Page 141 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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18601. Can you tell me how long it would take to stop the way of the “Titanic”? - No, I could not tell you that, but I think we have the information with regard to the “Olympic.” 18602. What is it? - I could not tell you. 18603. Then we will get it from somebody else. Have you considered the use of binoculars at all for your look-out men? - Yes, I have. 18604. You did use them, and supplied them, on the “Oceanic,” I think? - I believe we did; I cannot speak from any absolute knowledge. 18605. We have heard that they were supplied? - Yes. 18606. And that they were supplied also on the “Titanic”? - I believe they had them on the run round from Belfast to Southampton; but I am simply repeating what I have seen in the papers, in the evidence. 18607. Had your company come to the conclusion that binoculars were of assistance to the look-out men? - I believe up to the year 1895 we used to supply look-out glasses to the look-out men, and since that date I think it has been left to the discretion of the commander whether he gives them look-out glasses or not. 18608. But if he elects to do it then you supply them? - We certainly would if they are asked for. 18609. Have you considered the use of searchlights? - I have not. 18610. That has never been considered by you? - It has never been considered by us at all. 18611. Do you give any special instructions to your captains with respect to what they should do when approaching ice? - No, we give them a general instruction that the safety of the lives of the passengers and the ship is to be their first consideration. 18612. Yes, those are your general instructions? - General instructions which are contained in our book of Regulations. 18613. But there are no special instructions, if I understand you correctly, with reference to the approach of ice? - No, not that I know of, not that I can think of. 18614. Have you also considered in your company the question of the track that the vessels should follow? - Yes, we follow the track which has been agreed to by all the various steamship companies, which, I think, was agreed to in 1895 - I really do not remember the year. 18615. Those are the tracks indicated on the chart? - Yes. 18616. And you always follow those? - We do. 18617. Do you get any special reports from your captains if they meet with ice on those tracks? - Yes, they would report it. 18618. There is a letter which it is simpler I should read upon this. There is a letter from your firm, Ismay, Imrie and Co., of April 26th of this year, to the Assistant Secretary of the Marine Department of the Board of Trade: “Sir, - We beg to acknowledge receipt of your communication of the 25th instant advising us of the question to be asked by Mr. Rowlands in the House of Commons on the 29th idem regarding Track Rules in the North Atlantic, and have to say that definite routes, according to the season of the year, have been agreed upon by the principal companies concerned, both British and otherwise, and that in abnormal times a variation of these routes is arranged by mutual assent. The details are circulated by Lloyd’s for general information, and we think you are aware that the idea is not only to avoid ice as far as practicable, but also to obviate risk of disaster by keeping outward and homeward steamers on separate tracks. At the end of each voyage Commanders furnish us with a Track Chart, which is checked by our Marine Superintendent, and any deviation from the rule has to be explained, but when such deviation has been in the interests of safety, their action is always approved, and the only cases we can bring to mind where they have been censured is when other reasons, such as shortening the distance have obtained.” I suppose that correctly states your view? - Quite true. 18619. I notice in that letter you say “in abnormal times a variation of these routes is arranged
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