Page 115 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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18087. Do you remember what lights? - I saw a big ship lit up, and we turned round and went back to her. 18088. You turned round and went back to her; but what I want to know is, where was she? I want to get at that if I can from what you saw of her lights. Do you remember? - She was coming over that way and we were going this way (demonstrating). 18089. You mean you were coming this way and she was coming that way? - Yes. The Commissioner: It does not help me for this witness to say, “She was coming that way and we were going this way.” The Attorney-General: It helps us to fix the position; we cannot do more than that at present. We can follow what he means having followed out where the “Carpathia” was to some extent. We make her a little to the S.E. The Commissioner: South and east. 18090. (The Attorney-General.) Yes, almost exactly S.E.; but we will work it out later, and your Lordship will see from the evidence of the captain of the “Carpathia” it will be made clear. That is calculating it according to the evidence already given in America. He did not give his position, but he did give a position at one time, and said how many miles he steamed after it, and from that we work out she would have been to the S.E. (To the Witness.) At any rate, in the way you were heading in your boat the “Carpathia” was astern of you? - No, she was on the quarter. 18091. That is quite right; she was on your quarter? - Yes. 18092. And then you turned round and went to her? - Yes. That is sufficiently near. There was one question your Lordship put to the witness. I think it is the first time we have heard of the order from Captain Smith to which he deposed. He said something to the effect - I am not giving his exact words - that the orders of Captain Smith were that they were to row the boat to the light, that is, to the ship of which he had seen the lights, and to put the women on board and then come back, no doubt with the object of fetching more. It is right to say with regard to this witness that there are two other witnesses who were in this boat who deposed to the same thing. We have not got them. The Commissioner: The proof that Mr. Lewis has of Jones says the same thing. The Attorney-General: Jones has been examined in America, and I have his evidence before me; but I am speaking of something apart from Jones. The Commissioner: What occurs to me - I do not know whether it is right - as to what the Captain probably meant is this. This is one o’clock in the morning, and my opinion is the Captain knew that she was a doomed ship at that time, and what he meant was: “Go to the light, put your passengers off, and come back to this place.” The Attorney-General: Yes, quite. The Commissioner: It is different from saying “Come back to this ship.” The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Perhaps he would not say it in words, but it would mean to come back to pick people up. The Attorney-General: According to one lady who has given evidence in America, what he said was: “Put these women in safety and come back for others.” Sir Robert Finlay: Of course, it is possible the Captain might have thought that ship would make for them. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Of course, it is, and very natural, and that may, to a large extent, explain it. (The Witness withdrew.)
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