Page 210 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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bridge glasses which were sent forward (I am only assuming this) by one of the officers to the look-out, to look out for some particular purpose, I presume, at night. 19347. As I understand, a special box or bag is provided in the crow’s-nest for the very purpose of carrying binoculars? - It is a proper thing that there should be a bag there, because obviously at times, even when a particular ship is not supplied with glasses for the look-outs, glasses will be sent forward by the bridge officer to the look-out for the purpose of trying to pick up, or helping him to pick up, some particular light, and it would be a proper thing for him to have a bag or a box to put his glasses in when he was not actually using them. Sir Robert Finlay: Your Lordship will recollect it was proved the glasses used between Belfast and Southampton were marked “Second Officer.” 19348. (The Commissioner.) Yes, that is true. (To the Witness.) You used an expression that to my mind is a little ambiguous. The binoculars are useful, you said, to enable a look-out man to pick up. Now that is not the view at present I am disposed to take? - To pick up a light. 19349. What do you mean by picking up a light? My impression is they pick up first with their eyes and then use the glasses afterwards to get better or closer information as to what the light is? - I entirely agree, my Lord, for ordinary purposes, but I do think if they were looking for a light which is at a great distance they would probably, if they were looking in the right direction, pick that light up quicker with the glasses than they would with the naked eye. Sir Robert Finlay: It is a light the position of which is known. The Commissioner: I see - I understand. 19350. (The Solicitor-General.) Not searching the horizon for what you can see but knowing you ought to find a particular light on a particular bearing? - Yes. 19351. (The Commissioner.) Looking for a light which you expect to see? - Yes. The Commissioner: Yes, that I understand. 19352. (The Solicitor-General.) As a liner is approaching the British Islands, for instance, it is always a point to pick up the first light which is on the main land wherever it is - the Fastnet, or whatever it is? - Yes, and presuming he has had good observations he knows pretty accurately where to look for it. 19353. There is a reference in this same Question No. 11 to searchlights. Has your company had any experience of searchlights at all? - Very little. We had a searchlight fitted on the “Teutonic” many years ago when she went down to the Naval Review. It was used, I think, then more for purposes of illumination. It certainly has never been used; it was taken off the ship and never was used on the Atlantic, and I think I am right in saying that our nautical staff would be very much opposed to it. 19354. (The Commissioner.) Are searchlights used, so far as you know, in any vessels other than men-of-war? - I never heard of it being fitted except perhaps for ships going through the Suez Canal. I believe they have a searchlight fitted for lighting up the canal ahead of them, but I am only speaking from hearsay. 19355. Those are not wanted for sighting icebergs? - No. 19356. (The Solicitor-General.) About the binoculars, I meant to have asked you this. Since this disaster has your company taken any steps to provide binoculars for the crow’s-nest? - We have. 19357. For all your vessels? - We have ordered binoculars to be given to all the look-outs for much the same reason that we have put all these extra boats on. There is a popular cry that they want to have glasses, and we are going to satisfy them. 19358. Have you had enough experience of it to know whether your look-out men use them? If you do not know, you had better say you do not? - I cannot speak of my own knowledge. The Solicitor-General: In the same way the next questions do not affect this gentleman, I think. The Commissioner: Which are they?
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