Page 164 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 164
Now the first of those points depends of course to a great extent upon the question of the ice warnings, and I wish to bring home to the Court the fact that there were only three ice warnings which reached the officers of the "Titanic"; there was the ice warning from the "Caronia," there was the ice warning from the "Baltic," and there was the first message from the "Californian." The second message from the "Californian" was never transmitted. The answer was, "Keep out; I am busy with Cape Race." The message from the "Mesaba" was never taken to the bridge, in all probability for the same reason, and the message from the "Amerika," which was one sent merely for transmission to Cape Race, was laid aside with the others to be transmitted, and was never, according to the evidence, handed to any one of the officers. Now the three messages we have to deal with are the "Caronia," the "Baltic," and the first message of the "Californian." I would ask your Lordship to look at this chart, which is on a very much enlarged scale. It is divided into 20 miles squares, and is drawn on a scale of quarter inch to the mile. It sets out in a pictorial way what the state of things, as shown by these messages, was (handing in the same.) Your Lordship sees there the interval between longitude 49 and longitude 51, at latitude 42 N., which represents the region where, according to the "Caronia," message, bergs, growlers and field ice were to be found on the 12th April. There is a line indicating the position. Of course, that line does not mean that the whole of that was occupied by a solid barrier of bergs and field ice; only that the message of the "Caronia" showed that there was a good deal of ice in various forms between these two degrees of longitude, and in or about latitude 42 N. Then your Lordship will observe the spot where the ice reported by the "Baltic" is; it is a report of bergs and field ice in 41.51 N. latitude, 49.52 W., as reported by the Greek steamer, the "Athenai"; and lastly, your Lordship will observe the ice reported by the "Californian," three bergs, five miles to the South of the position of the "Californian." The position taken for the "Californian" there is 42.5 N., as the Captain gave it. The message states 42.3 N. as being its position, so there would be two miles difference - I do not think, for my purpose, it makes any difference - and the message was that the three bergs were five miles to the South of the position of the "Californian" in 42.5 or 42.3 N. and 49.9 W. That is a picture of what had been brought to the mind of the Captain of the "Titanic," and of the officers. Would your Lordship now kindly look at the message sent by the "Caronia," which was the first in the order of date. It was sent at 9 on the morning of the 14th April, the Sunday - I am taking "Titanic" time throughout for convenience. The Commissioner: Ship's time? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, 9 a.m. on Sunday, the 14th April. The message your Lordship will find set out at page 374 of the evidence. It is Question 16099. It is addressed to "Captain, 'Titanic,' Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers, and field ice in 42 degrees N. from 49 to 51 W., April 12, Compliments, Barr." Now, the important points to be noticed about that telegram are that it reports bergs, growlers, and field ice in that locality; and, secondly, that it is a report of ice in these various forms having been seen in that locality on the 12th April. That your Lordship will find, I think, is very important, that Westbound steamers reported ice in that locality on April 12th, that is to say, at least 48 hours' before the time when the collision took place, and in all probability a good deal more. I mean a good many hours more, but at least a minimum of 48 hours. When the "Titanic" got that message, that is to say, at 9 in the morning of Sunday, the 14th April, she was in longitude 43.50 W. and 43.35 N. That does not appear in that large chart, because there really was not room to go so far back and so far up. The way we get that is this: We know that she turned the corner, that is the corner that she took further to the South, at 5.50. We reckoned back from that at 22 knots, and that brings us to that position. The Commissioner: Which position? Sir Robert Finlay: The position I have given, 43.50 W., 43.35 N. It is marked on this chart
   159   160   161   162   163   164   165   166   167   168   169