Page 125 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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13681. Did that happen so during the rest of your watch? - No, it was perfectly clear. 13682. Were you using glasses? - Part of the time, yes. 13683. Do you in practice at night use glasses for the purpose of scanning the track you have to follow. Do you mean it was exceptional to use them? - I mean to say that on this occasion, knowing there were no lights round the icebergs, you would naturally have a pair of glasses in your hand, but where there are lights about you do not use glasses; you pick them up with your eyes first. 13684. Supposing anybody’s duty is to look out for ice at night what is your view as to the usefulness of glasses? - With regard to picking up ice? 13685. Yes? - It is rather difficult to say. I never have picked up ice at nighttime with glasses, so it is really difficult for me to say. 13686. (The Commissioner.) What were you using them for on the bridge? - To assist me in keeping a look-out. 13687. Then you were using them; you were looking out for ice? - I was looking out for ice. 13688. And you were using the glasses? - Occasionally I would raise the glasses to my eyes and look ahead to see if I could see anything, using both glasses and my eyes. 13689. The question I understand is this: Do the glasses help you to detect ice? - Well I should naturally think so, my Lord. The Solicitor-General: I am not quite certain whether you heard what the witness said. The Commissioner: He says “I should think so.” The Solicitor-General: I meant before that; his previous answer. The Commissioner: I understood him to say that he does not use glasses as a rule when he is on the bridge at night, but he did on this occasion. The Solicitor-General: I am anxious we should have it quite fair to him of course. I understand the witness to say that as a matter of fact he never has picked up ice with the help of glasses; it has never been his experience to see ice through glasses; but I gather he was both using his eyes and using glasses. The Witness: Exactly. The Commissioner: Put it to him in your own way, because the impression on my mind at present is this, that in his opinion glasses are useful for the purpose of seeing ice. That is the impression on my mind. 13690. (The Solicitor-General.) You see, Mr. Lightoller, I want to get your own view. You will tell us candidly and fairly, I am sure. First of all, in your own experience, when you have used glasses, have you in fact found ice with the help of glasses? - Never. I have never seen ice through glasses first, never in my experience. Always whenever I have seen a berg I have seen it first with my eyes and then examined it through glasses. The Solicitor-General: I think that is what he said. 13691. (The Commissioner.) You are quite right, and do you say the same thing of ships’ lights? - There is no doubt about ships’ lights. Personally I do not bother about glasses at all. I prefer to rely on my own eyes. 13692. (The Commissioner.) I am told that is right, and then if you want any detail you take the glasses up to examine the lights that you have already seen with the naked eye? - Exactly, my Lord. 13693. (The Solicitor-General.) As I understand you, if it was a question of a light, you have no doubt at all that you would pick it up in the ordinary course with your eyes if you have good eyes before you would get your glasses on to it? - Yes. 13694. But in regard to icebergs, you do not feel so sure? - No. 13695. And on this occasion, during this half hour, you were, in fact, using sometimes your eyes and sometimes your glasses? - Yes, exactly.
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