Page 129 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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21877. What do you say with regard to the use of binoculars for the look-out men? - I never heard of it until I read it in the paper the other day. We have never had them - I never have. 21878. Do you think it would be a good thing? - I do not think it would be any advantage, because the men would not use them in cold weather anyway, and we do not rely upon them very much. We always see everything first before the look-out men do. 21879. Have you in your time ever seen field ice on the present tracks - the tracks that have been followed since 1898? - Never once, only isolated bergs. Examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. 21880. I want to understand one thing. You said you never altered your speed, because you could always depend upon seeing the ice in sufficient time? - As long as the weather is perfectly clear. 21881. Has the disaster to the “Titanic” caused you in any way to modify your view? - I do not think so. Of course, I was not there and I did not see what they looked like. But I have never seen an iceberg of that size that you could not see on a perfectly clear night, and far enough off safely to clear it. I have seen a piece, quite a small piece, that you could see some distance off. 21882. (The Commissioner.) If you are right, and if this was - as we have been told by a great many witnesses it was - a perfectly clear night, how do you account for the collision? - I cannot account for it at all. They say it looked like a black iceberg, but I have never seen a black iceberg. I never saw anything but a white one, and that you can see on the darkest night. You can see field ice, too, on the darkest night in time enough for you to get out of the way of it. 21883. We have had an explanation given of it by Mr. Lightoller. He said that the sea was absolutely flat - there was not, as I understood him, even a swell - and that the consequence of that was that there was no surf of any kind round the base of the iceberg. By the base, I mean, the margin on the waterline, and that, therefore, one of the best indications for the seeing of ice was absent. What do you think about that? - I think you would see the surf round it at a shorter distance than you would see the iceberg, if it was a large one. The ice has a phosphorescent appearance. 21884. I should have thought that, as a seaman, you would have had some sort of explanation to suggest? - I cannot think of anything, because they say the ice was dark blue, almost black. I never saw an iceberg like that in my life, and I have seen a good deal of ice too. 21885. Does that lead you to infer that they are mistaken when they say it was black? - I would not like to say that, my Lord. I do not know, of course; I was not there, but I never saw an iceberg of that kind. 21886. Have you ever seen a growler? - These low bergs? 21887. Yes? - Very seldom. 21888. What is the colour of a growler? - White. 21889. The same as an iceberg? - The same as an iceberg, only a smaller one. That is what I understand by a growler - a low-lying berg. We always see those. 21890. If there was any haze I suppose it would be seen from the bridge? - The berg? 21891. No. If there was any haze the haze would be seen? - Immediately. As soon as there is the slightest beard on the green light and we are in the ice region we slow down, because you cannot say how far you can see, but when it is absolutely clear we do not slow down for ice. 21892. Of course, if there had been a haze you could have accounted for it? - Yes. 21893. Would a bad look-out account for it? - Yes, but I do not believe there are bad look-outs on any Atlantic steamers. I do not believe that. 21894. There were two men in this crow’s-nest and there were two officers, I think, on the bridge. You do not suppose there could have been a bad look-out? - No, I should not think so. I
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