Page 178 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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based upon the book, but if the chart is based upon the book, then I do not know why the line of field ice is not South of the track. The Attorney-General: I find in the Meteorological Charts they speak of it as a mean limit. The Commissioner: A mean? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: That may explain it, possibly. The Attorney-General: I had not seen the Meteorological Charts till this question arose, but when I look at them I see that there. The Commissioner: I thought it meant the usual limit. Sir Robert Finlay: Beyond all question that is the meaning of the legend upon this route chart, because it says “Icebergs have been seen within this line.” The Commissioner: Yes, I was thinking rather of pack ice. Sir Robert Finlay: And then “Field ice between March and July” is the legend round the etched line. The Attorney-General: If your Lordship would look at Question 8 you would see why I think it all important now that we should direct some attention, at a later stage, of course, to it. The Commissioner: “What was, in fact, the track taken by the ‘Titanic’ in crossing the Atlantic Ocean? Did she keep to the track usually followed by liners on voyages from the United Kingdom to New York in the month of April? Are such tracks safe tracks at that time of year? Had the Master any, and, if so, what, discretion as regards the track to be taken?” The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: Have you the sailing directions? 19027. (The Attorney-General.) Yes. (To the Witness.) Now, Mr. Ismay, according to what you have told us and what we have heard during the course of this Enquiry as to encountering field ice, had you been told during the course of this voyage that you would encounter field ice within 24 hours, that would have shown the necessity for extreme caution? - Certainly. 19028. And you know, do you not, from what you have told us that when Captain Smith handed you the Marconigram just about lunchtime, as you say, which had been received from the “Baltic,” that did indicate quantities of field ice in the track along which you were travelling? - About on the track, I think. 19029. So that you see the result of that would be that information was given by this wireless telegram that you would certainly within less than 24 hours be encountering field ice if you pursued the same course? - I believe that is so. 19030. So far as you were concerned, did it strike you as a serious thing that you would encounter field ice? - No, I do not think it did. 19031 I do not quite understand why not. That is what puzzles me. According to your view the encountering of field ice was a very serious matter? - The only thing for the Commander to do would be to take steps to avoid the field ice. 19032. I agree? - Therefore, it did not concern me. 19033. You thought that your Commander would take steps to avoid it? - Certainly. 19034. And to keep off that track? - I thought he would take steps to avoid it. 19035. And to keep off that track along which he would meet it? - If he thought it necessary to do so. 19036. But if he thought he would meet field ice along that track would you expect him to take steps to avoid meeting it? - Certainly. The Commissioner: In fact, this steamer never did encounter field ice. The Attorney-General: Which steamer? The Commissioner: The “Titanic.” The Attorney-General: No, but she had the report.
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