Clallam Case Being Reviewed
previous page     BC Lists     Clallam Index     next page
from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 16 Apr 1904, pg.3

Chief Engineer De Launay Seeks to Get His licence Back

The application for reinstatement of Scott A. De Launay, chief engineer of the steamer 'Clallam', whose licence was revoked by United States Marine Inspectors Whitney and Turner because of his mismanagement of the engineer's department at the time of the disaster, is being considered by Capt. John Bermingham, supervising inspector of the first district, which includes the Pacific Coast states, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer of yesterday. Capt. Bermingham arrived yesterday morning at 7 o'clock from San Francisco. He lost no time in taking up the investigation. While he is sitting as an appellate marine inspection judge, the nature of his inquiry is more or less informal. Figuratively speaking, he throws down the bars, letting in any kind of testimony. He holds that he is the judge and he is competent to pass upon the evidence.

During the day three witnesses, De Launay, Capt. George Lent, supervising engineer of the Alaska Steamship Company and the Puget Sound Navigation Company, which owned the 'Clallam', and E.W. Heath, builder of the vessel were examined. De Launay requested a postponement of the investigation on the ground that John L. Atkins and Edward Parker, two principal witnesses in the behalf, were not present. One of these men is now in Alaska and the other is en route there. They were oilers on the 'Clallam'.

Capt. Bermingham asked De Launay if he would not be willing to accept the sworn testimony of Atkins and Parker as given during the investigation held by the local marine inspection board, but De Launay answered negatively. Whether the supervising inspector will continue the investigation until their presence can be secured rests with him.

De Launay in a general way went over the whole ground covering the 'Clallam' disaster in which fifty lives were lost, his testimony being very much the same as that given by him at the first investigation. He repeated his testimony to the effect that the suction pipe connection from the feed pump to the bilge did not exist.

Heath told of the general construction of the 'Clallam'. Capt. Lent testified his impression was that there was such a connection, but that he did not of his personal knowledge know that there was a suction pipe, leading from the feed pump to the bilge.

Capt. Bermingham will resume the investigation this morning. He expects to conclude this week, possibly today, though his decision will not be given out probably for a month.
previous page     BC Lists     Clallam Index     next page     Top