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by the undersigned members of your committee, unanimously, and that Mr. Thomas Gray, who has been prevented from reading and signing it by the necessity of his departure, has nevertheless expressed his concurrence with its general views.

SIEVEKING,

Chairman of Committee.
J. MAURITY.
R. BEAUGENCY.
CHIA NI HAI.
E. RICHARD.
R. SETTEMBRINI.
D. HUBERT.
OLEMENT A. GRISCOM.

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON LIFE-SAVING SYS

TEMS AND DEVICES.

GENERAL DIVISION 5 OF THE PROGRAMME, SAVING LIFE AND PRO

PERTY FROM SHIPWRECK.

RESOLUTION.

Resolved, That a committee of seven, to be known as the Committee on Life-Saving Systems and Devices, shall be appointed by the President; that it shall be the duty of the committee to examine any system or device connected with the saving of life and property from shipwreck presented on or before the 12th instant of which a written description, illustrated by plans when necessary, shall be furnished, and that only such matters as are favorably reported by the committee shall be brought before the conference; that the committee shall submit a report when General Division 5 of the programme shall be reached for consideration.

MOTION.

Mr. Goodrich (United States). That the several committees be increased, each by two, and that the committee on collocation also be increased by two members.

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WASHINGTON, December 5, 1889. Rear-Admiral S. R. FRANKLIN, U. S. Navy,

President of the International Marine Conference, etc.: SIR: The Committee on Life-Saving Systems and Devices, ap. pointed under a resolution of the Marine Conference, were at first in doubt whether the terms of the resolution gave them authority to con. sider and report upon all the topics embraced in General Division 5 of the programme, but the subsequent action of the Conference in appointing committees to report upon all the subjects of the other divisions, yet making no further provision for those of General Division 5, seemed clearly to imply that it was intended that this committee should deal with them. They have accordingly done so, and herewith submit their report. The various subjects will be taken up in their order upon the programme.

1. SAVING OF LIFE AND PROPERTY FROM SHIPWRECK AT SEA.

(a) DUTIES OF VESSELS AFTER COLLISION.”

What these duties are is obvious enough. Common humanity requires that colliding vessels should remain by each other and render all needed assistance so long as they can do so consistently with their own safety. Experience shows, however, that masters of vessels frequently take advantage of the circumstances attending such disasters to escape from the scene without identification, in order to avoid responsibility. Several of the maritime nations have, therefore, imposed upon them the legal obligation of performing these natural duties. The extent to which they are evaded where such legal requirement does not exist is probably not generally appreciated. The committee have had before them statistics of one such country, which show that in 8 per cent. of the collisions reported the master of one of the vessels left the other to take care of herself and her people, and got away without being known. In these instances there was loss of life apon some of the vessels so abandoned, some went down, and all suffered damage. It would seem, then, that any effective measure which might prevent such a practice, or make it less frequent, would not only be in the interest of humanity, but also aid in securing justice in regard to the rights of property. The committee, therefore, are of the opinion that in case of collision between two vessels, the master or person in charge of each vessel should be required, so far as he can without danger to his own vessel, crew, or passengers, to stay by the other vessel until he has ascertained that she has no need of further assistance, and to render to the other vessel, her master, crew, and passengers, such assistance as may be practicable and necessary in order to save them from any danger caused by the collision; and also to give to the master or person in charge of the other vessel the name of his own vessel, and of her port of registry, or of the port or place to which she belongs, and the names of the ports and places from which and to which she is bound.

So far as the committee can learn, the laws of those countries which have taken action upon the subject are to the above effect, substantially agreeing in defining the duties of masters, although the infraction of the law is differently dealt with in the different countries.

In expressing the foregoing opinion the committee are unanimous, but a minority think the Conference should indicate what, in their opinion, the penalty of failure to comply with the duties prescribed should be. The majority, however, do not deem this necessary, believing that the consequence of disobedience to their laws can and will be properly taken care of by the several governments, without snggestion from the Conference,

For the information of the Conference, the enactments of Great Britain upon the subject, which prescribed severer penalties for disregard of the duties imposed than those of any other nation, are appended to this report. (See Appendix A.)

(6) APPARATUS FOR LIFE-SAVING TO BE CARRIED ON BOARD SHIP. (LIFE-BOATS,

LIFE-PRESERVERS, LIFE-RAFTS, PUMPS, AND FIRE-EXTINGUISHING APPARATUS.)"

The Government of Chili has made the most liberal provision that the committee have knowledge of for the safety of life on shipboard, requiring her vessels to be furnished with boats sufficient in number and capacity to afford the greatest security possible to everybody on board in case of disaster. (See Appendix B.) The committee, however, do not regard the universal application of this provision as practicable under existing conditions; they believe that the basis upon which an agreement between the several nations is most likely to be established is to be found in the “Rules of the Board of Trade” of Great Britain, under the “Merchant Shipping (Life-saving Appliances) act of 1888," which are to go into effect on March 31, 1890. These rules provide for almost all cases that may arise under the vicissitudes of navigation, while they are sufficiently elastic to admit of adjustment to the various conditions existing in the countries interested without violating their spirit. (See Appendix C.)

The committee also recommend the extension of the principle of these rules to all smaller craft as far as practicable, and that each vessel of this class should carry at least one life-buoy of approved pattern and material, and for every person on board an efficient life-belt or jacket.

The means of extinguishing fire on vessels has become to a considerable extent a matter relating to their construction, and the observation of members of the committee is that in most vessels recently built great care is taken to make due provision in this respect, it being for the interest of the owners to do so. Most of the maritime nations have also enacted laws which provide for a suitable equipment of pumps and other devices. Perhaps, therefore, there is now no great necessity for action upon the subject by the Conference. However this may be, it would be impracticable for the committee to prescribe any definite system, as it would involve a careful classification of vessels and a thorough study of a variety of apparatus, the necessary information and data for which it would be impossible to procure, properly consider, and report upon in season to be of avail to the Conference.

"(c) THE USE OF OIL AND THE NECESSARY APPARATUS FOR ITS USE."

There has been placed before the committee much matter relating to this subject, consisting chiefly of reports from vessels that have used oil for calming dangerous seas, accounts of trials and experiments made under various conditions, deductions drawn from such reports and experiments, and directions for the application of oil under various conditions and circumstances.

An examination of this material and the information the committee already possessed have led to the conclusion that there need be no longer any doubt that the proper application of oil is efficacious on the open sea, but that there are conditions under which the action of breaking waves is not thereby much, if at all, modified. Its effect on the surf over bars at the mouths of rivers and those lying off beaches is especially doubtful. A circular letter relative to the use of oil at sea," issued by the Board of Trade of Great Britain, says: “In a surf, or waves breaking on a bar, where a mass of liquid is in actual motion in shallow water the effect of the oil is uncertain, as nothing can prevent the larger waves from breaking under such circumstances, but even here it is of some service.” Other official documents declare that in an exhaustive series of experiments no effect whatever was produced upon the surf breaking over the ontlying bars of beaches.

The coinmittee are of the opinion that all sea-going vessels should be supplied with a proper quantity of animal or vegetable oil (which seems to be more effective than mineral), and with suitable appliances for its distribution. For ordinary voyages the quantity need not be large. The best means of distributing it that have been brought to the attention of the committee appear to be those specified by Vice-Admiral Cloué, published in a circular issued by the French Government. (See Appendix D.)

"(d) UNIFORM INSPECTIONS AS TO W AND c."

If the maritime nations should agree upon uniform requirements in respect to life-saving apparatus to be carried on board ship, and to the use of oil and the necessary apparatus for its use, uniform inspections might perhaps be advantageons, but it would be impossible to formulate au adequate system for this purpose without knowing definitely what these requirements might be, and even then it would be doubtful,

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