Page 151 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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14149. (The Solicitor-General.) Yes, my Lord, I am going to ask him about that now. (To the Witness.) Throughout the time that you saw this light, as far as you can judge, did it remain stationary, or did it move at all? - Perfectly stationary as far as I can recollect. 14150. Now, then, about signals from your boat. You have rockets on board, have you not? Were they fired? - You quite understand they are termed rockets, but they are actually distress signals; they do not leave a trail of fire. 14151. Distress signals? - Yes. I just mention that, not to confuse them with the old rockets, which leave a trail of fire. 14152. Those are distress signals? - Actual distress signals. 14153. What sort of light do they show? - A shell bursts at a great height in the air, throwing out a great number of stars. 14154. What is the colour? - Principally white, almost white. 14155. How are they discharged; are they discharged from a socket? - In the first place, the charge is no more and no less than what you would use in a 12-pounder or something like that. In the rail is a gunmetal socket. In the base of this cartridge, you may call it, is a black powder charge. The hole down through the centre of the remainder is blocked up with a peg. You insert the cartridge in this socket; a brass detonator, which reaches from the top of the signal into the charge at the base, is then inserted in this hole. There is a wire running through this detonator, and the pulling of this wire fires that, and that, in turn, fires the charge at the base of the cartridge. That, exploding, throws the shell to a height of several hundred feet, which is nothing more or less than a time shell and explodes by time in the air. 14156. Had you yourself anything to do with sending up these distress signals? - No, my Lord. 14157. Did you hear any order given about them? - No. 14158. You merely saw they were being sent up? - Yes. 14159. I think it was Mr. Boxhall, who is here, who had something to do with sending them up? - I believe so. 14160. Did you notice at all how many were sent up or at what intervals? - I should roughly estimate somewhere about eight at intervals of a few minutes - five or six minutes, or something like that. 14161. One at a time? - Yes, all fired from the starboard side, as far as I know. 14162. You had a Morse apparatus on your ship? - One on each side. 14163. For sending signals by flash? - Exactly. 14164. Was that made use of? - It was on the port side. 14165. The side you were on? - Yes. 14166. Who did that? You did not do that? - No. 14167. Was the Morse signalling at the same time as the rockets or earlier or later? - I really could not say whether it was during the signalling or after. 14168. Have you been in a ship where distress signals have been used before? Do you know their use? - Yes. 14169. Are there signals of a definite kind and appearance that are known as distress signals? - Yes, there is no ship allowed on the high seas to fire a rocket or anything resembling a rocket unless she requires assistance. 14170. If you had seen signals like those sent up from another ship would you have known for certain what they were? - I have seen them and known immediately. 14171. We have heard something about companies’ signals. Do they resemble these at all? - In no way, to my knowledge. 14172. Would you have any difficulty in distinguishing one from the other? - I never have had. 14173. I think you told my Lord as far as you could see there was no ice at this time within range of sight? - No.
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