Page 22 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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Lordship, of course, will hear a good deal more about this. We shall call those who were responsible for her construction. I am not quite sure for the moment, and therefore I will not go into it, how many watertight sliding doors there were. Obviously there must have been a considerable number, because there would have to be a passage in the ordinary course through the bulkheads; but it is a considerable number, and your Lordship will hear what the number was later. The watertight doors as I understand are closed some by gravity and some by gear, and we will have to go into that in greater detail later. Now, my Lord, I come back to the commencement of her voyage from Queenstown on the 11th April. All went well. It was a quiet and successful voyage up to the casualty, which I am going to refer to directly. The weather was very fine all the way, the sea calm, and the wind west-south-west during the whole voyage. The temperature was rather cold, particularly on the 14th April, which is the date of the casualty, which took place, as your Lordship knows, between eleven o’clock and midnight of the 14th. So far as one is able to fix it (it is not possible, I think, to fix it with precision, at any rate with the material before me at present), it must have been about 11.40 that the casualty happened, at night. It was a starry night on the night of the 14th, the atmosphere was clear - some Witnesses say particularly clear. There was no moon, and the vessel, at any rate beyond all question up to the point of time to which the examination now before your Lordship relates, that is the casualty, was proceeding at the speed of 21 knots. So far as I am able to gather from the evidence, that speed was never reduced, and she continued travelling at that speed during the whole of the 14th April, right up till the time of the collision with the iceberg, and, according to the evidence which we shall place before your Lordship, notwithstanding warnings that there were icebergs in the neighbourhood and that in the track in which she was proceeding she would meet them or would be likely to meet them. My Lord, at the present moment we are able to bring before the Court evidence of two vessels, one the “Caronia” and the other the “Baltic,” which by means of wireless telegraphy informed the “Titanic” during that day that icebergs, growlers, and field ice were reported in the track along which the “Titanic” was proceeding. I think, my Lord, that the distinction, so far as I follow it, between a berg and a growler is that a growler is an iceberg, with but very little protruding above the water. Now, my Lord, in that connection I think it would be useful if your Lordship would just look at the North Atlantic Route Chart for the purpose of following the track which is marked for vessels between Queenstown and New York. I have marked the place on my chart, which I am going to hand up to your Lordship, where we say the collision occurred, but I just want my learned friend to see it. (The chart was handed up to his Lordship.) The Attorney-General: Now does your Lordship see the blue cross which I have made - it is on the left half of the chart? The Commissioner: Yes. The Attorney-General: According to our view, and according to the evidence, as far as we know it at present, when she struck ice she was in or near latitude 41º 46’ North, and longitude 50° 15’ West. The spot I have marked with a cross I have shown to my learned friend, Mr. Laing, and he agrees that that correctly indicates the spot according to that latitude and longitude. Now, if your Lordship will look at that chart for a moment you will find New York on the extreme left, and if you follow the line indicated to the blue cross from the extreme left the course from the blue cross to New York is what she still had to do to complete the voyage. And if your Lordship will look a little way to the right you will see a curve, which follows right up to Ireland, and that is marked “Mail steamers outward, 15th January to 14th August.” There are homeward tracks and outward tracks. There are tracks for the steamers outward, from the 15th August to the 14th January, and more southerly tracks for the mail steamers outward from the 15th January to the 14th August, and also for homeward voyages. The only point for the moment
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