Page 202 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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The Attorney-General: Yes, it did; it became more acute on the Sunday afternoon. The Commissioner: It gradually fell and fell rapidly, but began Saturday. The Attorney-General: Yes. We know very little of the wind on the Saturday. Sir Robert Finlay: I think we have information on the morning of the Sunday that there was wind. The Commissioner: There was wind of a kind up to three o’clock in the afternoon of the Sunday, and then it fell and became a dead calm. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The point is the cold had begun before the wind dropped. The Commissioner: Oh, it began on the Saturday. 25114. (Sir Robert Finlay - To the Witness.) I think you said that the importance you would attach to a fall of temperature in this connection was if there was a dead calm? - Yes. If the sea and the air are about the same temperature I would consider ice; but all those methods such as dipping up water in buckets to get the temperature are no good. Re-examined by the ATTORNEY-GENERAL. 25115. We have been speaking hitherto about icebergs; but supposing you had a wireless telegram to the effect that there were icebergs and a large quantity of field ice in the region which the ship had to cross, would that in any way accentuate the risk which you say would be run? - The field ice? 25116. Yes? - I think field ice for a ship of the class of any ocean liner is almost as bad as an iceberg, because going at a speed like that, the kinetic energy is so enormous and field ice is very often 20 feet deep; it is like running on a rock almost. Mr. Cotter: May I ask one question? The Commissioner: Yes. 25117. (Mr. Cotter.) Have you any faith in searchlights for picking up ice at nighttime? - No, I have no faith. If it happened to catch an iceberg I think you would see it all right but outside the actual range in length and width of the arc of light, the officer may be blinded. It is like going down the Suez Canal. 25118. (The Attorney-General.) I did not ask a question about searchlights, my Lord, because I did not know whether Sir Ernest had any experience of them. (To the Witness.) Perhaps I may ask you, have you had any experience of searchlights for the purposes of detecting ice? - Not for detecting ice, no. 25119. Have you formed any opinion at all? - Yes, I have just stated it. The Attorney-General: I did not catch it, I beg your pardon. 25120. (The Commissioner.) It agrees with the other evidence. (To the Witness.) I should like you to answer this. If you can see the berg at a sufficient distance to clear it, is there then any object in reducing speed? - My Lord, if there is one certain iceberg and one berg alone or two or three bergs, there is no object in reducing speed, but if you are in an area where there is floe ice and bergs which might perhaps be met at any moment, where if you put the helm hard a-port you might run into another one, then there is need. 25121. We have no evidence that the “Titanic” saw what you call floe ice, pack ice, or anything of that kind. There were telegrams warning the ship of the existence of such ice. But taking icebergs if you can see them at sufficient distance to avoid them, is there any object in slowing down? - I do not consider there is any need to slow down if you can see every iceberg at a sufficient distance to avoid it, but I doubt if you could when you come into such a region. 25122. Now I am going to ask you about that. We have been told that on this night the conditions were very peculiar, that the sea was as flat as a table top and that there was no sort of swell, and therefore nothing that would make a ridge round the waterline of the iceberg on which
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