Page 168 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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14398. I suggest to you it would have been a much safer thing to have believed the reports which you had from a number of sources as to the presence of ice, than to have acted in disregard of the warnings you had received from other ships, and gone ahead at the rate of 2l 1/2 knots an hour until the collision occurred? - In the view of after events, of course, we form a totally different opinion. It would naturally have been safer, we can see now, not to have gone ahead at all. 14399. And that is what, at all events, in the light of your present knowledge, good seamanship would have dictated? - Not necessarily good seamanship. 14400. Extra good seamanship? - No, not seamanship at all. 14401. In the light of the experience you have had, it is what you would do now? - In the view of our reports we have had in other voyages, if I say in the light of good seamanship or extra good seamanship, we should have stopped, the thousands of ships that have crossed the Atlantic would likewise have stopped, and then you come to the end of your tether. 14402. I do not say they would have stopped? - Well, or slowed down. 14403. The warning you had had at half-past one led you to understand that you would be right up against the ice, so to speak, from 10 to 11? - The position where it had been reported. 14404. I could understand your going ahead at 21 1/2 knots up to 10 or half-past 10: What I fail to understand is why from half-past 10, when you knew you were about the place where you were led to believe ice was to be found, you still proceeded at 21 ½ knots? - That I cannot answer for after 10 o’clock. 14405. After half-past 10? - Between half-past 9 and 10. 14406. You can answer for going ahead then? - As far as I understand the same speed was maintained. 14407. You said something a moment ago, “As you know now” or “in view of what has happened.” May I take it with the knowledge that you have now, and in view of this accident, what you would do now would be to slacken speed, or stop? - In view of what has occurred naturally we shall take every precaution that suggests itself to our minds in the future to avoid a repetition of such an accident. 14408. Would not one of the precautions be what Captain Smith said to you on the bridge between nine and ten, “we should have to go very slowly”? - He was speaking about haze. 14409. I know he was speaking about haze, but is not that what you should have done in adopting precautions? - No, I do not see it. It would have cleared the accident, I quite agree with you, had we been going very slowly, but we have to take in view the experience of years, what we have always done. 14410. You are not quite following me. I am sure you intend to? - I do; I wish to help you all I can. 14411. I do know that. But you said that since the accident with the knowledge that you now have, you would have adopted extra precautions, I mean, at all events, from half-past nine onwards. Would not one of those precautions be going very slowly - diminishing speed? - I am afraid I cannot give you any definite answer to that. 14412. Am I to understand, even with the knowledge you have had through coming through this “Titanic” disaster, at the present moment, if you were placed in the same circumstances, you would still bang on at 21 ½ knots an hour? - I do not say I should bang on at all; I do not approve of the term banging on. 14413. I mean drive ahead? - That looks like carelessness you know; it looks as if we would recklessly bang on and slap her into it regardless of anything. Undoubtedly we should not do that. 14414. What I want to suggest to you is that it was recklessness, utter recklessness, in view of the conditions which you have described as abnormal, and in view of the knowledge you had
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