Page 164 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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The Commissioner: We need not contemplate a case of that kind, it was not this case. Here the iceberg was right close to the ship. Mr. Scanlan: I shall be prepared at a later stage in the case to offer your Lordship evidence on this point, and it is in that view that I have pressed the matter so far. The Commissioner: Quite right. 14330. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) This night you have described as being a particularly bad night for seeing icebergs. Is not that so? - I do not think I mentioned that word “bad,” did I? 14331. You did not mention that word, but I wish you not to misunderstand me. I am not purporting to give your exact words. You said it was realised at the time that it would be more difficult on account of there being no wind, and the sea being a level calm? - Yes, that is right. 14332. Added to that you had the condition of there being no moon? - Yes. 14333. And the other conditions which you described to my Lord. Were not these circumstances which would indicate to any experienced officer that it was necessary to take extra precautions for safety? - As a matter of fact we were unaware of the sea being flat. All the precautions were taken which we thought necessary. 14334. Do you say you were not aware then that the sea was flat? - No. 14335. At all events, it was more difficult then than under normal circumstances to see an iceberg. You observed that yourself from six to ten? - Yes. 14336. Although there were abnormal difficulties you took no extra precautions whatever. - Have I said so? 14337. I suggest to you that you took no extra precautions whatever? - But I did. 14338. Tell me what? - I took the precaution, as I think I mentioned in my evidence, of taking up a position on the bridge in which everything ahead was clearly in view and maintaining that position for the remainder of the watch. 14339. That is so far as you were concerned for the remainder of your watch? - Yes. 14340. And you think you would have seen an iceberg before the man in the crow’s-nest? - I do not know whether I should have seen it before them or not; I should have seen it in sufficient time to clear it quite sufficient. 14341. Can you give any explanation of the man who succeeded you not seeing it in sufficient time to clear it? - I am afraid I cannot. 14342. If the weather conditions were as clear as you said they were while you were there? - I am afraid I cannot give you any explanation. 14343. In addition to those conditions which you describe as abnormal you had a certainty that you were rushing into icebergs - into an ice-field? - Oh, no. The Commissioner: That is your picturesque way of putting it. 14344. (Mr. Scanlan.) I will put it in less picturesque language, my Lord. (To the Witness.) When you got the first warning that there were icebergs ahead your course was set in a particular direction; that is to say, the course of the ship? - At noon, yes. 14345. Did you follow practically that course all through that day? - Oh, no. 14346. Did the course which you followed lead you into the region from which the presence of ice was reported to you? - The course set at noon? 14347. Yes? - No. 14348. Did the course you were following up to the time you left your watch at 10 o’clock lead necessarily to a place where you expected ice? - Where there was a possibility of seeing ice. 14349. Not only a possibility of seeing it, but a possibility and almost a certainty of running into it? - Oh, no. 14350. (The Commissioner.) I do not think he could say that. (To the Witness.) Before you left the bridge did you know you were making for a locality in which ice was to be expected? - Quite so.
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