Page 150 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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Lightoller’s evidence at present. Mr. Scanlan: If there was any difficulty whatever experienced that night in seeing ahead, do not you think it would have been the proper thing to have doubled the look-out. The Witness: I am quite certain it would have been done. 18713. Do not you think, as ice was reported in your track, and as you expected to be in the presence of ice, that the look-out should have been doubled? - I do not. 18714. Is it still your view that your captains and officers are discharging their duty in crossing the Atlantic, when ice is reported to them, in going ahead at full speed and taking no extra precautions? - So long as they can see the object far enough ahead to be able to avoid it. 18715. So long as they can see the object far enough ahead? - To be able to clear it. 18716. To be able to avoid it. Now, if you accept this statement from Lightoller that this was not a good night for seeing ahead, but that these circumstances he mentioned to my Lord, prevented anyone from seeing ahead, do not you think it would have been a wise precaution, at all events, to slacken speed? Sir Robert Finlay: I must object to the question being put in that form. Mr. Lightoller did not say it was known at the time it was not a good night; he says they afterwards found out when they got down to the water that it was a dead calm. The Commissioner: Well, I see no objection to the question. Sir Robert Finlay: But it involves an assumption as to what Mr. Lightoller said. But I leave that in your Lordship’s hands. 18717. (Mr. Scanlan.) If it was the fact on the night of the collision that it was impossible to see ahead with certainty a sufficient distance to enable you to turn the course of the ship in order to escape this iceberg and the ice which you were warned of as being in your track, do not you think the speed of the ship should have been slackened? - If it was certain they could not have cleared the object in going at that speed, certainly the speed ought to have been reduced. Examined by Mr. ROCHE. 18718. There are two or three topics I want to ask you about. You remember the “Baltic” telegram communicating the fact of the ice? - Yes. 18719. And you remember you told us Captain Smith asked you to give it back to him and that you understood it was for the purpose of being put up in the Chart Room? - That is right. 18720. I think a doubt arose in my Lord’s mind, and in some of our minds why that was to be done, if nothing was to be done, if the speed was not to be slackened. I do not know whether this has occurred to you as an explanation that it was to inform the officers what they were to keep a look-out for - namely, ice? - Certainly. 18721. That is a possible explanation. We know, I think, from Mr. Lightoller, that those were the instructions he left when he went off watch - to keep a sharp look-out for ice. That leads me to another matter. I understood you to say that you thought at the time there was no occasion to slacken speed if ice could be seen at a sufficient distance, but I want you to distinguish, if you will, what you thought then and what might be thought now as the result of experience? - So far as the speed of the ship is concerned, I would not think of interfering with the Captain. It is a matter for him. 18722. Of course, you would not interfere on the spot; but, of course, it is open for your company to give general instructions to your Commanders as to what they are to do under particular circumstances, including the vicinity of ice? - Yes. 18723. That is the topic I want you to bring your mind to. Of course, it all depends, if you are going full speed, on the look-out? - Yes. 18724. That is obvious; it all rests on the look-out. A great distinction arises between daylight
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