Page 100 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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water and comes up to the surface may be higher, and in that sense larger than the ice that was at the top before? Sir Robert Finlay: I should have thought not, my Lord. The Commissioner: Well, I think not. Sir Robert Finlay: I should have thought not, but I speak with deference. The Commissioner: I am wondering whether you could have a low-lying mass of ice, with possibly a spike underneath, and the thing turns up, and the spike appears higher than the low- lying mass of ice that you had before. I was wondering whether this iceberg can be said, in a sense, to have appeared suddenly. The Attorney-General: There must have been something there before. The Commissioner: Of course, it must have been there before in some shape or another, but could it have appeared suddenly, as a considerably high thing out of the water, whereas before it was not? Sir Robert Finlay: I will consider very carefully the question your Lordship has put. At present, as it occurs to me, I should not have thought it would have been higher out of the water than it was before; in fact, I should have thought it was rather the other way. The Attorney-General: It must be, to some extent, a question of configuration. I should say I am going to call some evidence which, I think, will give you all the information you want on this. 23833. (The Commissioner.) I understand Captain Jones has gone. (To the Witness.) Do you know the circumstances in which this collision is alleged to have taken place? - Only from what I have read in the Press. 23834. Very well. Just assume this: A perfectly clear night, a perfectly flat sea, and no wind, and therefore nothing in the nature of surf round the edge of the iceberg. Would those circumstances, in your opinion, make the sighting of an iceberg difficult? - Yes, it would increase the difficulty of seeing it. 23835. Are those circumstances very rare? - Yes. 23836. A perfectly flat sea, no swell, no ripple? - They are extremely rare in the North Atlantic. 23837. But still such circumstances are sometimes found? - Yes, my Lord. 23838. How far do you suppose you would see an iceberg in those circumstances? - I should say a mile. 23839. A vessel going 22 knots an hour, sighting an iceberg a mile away, can, I suppose, clear it? - Yes. 23840. Now can you explain to me why the “Titanic” did not clear this iceberg? Have you formed any theory? - It is possible for the iceberg to extend under the water a considerable distance from the portion seen above. 23841. But that scarcely agrees with the facts here, because some ice fell on the deck? - That could easily occur with the concussion, my Lord. She was going at high speed; it may have crushed against the vessel’s side, and come up on deck. The Attorney-General: No, everybody says it fell on the deck. 23842. (The Commissioner.) I understand your suggestion to be that the part of the berg that they saw was not that which struck the vessel, but that it was part of the berg underneath the water that struck the ship? - I say that is possible. 23843. Which extended some way from the berg which stood up? - Yes, it is quite possible. I have only read the newspaper reports. 23844. Have you any other explanation? That does not satisfy me very well. Do you think a bad look-out would account for it? - I think they had a good look-out there, my Lord. 23845. Never mind whether you think they had a good one or not. Would a bad look-out account for it? - Yes.
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