Page 179 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
P. 179
The Commissioner: Oh, she had the report, but in fact, she never encountered any; she encountered an iceberg. The Attorney-General: Yes, she came into collision with an iceberg. The Commissioner: As far as I know, she never encountered field ice. The Attorney-General: No, but the evidence is there were a good many icebergs seen in the morning; so that apparently they were coming across the track. The Commissioner: That is something quite different from field ice. The Attorney-General: I do not wish to argue it now, but your Lordship sees that there is a report of it, and a question of what he should do. Whether he encountered it or not is of importance later on. I quite appreciate what your Lordship means. The only evidence of field ice is from the “Californian,” I think. The Commissioner: And the “Mount Temple.” The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: And I am told the “Mesaba” too. The Attorney-General: Yes, that is wireless - I was not thinking so much about that. There is a little difficulty about the “Mesaba.” We are not relying upon it so far, because we have not proved it satisfactorily. The Commissioner: At present my view is that the “Mesaba’s” message never reached them at all. 19037. (The Attorney-General.) We are not referring to it for that reason. (To the Witness.) The only thing I want to ask you about this is: When you realised that this was a serious matter - that you would be, according to this telegram, encountering field ice within less than 24 hours, did you say nothing to the Captain at all about it? - I did not. 19038. Not ask him whether he was going to change his course? - No. 19039. Nor he to you? - No. The Commissioner: Will you tell me what the danger would be with a vessel of this size going at this speed if she encountered field ice as distinct from an iceberg? Would there be any serious danger? The Attorney-General: I should have thought so. The Commissioner: I do not know. I am asking because I should think when you approach field ice it is probably not so compact as it is in the middle of it. You see what I mean? The Attorney-General: Yes, you may have loose places before you get into the field. The Commissioner: Yes, I doubt whether there is anything like the danger in running into the edge of field ice which there is in running up against an iceberg. 19040. (The Attorney-General.) Well, my Lord, there are those with your Lordship who can answer that better than I can. I should have thought it was a very serious matter. There are various dangers which occur when a ship once gets amongst ice, all round it, even though it does not happen to be compact. (To the Witness.) When the “Baltic” telegram was brought to you and handed to you by the Captain, it follows from what you have already told us, Mr. Ismay, that nothing was said; in point of fact, there were passengers to whom you were talking when the Captain passed, were there not? - Yes. 19041. So that unless he meant to convey to passengers the information that was in that telegram, in the ordinary course he would hand it to you for you to read for yourself and not to say anything about it? - Yes. 19042. That would explain, no doubt, why he said nothing when he handed the telegram. But what I am asking you about now is later than that, some hours later; I think you told us something like 7 or a quarter-past, when you were in the smoking room he asked you for the telegram which had been in your pocket all the time? - He did. 19043. As I follow you, you had not had any conversation with him between those times or at
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