Page 209 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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see them. 19329. Supposing he was told that there was a great quantity of field ice? - I think he would consider whether he would alter his course or not, and in fact he did alter his course. 19330. (The Commissioner.) You mean by a slight alteration of the turning point? - That is right, my Lord. 19331. That made a very slight alteration? - It took him several miles South. 19332. How many? - I believe he was seven miles South of the track. Probably in his judgment he thought that was sufficient. 19333. Well, I cannot put my judgment against his. Do you think that alteration was a deliberate alteration or was it an accidental alteration? - I am quite certain it was deliberate. I cannot conceive that a Commander or a ship officered as the “Titanic” was officered could run on past the normal turning point for 50 minutes by accident. 19334. (The Solicitor-General.) Rather confirming that, my Lord will remember that when the new course was set, the new course was set on a line which I think differed by one degree from the course on the chart, which would tend to bring them back at last on to the track; it would recover their position. (To the Witness.) I think I should ask you this: Has your Company given any further directions to your Captains since this disaster with any reference to ice? - No, we have not given any special written directions, but we have taken occasion to speak to each of our Commanders in regard to this lamentable occurrence, and impressed upon them the necessity for carrying out the Company’s wishes in regard to safe navigation. 19335. But what are the Company’s wishes supposing that a ship finds itself in similar circumstances, a clear night and capable of going 22 knots - what are the Company’s wishes? - We should expect our Commanders, who are all men of great experience, to exercise prudence and discretion, and to err on the safe side, and that is what we impress upon them. That is what we think is the lesson we have learned from this accident. 19336. It depends upon the circumstances of each case, as I follow you? - I think so. 19337. I just call your attention to the last part of this question, “Had the Master any, and, if so, what discretion as regards the track to be taken?” We understand Mr. Ismay’s view about that, but will you do this for me. Will you look in the records of your Company and see if you can show the Court an example of one of your Masters reporting exercising his discretion in departing from the track? - I have no doubt we can do it. 19338. We should like to see it? - We can do it in two ways. Occasionally we get a report from a Commander that he has departed from his track for certain reasons. On other occasions we notice from the track that he has followed that he has departed from it. If there is no explanation forthcoming we ask, and we invariably commend him if there is good reason. 19339. I think you might produce an example of that for us? - Yes. 19340. I do not think the next questions are matters which this gentleman will wish to concern himself with, my Lord. No. 9 is plainly not a matter for him, nor No. 10. The Commissioner: No, those are matters which happened on board. 19341. (The Solicitor-General.) Yes. (To the Witness.) I might ask you a question about No. 11. Mr. Ismay has given some evidence about the binoculars. Do you agree in what he said about them? - Generally, yes. I think Mr. Ismay believes a little more in binoculars than I do. 19342. We have been told by the look-out people that there were binoculars on the “Olympic”? - Coming from Belfast to Southampton. 19343. On the “Olympic” I am speaking of? - Oh, I beg your pardon, yes. 19344. And that there were not binoculars on the “Titanic”? - Yes. 19345. Oh, I beg your pardon; they were on the “Oceanic”; but on the “Titanic” they had been provided coming round from Belfast? - Yes. 19346. (The Commissioner.) What had become of them? - They must have been a pair of
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