In an earlier POST we already mentioned one embellishment contained in a paper produced by the experts in the 2004 Gaul RFI
In that same paper, drawn up as a summary of the results of the formal investigation, the experts also went a step beyond the official findings and stated with conviction:
“There was no logical reason why the duff and offal chute lids were secured in the open position, whilst dodging, other than crew error. It is also difficult to understand why the flap valves were jammed in the open position other than bad maintenance onboard or ashore.”
The authors were, of course, well aware of the fact that the offal chute lids had not been found secured in the open position. They were also aware that it was only around the duff chute lid that some kind of ‘ligature’ had been seen hanging and, therefore, one could not truthfully say that both the duff and the offal chute lids had been secured open by the crew of the Gaul.
The RFI final report, having been drawn up by better-versed legal minds, went only as far as advising that:
“In the case of the duff chute, the single lid was apparently secured in the open position by some form of ligature and in the case of the offal chute the split lid was found with the forward half open and the aft half closed, but not secured.”
The RFI experts must have also realised that any future interested parties would be more likely to read their free paper rather than the costly and voluminous RFI report, and that their words may therefore be taken as fact.
In the light our previous post and the above observations we would ask our readers the following question: What can one make of these exaggerations, which, it so happened, had the effect of adding undeserved weight to the Court’s ‘crew error’ verdict?