Page 97 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 97
What I am trying to get, and got from the last Witness, was that he belonged to a company controlled by the International, and he had sailing directions for the ice-field. The Attorney-General: That is in accordance exactly with the evidence Sir Robert produced. What it means is that where they are on this track, the North Atlantic track, between the United Kingdom and New York and Boston and so forth, they do not get those directions as to ice. There are no special directions as to ice; but when they are in the Canadian service then they do get the directions as to ice which were read by Sir Robert just now with the last Witness, who was on the Canadian service. That is how it stands. Mr. Edwards: This Witness is a little vague as to whether in his instructions there is anything at all about ice. 23783. (The Commissioner.) Do you have this book which I have here? The Witness: I have it on board the steamer, but I have not the regulations in my mind, every one of them. The Commissioner: There is no reference to ice. “He must remember that his first duty is to keep a good look-out and avoid running into danger.” 23784. (Mr. Edwards - To the Witness.) Will you kindly look at that book (Handing book to the Witness.) is that what you call your sailing directions? - Well, it looks similar. 23785. Just look at it a little carefully. Have you any directions from your owners other than that? - None. The Commissioner: I should like to know if he received the letter that we were told was given to every captain, but the letter did not carry it any further. Mr. Edwards: There can be no difficulty if Sir Robert Finlay will allow us to have a copy of the sailing directions on the Canadian trade, so that we may see exactly what they are. The Commissioner: This gentleman is not on the Canadian trade. Mr. Edwards: That I understand, my Lord. The Commissioner: The last Witness was. Mr. Edwards: May I ask quite formally that we have produced from the Dominion Line a copy of the sailing directions which they issue to their Captains in the Canadian Trade. The Commissioner: You are not satisfied with that piece of paper; you want the book. Mr. Edwards: That is so, my Lord. The Commissioner: Very well, you can get it I daresay, Sir Robert. Sir Robert Finlay: Oh, yes. Certainly, my Lord. The Commissioner: I am sure there is no difficulty in getting it, it will be in the office. Sir Robert Finlay: The extract contains what relates to ice. Examined by Sir ROBERT FINLAY. How long have you been navigating the North Atlantic? The Commissioner: This track? 23786. (Sir Robert Finlay.) This track. The Witness: In command? - 20 years. 23787. (The Commissioner.) Either as officer or Captain? - Over 25 years. 23788. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Has the practice been the same during the whole of that time? - No. 23789. Now tell me what difference has been made? - When I was a young officer there were no tracks laid down. Each Master followed his own course - what he considered was a safe track at any time of the year. 23790. Then in 1898 these tracks were agreed upon as we have heard? - Yes, and came into force at the beginning of January, 1899. 23791. But before 1898 had you any system of reporting ice; did passing vessels report ice to
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