Page 222 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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19468. But there was no suggestion made that this bonus should attach to them, or that they should participate in the drill. Now just a question about another matter, with regard to the question of speed at night when ice is about. I quite understand you to say that as things stood at the time of the calamity to the “Titanic,” you did not think that any other liners did slacken speed under those circumstances, or that it was reasonable to expect a navigating officer to do so? - Yes, that is so. 19469. That I understand to be your position? - Yes. 19470. But I want to quite understand. I do not know that you suggest now in the light of after experience that it would not be prudent under those circumstances, particularly when there is no sea to break on the ice to reduce speed? - The circumstances were that the officer over-estimated his ability to see. Under those circumstances, of course, he would have been wise to slacken speed. 19471. Do not you think that that may frequently happen at night in dealing with unlit objects, and that some general regulation from your Company, or better still, from a group of companies, that moderation of speed should be strictly attended to under such circumstances would be an advantage to navigation? - I really do not think we can add anything to the instructions we have given our navigating officers at the present time with regard to that, beyond cautioning them to carry out their instructions. 19472. As I understand it, there are no instructions whatever relating to speed when ice is in the neighbourhood or when ice is expected? - That is part of a navigating officer’s duty, to exercise caution under those circumstances. 19473. One of your objections was that no other company did it, that if you could get the other companies, just as they attend to questions of track, to attend to the moderation of speed in the region of ice, it would be an advantage to the travelling public and to everybody concerned? - I hope the Court will take my word for it, that we should not be influenced in the slightest degree by what other companies do about it. We shall do what we consider right in the interests of the safety of life. 19474. Now, I just want to get from you what you were going to tell your view with regard to the engineers. You said that there was a reason, in your view, why they were all to a man drowned? - There was. Shall I give you my reason? 19475. If you please? - My reason for saying that is that yesterday of Mr. Ismay you asked whether he did not think some regulation might be made whereby the engineers might be called on deck in time of emergency. I do not think any such regulation is necessary. I think the engineers on the “Titanic” were fully alive to the danger in which they stood, and that if they did not come on deck it was due to a magnificent conception of their duty. 19476. That is quite a possible explanation, but, of course, the reason for questioning whether that applied to all the engineers was very shortly this; that fairly obviously this water was driving everybody in the ship, in the lower part of the ship, back and back until they got to the engine room, and it is rather difficult to suppose that all the engineers were required in the engine room when the calamity was pending? - You remember they sent the firemen on deck, and therefore there was more need for the engineers in the engine room Mr. Roche: I follow your reasoning. Examined by Mr. HARBINSON. 19477. Am I right in saying that the firemen had to be sent down from the deck by one of the stewards? - I believe the firemen behaved gallantly in the ship. 19478. Now, were your Company, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, the pioneers in building these huge steamships? - I think we did lead.
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