Page 198 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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look-out. You have told me your views with regard to speed. Suppose you had two men in the crow’s-nest, and it was a clear night, and you were going through a region in which ice had been reported, would you put any person in the bow for a look-out? - I would put a look-out man in the bow or as near to the waterline as possible, even on a clear night, but I would only have one man in the crow’s-nest. 25054. Your idea would be that of the two men when coming into an ice region, one should go to the bow and one be in the crow’s-nest? - My main reason for saying one man in the crow’s- nest is that I think one man gives more attention to the work in hand than two men. The Attorney-General: There is a good deal to be said for that. The Commissioner: Yes, I think so. 25055. (The Attorney-General.) If I follow you correctly your view is, it is better on a clear night passing through an ice region to have a man as near the waterline as possible? - Yes. 25056. Which would be preferable, the bow or the crow’s-nest? - I would have a man in both, one in the crow’s-nest and one in the bow; and if I may say this, I would prefer in a liner to go where there is known danger than to go in a Southerly route where you may occasionally get a berg, because some of these bergs drift from the North, very big bergs drift down into navigable waters, where no one would expect to find them; and then a ship comes to damage; whereas if you are looking for danger you guard against it more, or ought to. 25057. I think we have been told they drift from North to South? - Yes, by the Labrador Current. 25058. One other matter I wanted you to tell us about and that is with regard to the use of glasses for look-out men. You know the point. It has been suggested here that binoculars should be used by the look-out men, particularly if they have had a report of ice. Will you tell my Lord your view about that? - My Lord, I do not believe in any look-out man having glasses at all. I only believe in the officer using them, and then only when something has been reported in a certain quarter or certain place on the bow. 25059. The man would pick it up with his eyes and the officer would find out what it is with the glasses? - Yes, you have the whole range of the horizon in one moment with your eyes and you localise it by using glasses. 25060. I ought to ask you this. Is there any indication of the proximity of ice by the fall of temperature? - Unless the wind is blowing from a large field of ice to windward there is no indication at all by the methods that are used now, and it is a very poor thing to go upon, is the change of temperature. The film of fresh water that covers the sea is so thin that by dipping in a bucket you do not pick up that thin cold water; and if the temperature of the air is approximately the temperature of the sea there is practically no haze; it is only when the water is warmer or the air is warmer that the haze occurs. There are no methods that I have heard of before this that can really give you an indication of approaching ice by ordinary temperature methods. 25061. Supposing you were approaching an ice region, that is a region in which you had ice reported to you, and you found the temperature getting colder, would that be any indication to you that you were getting close? - No, it depends upon whether there was a wind or not. The Commissioner: On this occasion we were told that, at all events, from 3 o’clock in the afternoon there was no wind. 25062. (The Attorney-General.) No wind, and the temperature fell very much. The Witness: Then if there was no wind and the temperature fell abnormally for the time of the year, I would consider I was approaching an area that might have ice in it. 25063. (The Attorney-General.) According to the evidence - I am only dealing with one part of it - perhaps the most striking part - during the afternoon on this particular occasion on 14th April of this year, the temperature was reported to be falling, so much so that the Captain ordered the carpenter to see that the water in his tanks did not freeze. Would that be any indication to you? -
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