No attempt was made to start the engine of this boat mainly because of the
difficulty of access due to overcrowding.
No. 9 boat was launched at the direction of 5th Engineer Nazir Ali, and
Deck Tindal, Jai Bhai Nana.
Not every member of the crew has made a statement
but they have filled in a questionnaire and from these it is evident that 37 of
the fisian crew were in this boat - only 7 of them being allocated to the boat
by the musters list.
This boat was the first boat to leave "DARA".
boet was launched under the supervision of 3rd Officer Jackson assisted by 2nd
Again Jackson received a blow on the head in attempting to
control the situation.
This boat was also launched very much overcrowded.
Jackson instructed the ship's carpenter and wireman to take charge of the boat and
was assured that the plug was secure.
Some time after clearing the ship, this
boat capsized also, the circumstances of which we know little about.
only assume that this boat fell on a beam sea and assisted by its poor stability
due to its overcrowded condition, finally capsized.
Some of the passengers whom
we saw stated these two boats sank, but we find it very difficult to believe that
such lifeboats fitted as they were with buoyancy tanks, and surveyed so regula rly
could have sunk so easily.
We have evidence that both of these boats were seen
in the upturned position.
12. Buoyant Apparatus
As previously mentioned this ship was supplied with 28 units of buoyant
apparatus, each certified to support 20 persons in the water.
Hence if all
these units could have been got away, 560 persons could have obtained flotation
23 units were stowed on the sundeck which formed an extension to the Engineers!
The rapidity by which the fire progressed made it impossible to go
to these units, as prior attention had to be given to the lifeboats, since willing
hands were scarce.
Those that were launched were the five units stowed aft.
We have the story of the difficulty which 3rd Officer Jackson the 2nd Engineer,
Cadet Grimwood and a Khalali (seaman) had to get three women passengers to go
down the painters to the boyant apparatus in the sea, an operation which was
ultimately successful, but only after persistent coercion and demonstration.