Page 87 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Attorney-General: We had some evidence about it, my Lord. The Solicitor-General: Your Lordship will remember I asked Mr. Sanderson to search the reports he had had from his Captains to see whether they had had occasion to diverge from the track they were upon, and he produced one or two since the disaster. That would be in reference to the new track. The Commissioner: Where they have had to depart from the new track? The Attorney-General: It certainly is after the disaster. Mr. Laing: It is on page 477. The Commissioner: What questions? Mr. Laing: 19294 and 19295. The Attorney-General: That is right. Then your Lordship will find if you look at page 497 he was recalled and produced reports which they had had from other vessels. If you look at Question 19776, when I am examining him, you will see “what I wanted to know was whether there were any reports of deviation on account of ice being encountered or reported on the track from Queenstown to New York,” and I pointed out “the only ones that I see are these two, and they are both after the event, the 24th April, 1912, and the 27th April, 1912.” And my friend, Sir Robert Finlay, there points out, “You see the ice has been coming so much further South,” because Mr. Sanderson had already given in evidence at page 477 that they were on this more Southerly track when they had received these two reports. Those are the two pages that make up the evidence. (After a short pause.) I think we must look into it a little more closely. It is not quite clear that those two reports of the 24th and the 27th April, 1912, were reports of ice on the new more Southern track. My friend Sir Robert Finlay, was under the impression that they were, I see, because he says, “You see the ice has been coming so much further South,” but it does not appear clear by the evidence. Sir Robert Finlay: I think it is clear if you look at Question 19293. “(The Solicitor-General.) Can you help us about this new arrangement? We have got the old one. Is there a formal agreement and a chart? (A.) No. (Q.) Then in what form is it? (A.) We arrive at it in this way. The only tracks which are fixed are those two which you have marked on the chart. But it occasionally happens, rarely however, that on this Southern track we do come across ice in considerable quantities. It is then understood that as soon as that information reaches us, word is passed round and we go to the Southern track, which is South of that one on the chart. Since 1898 I think only three times, to the best of my recollection, have we had to do that. We have gone down to this specially Southern track which is not marked, by agreement, but on this occasion we went South even of that track. (The Commissioner.) Which track? - (A.) After this ‘Titanic’ accident we went South even of that track, and only a couple of weeks ago we got word that ice was on that track, and we went South of that again; and in communicating with the Hydrographic Office at Washington, we got word from them only as late as this morning that it is practically impossible to go sufficiently far South to avoid all risk of meeting ice, because icebergs have been sighted from Bermuda.” Then he goes on to say that in a short time it would be safer to go North. The Attorney-General: Yes, at any rate, it is not clear that those two reports of the 24th and 27th of April, 1912, were referring to this more Southern track, but what my friend has called attention to is this, that he did distinctly say that since they have been on the more Southern track they have had reports of ice. But as you see the date is a couple of weeks ago, it would be brought up to the third or fourth week in May. The Commissioner: I do not know when the new track was adopted. The Attorney-General: I am afraid we do not. The Commissioner: I should fancy these two dates, the 24th April, 1912, and the 27th April, 1912, refer to the old track.
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