Page 74 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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23450. (The Commissioner.) Have you thought about that? - I have, my Lord, but I cannot say that I have quite made up my mind yet as to whether we should insist upon having ice included in the International Regulations. But I do not think there would be any great difficulty in doing it. 23451. In what? - In including it. 23452. Will you suggest to me so that I may understand it, what the direction would be; put it into words? - That when a vessel is proceeding in fog or thick weather generally - I forget the exact wording of the article at the present moment - but ice could be included. The Attorney-General: It is Article 29. The Commissioner: I think it quite unnecessary for my own part, but would there be any objection to amending Article 16 so as to include ice, “Every vessel shall in a fog, mist, falling snow, or ice-field, or in presence of icebergs, go at a moderate speed.” The Attorney-General: There is a regulation in the International Regulations for preventing collisions. The Commissioner: I think it would be useless, because it says nothing more than that the Captain shall be careful. The Attorney-General: Article 29 says the same thing, as your Lordship remembers from your experience of the Admiralty Court, the one which says you must take precautions, and that nothing in the Rules will excuse you failing to take the proper precautions. The Commissioner: If you are going to suggest that there should be something additional will you, Mr. Scanlan, express your suggestion on the point and let me know what it is? Mr. Scanlan: What is pressed on my mind is, that to run a ship at full speed on a track in which ice has been reported, is bad seamanship, and likely to prove disastrous. The Commissioner: That I can very well understand. Mr. Scanlan: It exposes passengers and crew to very grave risk, and I would suggest that the recommendation, whatever it may be, should relate to the modification of speed in such circumstances. I am not prepared to say to what extent the direction should go, how specific it should be, but I think it is desirable that there should be some recommendation as to speed in such circumstances. The Commissioner: Do you mean to say a recommendation that it should be moderate? Mr. Scanlan: At least that, my Lord. The Commissioner: Well, that the ship should stop? I do not know what it is to be, you know. Mr. Scanlan: Evidently with respect to fog there is a recommendation that the speed should be moderate. The Attorney-General: That would be the International Regulations for preventing collisions; it would not apply to this. The Commissioner: I understand your point, Mr. Scanlan. Mr. Scanlan: A recommendation on the lines of the Instructions to Captain Moore. The Commissioner: Captain Moore of the “Mount Temple,” you mean? 23453. (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes. (To the Witness.) Do you think it desirable to make men engaged in look-out work submit to an eye test and to qualify by an examination, such as is prescribed for masters and officers? - I do not think that it need necessarily be as searching. I think that some form of sight-testing for men on the look-out should be obligatory, just the same as you have for an engine-driver. But you do not require it to such an extent as in the case of an engine-driver or in the case of an officer, for the simple reason that the man on the look-out has to report a light, and the officer decides himself as to whether that is a red or green light. That is one of the reasons why a seaman need not be subjected to precisely the same test as an officer. There is no reason why he should not be asked to distinguish boats at a certain distance. That would be a sort of form vision test rather than colour. 23454. Have you applied your mind to the question of the use of binoculars? - I have applied my mind to it to a certain extent, and I cannot say I have been altogether satisfied. 23455. Do you think the look-out man should be provided with binoculars? - It is an additional safeguard and by all means let them have it.
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