Page 154 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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starlight sky perfectly clear, but there is no wind or swell, and if there had been there would have been some motion of the water against the bottom iceberg, which would have been noticeable? - Yes. 14207. The iceberg, in your opinion, had probably quite recently turned turtle? - Yes. 14208. And was displaying black ice with nothing white about it - that is it, is it not? - That is about it. 14209. Does that, in your opinion, account for the man on the look-out not seeing the iceberg? - Yes. 14210. Can you suggest what steps ought to be taken, or can be taken, to avoid the recurrence of such a calamity? - I believe there are several. 14211. Let me put my question in another way? - I understand your Lordship. 14212. But I will put it in another way - could you suggest any means that can be taken to enable the look-out man to see an iceberg of such a kind under such circumstances? - It has been proposed to put searchlights on, but until we have practical experience with searchlights, I should be very loth to pass an opinion upon that. 14213. Is there anything else you can suggest? - No, I do not think so, my Lord. 14214. (The Solicitor-General.) Supposing a ship, in these circumstances, did not go so fast through the water, would that make it less likely that these conditions would produce so serious an accident? - Of course, if the ship was going slowly, the impact would be less. 14215. (The Commissioner.) If the ship had been doing what the “Californian” was doing, dead stopped, no calamity would have happened? - No; had we seen the ice pack before we got into contact with the berg, or if we had seen one of the bigger bergs, or anything except just happening to find that one particular berg. 14216. (The Solicitor-General.) We have had the evidence of the look-out man, you know, and the look-out man says that “it was a dark mass that came through the haze, and there was no white appearing until it was close alongside the ship, and that was just a fringe at the top.” If an iceberg such as you have described has a black side and a white side, it is just as likely that the black side is towards the ship as the other side? - No; you see three sides and the top will be white and there is only one side black. If you take the end of a glacier which is protruding out of a valley, or whatever it is, there are the two sides at the front and the top that are crystallised, and when it comes over the edge and breaks off short there is only this part at the back where it is broken away from the parent glacier which is black. 14217. Do you mean that from whatever point you approached such an iceberg you ought to be able to see something white about it at a distance? - Yes. 14218. (The Commissioner.) There is another question I want to ask you. The crow’s-nest man said that the berg appeared to come, as it were, out of the haze. Is it possible that in the circumstances you have mentioned an iceberg might produce on the eyesight of these men the effect of a haze? - It ought not to. The Solicitor-General: I think I have asked what I wanted. It will save confusion perhaps if I tell your Lordship and tell the witness now that Mr. Boxhall, who roused him, sent me a note to say that although no doubt the witness is quite right in saying that he (Mr. Boxhall.) had said that water was up to the F deck, what Mr. Boxhall meant to convey whatever he said was that it was up to the G deck. When Mr. Boxhall comes he will tell us, but it will save confusion if we have that in mind. The Commissioner: Very well; that is quite sufficient.
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