Page 212 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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lower them from there. 15204. To lower the boats empty and fill them from one of the lower decks? - Yes, provided they had to get on a ladder it is too long. 15205. Apart from the rope ladders, were there companion ladders for this boat, the “Titanic”? - Yes, one. 15206. Would it not have been possible to have lowered the boats half-filled and then filled them down the companion ladders? - No, not if there had been the slightest bit of swell. 15207. But under the conditions that actually took place it would have been possible? - Yes, but we did not know it was so calm until we got into the water. 15208. I suppose you knew that there was not a heavy swell on, did you not? - We did not; you could not tell from that ship. 15209. (The Commissioner.) How often is the course laid down on the chart in the chart room, do you know? - No. 15210. Perhaps I am not putting an intelligent question. You told me as I understood that this vessel was, in your opinion, several miles south of the customary course? - Yes, my Lord. 15211. Now I do not understand that. She made for some time on the Sunday a south-westerly course, did she not? - Yes, my Lord. 15212. And at a point on the Sunday, I think you said about 5 o’clock, her course was altered? - 5.50. 15213. And it became an almost due westerly course? - Yes, my Lord. 15214. In your opinion did she change her course sooner or later than she ordinarily would have done. She changed it, you know, at 5.50? - That was later. 15215. Then, in your opinion, had she gone in a south-westerly direction longer than she ordinarily would have gone? - I thought she had gone for three-quarters of an hour longer on that course than she should have done. 15216. That would take her several miles to the southward of the ordinary track, would it not? - Yes. 15217. And in that connection would take her away from the ice-field? - Yes, my Lord. 15218. Or from the proximity of these bergs? - Yes. 15218a. But that apparently does not fit in with the position of the “Titanic” at the time that she sank as reported by her. Mr. Laing: I think it does. My friends and I have worked this out very carefully. The evidence is not complete about it, of course, yet, but I think it takes her just to the place. Will your Lordship look at my marked chart? It is marked in red. The Commissioner: If you will hand it up. (The same was handed to the Commissioner.) But whenever they altered their course, at the time of the accident this vessel was practically on her regular course. Mr. Laing: No she was some seven or eight miles to the south. The Commissioner: Is it your suggestion that that was done purposely. Mr. Laing: As far as we can see, my Lord, we think it was. The Commissioner: It was done for the purpose of avoiding the ice. Mr. Laing: That is our idea, as far as we can judge. Of course, we have not got the Commander here. 15219. (The Commissioner.) Have you followed what I was saying, Mr. Pitman? - Yes, my Lord. 15220. Can you help us at all? - No. 15221. You see, what I want to know is this, whether there was any deviation by the “Titanic” after the receipt of these advices about ice, made for the purpose of putting the ship to the southward of the points where the bergs might be expected to be? - Captain Smith did not
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