Page 201 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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approaching the collection of icebergs through which you had to thread your way? - Oh no; the ice is generally known in the Atlantic. 25097. But one or two or ten would not be sufficient. I wish only to understand exactly what you mean by the absolute ice region, which you think should lead to slowing down to ten knots an hour? - I should say that if ice was reported in any quantity, bergs and floes, when the vessel is anywhere near that latitude and longitude and had a late report of say even the day before, at nighttime she should slow till she was past that latitude and longitude in which icebergs and floe ice were seen. 25098. Do you think that the practice in the North Atlantic has been all wrong for the last 20 or 30 years? - I do not say that. I say a certain state of things has evolved in the last few years by public desire and competition. 25099. (The Commissioner.) You say what? - I say the state of full speed has evolved in the last few years with the great public desire for speed. 25100. To get to their journey’s end? - Yes. 25101. (The Attorney-General.) By competition? - Yes. 25102. (Sir Robert Finlay.) You have been following this case I take it? - I have to a certain extent. 25103. And you know we have had evidence as to the practice existing among gentlemen who have been in the trade for 25 years? - Yes; I think the gentlemen that have been in the trade for 25 years have been acting under the instructions of their owners. 25104. Have you any ground for saying that? - No more than a general feeling that I have had, and the feeling I have had that when the owner is on board you go. 25105. And supposing the owner is not on board? - I do not want to make surmises and I do not want to lay down any particular Rules, but there is a general feeling amongst people at sea that you have to make your passage. If you do not make your passage it is not so good for you. That is only my own personal point of view. I do not know whether I should not refuse to answer this particular question. The Commissioner: I think not; you are giving us very useful evidence. 25106. (Sir Robert Finlay.) You have been in the North Atlantic trade to some extent yourself? - I have only been as a passenger. Well, once in 1891 I was across the Atlantic in March. 25107. Were you in command of a vessel? - No, I was only 17 years old then. 25108. But the other times you speak of in the North Atlantic you have been merely as a passenger? - Yes, that is all. 25109. But apart from this voyage when you were 17 of ice in the Atlantic, you have had no experience? - I have had no experience, no, of actual ice in the North Atlantic. I happen to be aware of the conditions, though. 25110. Now with regard to the coldness, the connection of cold with the presence of icebergs. You know, of course, of the Labrador current? - Yes. 25111. Is the cold very often due to the Labrador current? - I would not say that so much, but I would say the breaking up of the ice was due to the Labrador current. I mean it comes down with the Labrador current, but the other current goes up to the North. It is sometimes very clearly defined, but then again these currents sometimes come far out of their usual route. 25112. You would not say, I suppose, that a fall in temperature was anything like a certain indication of the presence of ice? - No, I would not at all. 25113. Not at all? - Excepting under very definite conditions, such as a dead calm and a sudden fall in the temperature, because if you are in colder water, and as I said before you have not an equal temperature of the air, then you have a haze. If both the air temperature and the water temperature are the same the effect is that the weather is clear. The Commissioner: My recollection is that the fall of temperature began on the Saturday.
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