Page 226 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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15505. I also recollect that we have been told in the evidence that after the collision you went astern? - The engines were going full speed astern for quite a little time. 15506. Did you go forward after that? - Not that I know of. 15507. So that from the place where the collision occurred you had not moved much up to the time you went on the bridge to look for this iceberg? - No, I do not think the ship could have gone so very far. 15508. So that you were within a few ships’ lengths of her probably? - Yes. 15509. Is it your evidence that even at that distance it was very difficult to make out that this was an iceberg - to make out what it was? - To make out what it was, yes. 15510. Was that on account of the weather conditions or the condition of the atmosphere? - I think it was due to the conditions that were then prevailing at the time, a calm oily sea. The Commissioner: It appears to me to be more due to the fact that he had come out of the light room. 15511. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Besides you who else were on the bridge? - Mr. Murdoch and Captain Smith. 15512. They had not been in the lighted chart room up to that time? - Not that I know of. Mr. Murdoch and Captain Smith were on the bridge as far as I know when I went there. 15513. Was Mr. Murdoch standing with you while you were observing the iceberg? - Yes, he pointed at it - like that. 15514. How long were you watching it? - That I cannot say. It was not very long because I went down below into the passengers’ accommodation. 15515. A couple of minutes? - I am not going to stick to minutes; I do not know what it was. From the impression you got as to the difficulty of seeing objects that night, did it occur to you - The Commissioner: You must not put it in that way; the difficulty was a personal one, it was not due to the night; it was because his eyes were not accustomed to the darkness, coming from the light. 15516. (Mr. Scanlan - To the Witness.) Before you took your eyes off this iceberg had you been there a sufficient length of time to accustom your eyes to the difference in light from the chart room to the bridge? - No, I do not say so; I do not think so. 15517. You have had experience of ships with searchlights, I understand? - Yes; I have been on board of ships with them, but, as a matter of fact, I have not seen them used. 15518. (The Commissioner.) Is that the only experience you have had with them, that you have been on board with them, but never seen them used? - That is all, my Lord. 15519. That does not seem to me to be very valuable? - It does not. 15520. (Mr. Scanlan.) You have been in the Navy for some time? - Yes. 15521. Were you an officer? - Yes. 15522. Do all of those ships carry searchlights? - Yes, to the best of my recollection most of them do, or all of them that I have noticed. 15523. Are they used at night for the purpose of discovering any object ahead of you? - I do not know; I have never seen them used. I have never been on board when they have been used. 15524. Have you formed any opinion as to whether or not a searchlight, if you had had one, on this Sunday night of the disaster, would have helped to discover the iceberg sooner? - No, I have not formed that opinion at all; I have not formed any opinion about it. 15525. Were you asked about this in America before the American Court, and did you say on that occasion that searchlight might have called attention sooner to the iceberg, I mean as an opinion. Did you express that as an opinion to Senator Smith? - I do not know whether I did or not. The Commissioner: You need not go into that with this witness.
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