Page 90 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 90
Sir Robert Finlay: It is in the Regulations issued for vessels of the Canadian line by the White Star particularly, and I have it in my hand. It is to this effect: It is unsafe to enter lanes because you never know whether there may be an exit or not. I will just read the material words: “The ice is often very heavy, and should not be entered” - that is field ice - “unless it is obviously in loose patches. Lanes in the ice often come to an end, and it is unwise to enter them unless clear water can be seen beyond.” The Commissioner: You get into a cul de sac. 23632. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Yes, you may. The Witness: I do not mean I followed the lanes, my Lord, but I cut across. 23633. (The Solicitor-General.) You went up to get close to the ice and to see what it was like? - Yes, and there the ice was in streaks stretching North and South and the lanes between. 23634. (The Commissioner.) And you had to cross the lanes, not follow them? - Yes. 23635. (The Solicitor-General.) You would be about seven hours in amongst the ice altogether, I make it from what you have told us? - Yes, nearly seven hours. 23636. And of course going slower and picking your way? - Yes. 23637. Did you come to the conclusion that it would be safe to cross the ice-field? - Perfectly safe. The fact remains that the paint was not taken off the ship’s bow. 23638. Nobody suggested that. Perhaps you might tell us this. I think, my Lord, will think it is relevant. You have been crossing the Atlantic year after year constantly. What do you say in this period of the year in the month of April, as to the probability of meeting ice? - How far East do you mean? 23639. Do you expect to meet it? - Oh, certainly. Sir Robert Finlay: He is on the Northerly track; he is in the Canadian trade. 23640. (The Solicitor-General.) Where was it you met the ice, about? - On this occasion? 23641. Yes? - In 40° 20’ W. and 42° N. The Solicitor-General: I appreciate it was not necessary to get the details of bearings before but I think this last bearing is worth having. The Commissioner: He was very much North of the spot where the “Titanic” came to grief. 23642. (The Solicitor-General - To the Witness.) Will you give it to me again. What is the latitude? - 42 N. Mr. Laing: 43 N. 23643. (The Solicitor-General.) You said 42, did you not? - It is 42 N. 23644. (The Commissioner.) Someone has written on this chart 43° 22’? The Witness: I made a mistake my Lord a moment ago; it is 43 N. The Attorney-General: He means 43 N.; he made a mistake just now when he said 42. The Commissioner: It is considerably North of the “Titanic.” 23645. (The Solicitor-General.) Yes, my Lord; he is 60 miles North. (To the Witness.) I think you said your longitude was 49° 20’ W.? - Yes, when we got out of the ice. 23646. With your experience on a clear night, have you always been able to detect ice by this ice blink? - No, not by the ice-blink; the ice-blink does not always occur. 23647. Then if it is not the ice-blink which enables you to see it, what do you see it by? - You see the ice itself. 23648. Can you suggest to us at all why it should be, if a good look-out is kept, that a ship would not see ice until she is close upon it? - No. 23649. You cannot imagine? - No; I have always seen ice in plenty of time on a clear night.
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