Page 160 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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while you on the bridge would not have observed it? - No, I could not. 14286. If an iceberg loomed up ahead of you, would the person on the bridge have as good an opportunity of observing it as the man in the crow’s-nest? - Quite. 14287. Does it strike you in any way as a singular circumstance that when the iceberg did appear and was sighted, the observation of it was by the man in the crow’s-nest, and not by the men on the bridge? - Have we any conclusive evidence to that effect? The Commissioner: The evidence is that attention was drawn to it by the three bells. As far as I know, the first indication of it was the ringing of the three bells from the crow’s-nest when the man in the crow’s-nest sighted it. 14288. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord, and all the evidence we have had up to the present goes to establish that view of the matter. (To the Witness.) Now, you did state yesterday that you yourself had used binoculars for the purpose of detecting ice. Do you not think it would have been - The Commissioner: I do not think he said that. What he did say, to my recollection, was that he would much prefer his eyesight for the purpose of detecting an iceberg. The Witness: That is right, my Lord. The Commissioner: But that having seen the iceberg with his eyes, he then would probably take the binoculars for the purpose of examining it more particularly. Mr. Scanlan: Yes. 14289. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) Were you using your glasses up to 10 o’clock, when you were on the bridge? - I had them in my hand. Will I explain to your Lordship? 14290. Were you raising them to your eyes from time to time? - Occasionally. 14291. (Mr. Scanlan.) I think this is the utility of binoculars - you see something with the naked eye, and then applying the glasses you determine what it is? - Exactly. 14292. Do you not think that before the look-out man stationed in the crow’s-next ventured to report an iceberg he would require to satisfy himself what he saw was really an iceberg? The Commissioner: Forgive me, he did not report an iceberg; what he reported by the three bells was something ahead. Mr. Scanlan: I think your Lordship will find in the evidence - The Commissioner: Do three bells mean iceberg? Mr. Scanlan: No, my Lord, but at the same time he went to the telephone, and he stated at the moment on the telephone: “Iceberg ahead, Sir.” The Commissioner: That is true, but the three bells indicated nothing more than that there was something ahead. 14293. (Mr. Scanlan.) Something right ahead, my Lord, and then the telephone message conveyed it. (To the Witness.) If one of those men on the look-out had seen something and applied the glasses is it not possible that he might have been able to identify it as an iceberg sooner than with the naked eye? - He might be able to identify it, but we do not wish him to identify it. All we want him to do is to strike the bells. 14294. I will put this to you: Supposing a man on the look-out fancies he sees something and strikes the bell, and it turns out not to be anything, I should think he would be reprimanded? - He is in every case commended. 14295. (The Commissioner.) I do not understand that. Is he commended when he signals that there is something ahead when there is nothing ahead? - Yes, your Lordship. 14296. (Mr. Scanlan.) If he did it frequently in a journey would not the commendation take the form at the end of the voyage of paying him off and dispensing with his services? - Not at all. The man is not an absolute fool; he knows that if he is trying to keep a good look-out, particularly amongst ice, and he suspects he sees anything, he will strike the bell; if it turns out to be nothing he may come on the bridge and say, “I am sorry that I struck the bell when there was
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