Page 118 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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ERNEST GILL, Sworn. Examined by Mr. ROWLATT. The Attorney-General: Your Lordship will remember this was the assistant donkeyman of the “Californian,” with regard to whom some statement was made by the other witnesses of the “Californian.” The only point was he was referred to as a deserter at Boston. The suggestion at one time was that he had made a statement which was not true in America about the distress signals having been sent up, and there was a suggestion at one time made that in consequence of a story which he had put forward, which would not bear examination, he had deserted the vessel at Boston. It is no longer necessary to clear that up, because Mr. Gill’s story, as told in America, has - I do not want to say more than this - been very much confirmed by the evidence which we have put before the Court of the various officers - your Lordship will remember we called a number of them - and also of Gibson, the Apprentice; so that it is not necessary now to go into his story, whatever it may be, as your Lordship will see the substance of it is no longer in dispute, and he was fully justified in what he said in America. The officers have now borne out the substance of his statement. 18129. (Mr. Rowlatt - To the Witness.) Ernest Gill, is that your name? - Yes. 18130. Were you second donkeyman on board the “Californian”? - Yes. 18131. On April 14th? - Yes. 18132. Do you remember her being stopped in the ice on that Sunday evening? - Yes, I was on watch at the time. 18133. How long did you stay on watch? - Four hours. 18134. When did your watch end? - 8 to 12 - it finished at 12 o’clock. 18135. Before you went off watch did you see a steamer? - Yes. 18136. Just tell us what you saw? - I was coming along the deck to call my mate and looked over the starboard rail and saw a large steamer. It could not have been anything but a passenger boat - she was too large. I could see two rows of lights which I took to be porthole lights, and several groups of lights which I took to be saloon and deck lights. I knew it was a passenger boat. That is all I saw of the ship. 18137. How far off do you judge she was? - She was a good distance off; I should say not more than 10 miles, and probably less. 18138. Did you notice whether she appeared to be moving? - I did not stand to look at the ship, but I supposed she would be moving. I did not expect a ship to be lit up like she was and stationary, and nothing to stop her, because I could see the edge of the ice flow, the edge of the field of ice; it appeared to be 4 or 5 miles away. 18139. Could you see the edge? - Yes. 18140. Between you and the ship? - Yes, what appeared to be the edge. 18141. Then, I think, you turned in? - Yes; I went and called my mate first. 18142. (The Commissioner.) I want to understand it. You saw this ship on your starboard side? - Yes. 18143. You thought she was 10 miles away, or about that? - She could not be more than that. 18144. And between you, the starboard side of your ship, and this large vessel which you saw, this passenger boat, could you see the edge of what you call the ice-field? - Well, what appeared to be the edge, Sir. It was darker. 18145. What you took for the edge? - Yes. 18146. And you thought that was five miles away? - About that, yes. 18147. So that the ice that you were in - you were in the ice-field at this time? - Yes. 18148. So that the ice that you were in extended for about five miles on your starboard side? -
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