Page 98 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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one another before the Marconi system was introduced? - Yes, we had an ice code by which by one signal you could communicate with any other passing vessel the position of ice seen, or by a number of flags whether ice had been seen or not, whether the weather was clear or whether it had been hazy. 23792. So that long before Marconigrams were heard of you did get those signals from and gave those signals to passing vessels? - Yes. 23793. When you got those signals did you slacken speed? - No. 23794. Has the practice in that respect been the same the whole time you have known the trade? - Yes. 23795. (The Commissioner.) What is the speed of your vessel? - Sixteen knots. 23796. (Sir Robert Finlay.) That is her top speed? - Yes. 23797. (The Commissioner.) Now, assume you had under your command a vessel of 22 knots, would you slacken speed then? - Not in clear weather. 23798. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Now, would you describe to us the appearance of the icebergs in your experience; what do they look like as regards colour? - In day or night? 23799. Well, take first day? - In the day they appear as a white glistening mass, irregular in shape, white. 23800. Then at night? - At night they throw off an effulgence that can be seen. I have seen the outlines of an iceberg by taking a bearing over seven miles. 23801. It is what is called ice-blink? - Yes, it is an effulgence thrown off the berg or ice because the ice absorbs the light by day, and throws it off at night. It would look like a large mass of luminous paint. That is the description one might venture upon. 23802. It has taken in the light of the sun during the day and throws it off at night? - Yes. 23803. Anyhow, that is the effect you see? - Yes. 23804. Have you ever seen a black berg? - No. 23805. In your experience are icebergs dark or black? - I have seen them much darker. Might I explain an experience of mine some years ago which will give you possibly an idea of the difference in the colour. 23806. If you please? - When I was Chief Officer of our “Michigan” I saw an iceberg capsize in the daytime. What appeared prior to the iceberg capsizing as a white glistening mass, after the sea had subsided and the water run off the portion that was then exposed, was apparently dark blue. 23807. Have you ever come across an iceberg that looked of that colour. You say you saw this one capsize? - Yes, in the daytime. 23808. And then did you notice its colour? It was quite different from what it was before? - It was different in outline and different in colour. 23809. Very well. Before it capsized it was white, I suppose, as you have described? - Yes. 23810. Then after that it was dark blue. Have you ever seen another iceberg of that dark colour? - No, only that one that capsized. 23811. Where there is a swell or a little wind does the water break at the foot of the berg? - Oh, yes. 23812. Now supposing you had a dark blue berg such as you have described, dark in colour, what would the effect of the water breaking at the foot of it with a swell or wind be as regards what you would see? - Well, it would show whiter at the base. 23813. But in your experience the bergs have been white except with this one exception? - With the exception of this one which I saw in daylight and noticed the difference in the colour; all of them have been discernible at nighttime, and of course in the day. 23814. In addition to the look-out you have the officers on the bridge? - Yes. 23815. And if you hear of ice do you tell them all to be on the look-out, to be on the alert? -
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