing to the failure of the signal to close the W.T. doors, the execution of "the closing" was left to individual initiative.

The "Seine" struck the "Egypt" on the port side abaft No. 3 W.T. bulkhead in the vicinity of the bulkhead forming the fore end of the forward coal bunker. The bow of the "Seine" penetrated the ship's side damaging the W.T. bulkhead between No. 3 hold and the forward boiler room; the effect of the blow was also felt on the W.T. bulkhead dividing No. 2 and No. 3 hold between the main and spar deck, distorting or buckling it to such extent as to prevent the hinged W.T. door from being closed.

The probability is that the "Seine" in freeing herself from the wound in the "Egypt's" side tore the side plating away from the W.T. bulkhead at the forward end of the forward boiler room, thereby allowing a greater quantity of water to flow into this compartment than would have been the case if it had had to pass through a bunker full of coal and through W.T. coal doors. This is suggested by the evidence, which goes to show that the greater rush of water appeared to be coming from the port forward corner of the boiler room rather than from the doors which were on each side of the middle line of the vessel.

The "Seine" although a comparatively small vessel, having her bow strengthened for ice, would not only thereby pierce the side of the "Egypt" to a greater extent, but the same strengthening would add to her power of tearing the side of the "Egypt" in freeing herself from the wound, which a weaker structure would not have done. The Court is convinced something like this happened, otherwise the pressure of the crushed or telescoped bows of the "Seine" would have had a crushing or closing effect on the side of the "Egypt" in way of the bulkhead at the fore end of the forward stokehold.

12. After the collision were prompt and proper measures taken by the Commander and Officers of the "Egypt" to maintain discipline and for the safety of the ship and passengers?

(Answer). After the collision prompt and proper measures were not taken by the Commander and Officers of the "Egypt" to maintain discipline and for the safety of the ship and passengers.

13. What wireless messages for assistance were sent out by the "Egypt" after the collision, and at what times respectively? Did they or any of them give the correct position of the "Egypt" at the time? Were such messages or any of them received and answered by other vessels or stations?

(Answer). The following wireless messages for assistance were sent out by the "Egypt" after the collision:—

Immediately after the collision an S.O.S. signal with the noon position, which was received and answered by the "Andes."

Ushant also received the signal and commenced "broadcasting."

About six minutes later a further S.O.S. signal with the correct position at the time of the disaster.

Shortly after this the correct position was repeated to Ushant in answer to a signal from that station.

These messages were also received and answered by the "Edinburgh Castle" and a vessel with the call sign XJF (probably the "Cahiracon").

The last signal to be sent out, viz.:—"Sinking" with the call sign of the "Egypt" was sent out shortly before the vessel sank.

14. Was assistance rendered to the "Egypt after the collision by the s.s. "Seine" and/or any other vessel, and, if not, what is the explanation for that?

(Answer). There was no direct assistance rendered to the "Egypt" by the "Seine" or any other vessel.

The "Seine" although damaged by the collision, was in no danger of sinking, and after some considerable time she was located in the fog by the Second Officer, Mr. Cameron, in charge of No. 18 boat. He stated that, with the permission of the Master of the "Seine," he went on the bridge with one of the "Egypt's" quartermasters and took charge, steamed towards the locality of the wreckage, thus enabling the "Seine" to assist in the rescue work with her boats.

In the absence of any evidence from the Master of the "Seine" we are unable to explain why the "Seine" did not earlier render assistance on her own initiative.

No other vessels appeared to be near enough to render assistance.

15. For what length of time did the "Egypt" remain afloat after the collision?

(Answer). The "Egypt" remained afloat about 20 minutes after the collision.

16. Was the apparatus for lowering the boats on the "Egypt" at the time of the casualty in good working order? Were the handles for the Collgrave patent davits ready at hand? If not, why not?

(Answer). The apparatus for lowering the boats on the "Egypt" at the time of the casualty was in good working order; subject to this, that the handles for the Collgrave patent davits, which were usually stowed close by, were not all in their places at the time of the collision. The evidence shows that at one of the boats thus fitted the handles could not be found.

17. Were the boats or any of them promptly swung out, filled, lowered, or otherwise put into the water and got away under proper superintendence? What boats were in fact lowered and got away?

(Answer). No boats were promptly swung out, filled, lowered, or otherwise put into the water, nor were they got away under proper superintendence.

Six boats were lowered and got away, viz.: Nos. 4, 8, 13, 14, 17, and 18, but No. 4 was caught by the davit head and went down with the ship, taking nearly all the occupants with her.

18. Were the boats which were got away properly manned and equipped, and did each boat carry her proper complement of passengers and crew? Ought more boats to have been got away, and, if so, what was the reason for the failure to get them away? Was there any confusion in regard to the manning and lowering of the boats after the collision? Did such confusion affect (a) the Officers, (b) the European crew, (c) the non-European crew, and (d) the passengers, and how? Was there any lack of order and discipline in (a) the European crew, or (b) the non-European crew? To what was such lack of order or discipline attributable? To what, if any, extent did it contribute to the loss of life which occurred? Was the order for boat stations given after the collision on the 20th May, and how soon after? Did the passengers and crew go to their correct places on the order being given? If not, why not? And to what, if any, extent was this the cause of the loss of life which occurred?

(Answer). The boats which were got away were properly equipped but were not properly manned and did not carry their proper complement of passengers and crew.

More boats ought to have been got away. The failure to get more away was due to lack of discipline and the rapid listing of the vessel.

There was confusion in regard to the manning and lowering of the boats after the collision which affected (a) the Officers, (b) the European crew, (c) the non-European crew, and (d) the passengers.

There was a lack of order and discipline in (a) the European crew, also in (b) the non-European crew—in this are included Lascars, Indian firemen and trimmers, and Goanese stewards.

The lack of order and discipline is attributable to no definite orders having been given by the Captain and Officers at the time of the collision; this contributed to a large extent to the loss of life which occurred.

There is no satisfactory evidence that the order for boat stations was given after the collision. The passengers and crew did not go to their correct places for boat stations; this also contributed largely to the loss of life.

19. Were any of the non-European members of the crew in possession of weapons of any kind?

(Answer). From the evidence it appears that bone of the non-European members of the crew was in possession of weapons of any kind.

20. Did any of the non-European members of the crew crowd into the boats or any of them in defiance of orders and discipline, and/or by violence or otherwise keep passengers or others out, and/or prevent or delay any boat or boats being promptly got out and lowered with a proper complement or proper complements of passengers and crew?

If so, what, in fact, happened? and what non-European ratings of the crew were guilty of such conduct? Was there any particular reason or reasons to account for or justify the behaviour of these men on this occasion?

(Answer). A considerable number of the non-European members of the crew did crowd into the boats without orders and against discipline, no apparent violence was used by them, but this-crowding of the boats prevented them from being promptly got out and lowered with proper complements of passengers and crew.

In consequence confusion bordering on panic ensued, it becoming a case of every man for himself.

According to the evidence, a considerable portion of Lascars, engine room ratings, and Goanese stewards were guilty of this conduct.

Their action on this occasion, while not justified, can only be accounted for by the fact that they were not properly led and, like others, were absolutely ignorant of where to go or what to do.

21. How many persons on board the "Egypt" at the time of the casualty were saved and by what means?

What was the number of passengers, distinguishing between men and women, and adults and children of the first and second class, saved? What was the number of crew, discriminating the ratings and sexes, who were saved?

(Answer). A total of 252 persons were saved by means of the boats of the "Egypt" and of the "Seine."

Of the 29 passengers saved, there were in the first class 4 adult males and 7 adult females, and in the second class 10 adult males and 8 adult females.

Of the 223 crew that were saved there were the following ratings:—

Europeans.

Deck department

21

Engine room

8

Pursers

35 including

3 stewardesses.

Non-Europeans.

Deck department

36

Engine room firemen

41

Engine room trimmers

22

Purser's department

60

22. What. was the cause of the loss of the "Egypt" and the loss of life which thereby ensued or occurred?

(Answer). The loss of the "Egypt" was due to the ship's side having been seriously injured by the collision with the "Seine," practically throwing No. 3 hold and the forward boiler room open to the sea and thus allowing a very great influx of water which passing aft through partially open W.T. doors, caused her to sink rapidly and by the stern.

The loss of life was due to the rapid foundering of the vessel, the failure to get the boats promptly into the water, and in failing to keep those that were lowered, although only partially filled, alongside the ship.

23. Was the loss of the s.s. "Egypt" and/or the loss of life caused by the wrongful act or default of the Commander and Officers, or of any of them?

(Answer). The loss of the "Egypt" was not caused by the wrongful act or default of the Commander and Officers or of any of them.

The loss of life was mainly due to the default of the Master and Chief Officer in failing to take proper measures to save life and in failing to exercise their authority to ensure good order and discipline at the time of the casualty, and, further, in failing to make the crew efficient in collision and boat drill prior to sailing.

24. Had the owners taken proper measures to ensure compliance with their own regulations and to exact good discipline on the ship?

(Answer). The Court considers that there was failure on the part of the owners through their officials and servants to take proper measures to ensure compliance with their regulations and to exact good discipline on the ship before sailing.

NOTE.—In answering the above questions so far as they affect the non-European crew the Court has been requested to deal separately, so far as possible, with the Lascars, Indian firemen and trimmers, and Goanese stewards.

RECOMMENDATIONS.

1. That the same protection as to the safety of life which is afforded to emigrant ships by means of Board of Trade supervision and inspection should be extended to all foreign-going passenger ships.

2. That the supply of a numbered badge to each member of the boats' crews before sailing should be made compulsory for all foreign-going passenger ships.

The Court desires to express its sincere sympathy with the relatives of passengers and members of the crew who lost their lives in this lamentable disaster.

BUTLER ASPINALL,

Wreck Commissioner.

T. P. WALKER,

Assessor.

L. WOOD BAYLDON,

Assessor.

A. R. PILKINGTON,

Assessor.

JOHN W. JACK,

Assessor.

Dated this 4th day of September, 1922.

(Issued by the Board of Trade in London on Wednesday, the 20th day of September, 1922.)

LONDON:

PUBLISHED BY HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE.

To be purchased through any Bookseller or directly from H.M. STATIONERY OFFICE at the following addresses:

IMPERIAL HOUSE, KINGSWAY, LONDON, W.C. 2, and 28, ABINGDON STREET, LONDON, S.W. 1; 37, PETER STREET, MANCHESTER; 1, ST. ANDREW'S CRESCENT, CARDIFF; or 23, FORTH STREET, EDINBURGH.

1922.

Price 1s. 0d. Net.

Printed under the authority of HIS MAJESTY'S STATIONERY OFFICE By Henderson & Spalding Ltd., Camberwell, London, S.E. 15.

(K408) Wt16/P12 500 9/22 H & SP Gp 77

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