Page 46 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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343. How soon did you feel this vibration after you heard the three strikes on the gong? - As I did not take much notice of the three strikes on the gong, I could hardly recollect the time; but I should think it was - well, we will say about five or eight minutes; it seemed to me about that time. 344. Where were you at the time? - Just about the forecastle-head. 345. Did you remain there? - No. 346. Where did you go? - I rushed down to tell my mate that was in the bath room just at the bottom of the ladder. He asked me to give him a call if anything was doing. 347. What did you do after that? - Rushed on deck with the remainder of those that were in the forecastle. The shock caused everybody to turn out, and we came on deck to see what was the cause of the vibration. 348. Did the boatswain give any orders to the hands? - Yes. 349. What was his order? - “All hands on deck; turn out the boats and take the covers off and place the covers amidships.” 350. When you got on deck did you see anything; did you see any ice or iceberg? - Oh, yes, when we first came up. 351. Tell me what you saw. - When we came up, that was before the boatswain’s call, we saw a large quantity of ice on the starboard side on the forewell deck, and I went and looked over the rail there and I saw an iceberg that I took it we had struck. It would be abaft the beam then - abaft the starboard beam. 352. Was it close to? - No, it seemed the ship was acting on her helm and we had swung clear of the iceberg. 353. But how far away from your beam was the iceberg, a ship’s length or two ships’ length? - Not a ship’s length. 354. You speak of this ship as if answering her helm - as if answering under which helm? - Under the starboard helm - under the port helm. 355. Get it right? - Under port helm. Her stern was slewing off the iceberg. Her starboard quarter was going off the icebergs, and the starboard bow was going as if to make a circle round it. The Commissioner: You must be a little more particular about this, and make me understand it. Mr. Butler Aspinall: I think what he means is that she was acting - correct me if I am wrong. The Witness: Yes. 356. She was acting as if under port helm, her head going to starboard? - That is correct. The Commissioner: The ship’s head was going to starboard? 357. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Yes. (To the Witness.) Had your ship headway on at the time - or not do you think? - I cannot say. 358. You do not know? - No. The Commissioner: You can tell me this, my colleagues will know this, no doubt. After a collision of this character what is the order generally given to the engines? Is it an order to stop or an order to reverse? Mr. Butler Aspinall: It is difficult for me to say, my Lord; it depends so much upon the circumstances of each case. The Commissioner: Then you cannot give a simple answer. Mr. Butler Aspinall: No, my Lord, I am afraid I cannot. I do not know how they might be wishing to maneuver her. The Commissioner: With a ship going 21 knots, how soon after an order to stop will the way on the ship stop? Mr. Butler Aspinall: I should think, if the engines are only stopped and not reversed, a laden ship will carry her way for a very considerable distance.
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