Evidence of Capt. Troup
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EVIDENCE OF CAPT. TROUP
from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 30 Jan 1904, pg.8

Says All C.P.R. Steamers Are Equipped With Life Saving Apparatus

Capt. Roberts Had Been Capable Seaman for Twenty Years Past

Master of the Lost Clallam Will Testify Before Coroner Next Week

Capt. J.W. Troup, superintendent of the C.P.R.S.S. Company, gave evidence before the coroner's inquest yesterday. He had been board the steamer 'Charmer' on the night of the disaster of the 'Clallam', and passing Trial Island had seen no distress signal, though the weather was clear. On arrival E.E. Blackwood told him that the steamer 'Clallam' had been seen near Trial Island at 3:30 p.m., and seemed in difficulties. She had stopped after hoisting sail. It was about 8 o'clock when he was told. The steamer would drift about twenty miles an hour and would have been between San Juan and Smith Islands. He was told the 'Holyoke' had left Port Townsend at 7 p.m. Witness figured that the 'Holyoke' would reach her while the conversation regarding the 'Charmer' was going on. Witness inferred from what Mr. Blackwood said that Captain Roberts had some command over his ship. The 'Charmer' could not have searched the vessel until after the arrival of the 'Holyoke', about 10 o'clock. Mr. Blackwood seemed anxious. He said that a thorough canvass had been made and no boats could be secured. The C.P.R. steamer which have gone out first was the 'Queen City', which could have been made ready in about five hours. Capt. Troup inferred that the 'Clallam' had lost her fall shaft. He never thought that she would not live out the storm, or that there would be danger to life. The storm that day was nothing unusual. The sea was bad for small boats.

To Mr. Lugrin - A flare could have been seen from seven to ten miles from the steamer. A deck light, such as displayed by the 'Clallam', could be seen for two or three miles. A lantern could be seen for six miles on a clear night. Signals and night rockets were not usually carried by steamers on this coast. They were not usually carried. In his opinion it would be well to have it made compulsory for steamers to carry night signals.

Juror Marcon enquired if the witness knew of any cases of borrowing equipment for inspection.

Mr. Lugrin objected to the question being put. It was his intentions to have the allegations investigated in this respect. He did not think witness should answer unless he wished.

The coroner thought likewise, and said the question would not be pressed unless the witness volunteered an answer.

Capt. Troup was desirous of answering. He said, "No steamer of ours ever goes out of this port without the full equipment of life-saving apparatus required by law."

Juror Marcon held that this did not altogether answer the question, and Capt. Troup replied: "As for borrowing equipment for inspection, that was never been done in my experience here. We do borrow equipment sometimes from steamers out of commission to take the place of equipment needing repair. Hundreds of life-preservers are kept in store, and any that was condemned by inspectors were immediately replaced from this supply. Capt. Collister often comes down to inspect without notice, and on those occasions there could be no preparation.

Juror Marcon asked if witness had ever heard of equipment being borrowed for inspection, and witness did not reply.

Speaking regarding deadlights, witness said it was usual in the C.P.R. steamers for them to have shutters. The steamer 'Charmer' had plugs to fit any broken deadlight. A regulation for blacking ports at or near the waterline would be desirable.

When Mr. Blackwood left him, witness said, he appeared to have reached the conclusion that it would be of little use to send the 'Charmer' to the 'Clallam's' assistance. If he had thought there was danger to life he would have sent the 'Charmer'. He would have had no fear of entering United States waters with her, and would have gone to Port Townsend if necessary. The 'Charmer' would have reached the 'Clallam' before the 'Sea Lion' had gone out. He had not taken out the 'Charmer' because the 'Holyoke' had previously left Port Townsend. He believed that the 'Clallam' had lost her fall shaft, as the 'Charmer's' engines had raced that day.

To Mr. McPhillips - The law did not require inextinguishable lights attached to buoys. Some of the C.P.R. steamers, including the 'Princess Victoria' and 'Princess Beatrice', had them. The 'Charmer' did not. A lifeboat with a plug was safe if the plug was firmly placed. He did not think that a boat launched without a plug would swamp as a result. Such a leak could be stopped with a cap or anything. A ship having a list heavy enough to place a broken port under water should have drawn the attention of her captain and first officer. Generally the first officer was in charge of the small boats. The master should take the matter in hand and see that they were properly equipped and with crews aboard before they were launched with women and children aboard. In answer to a question as to whether he would have placed the passengers on the tug 'Holyoke' when she arrived if he had been placed in the position that Capt. Roberts then was, witness did not wish to reply. He said, "I have known Captain Roberts for twenty years and have always regarded him as a capable seaman. He will probably have reasons for everything he did, and when he comes on the stand he will give those reasons."

Herbert Taylor saw the steamer 'Clallam' off Beacon Hill at 3:05, she being then off Trail Island about a mile distant and evidently in distress. She had a small sail set and her bow was pointed toward the American side. She had swung around into the trough of the sea. He had then telephoned to Mr. Blackwood's office. He saw her until 4:30 p.m. and at no time made out flags or distress signals.

The coroner said he had received a letter from Capt. Roberts stating that he would come to give evidence after the Seattle inquiry closed next week. Several other witnesses from the Sound would also come on Monday, and the inquest was then adjourned until Tuesday next.
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