Page 180 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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fresh, and the look-out man told me" - that is the look-out man of the "Titanic" - "told me that practically at the same moment he struck the bell he noticed that the ship's head commenced to swing, showing that the helm had been altered probably a few moments before he struck the bell, because the ship's head could not have commenced to swing." The Commissioner: That is what I mean. The Attorney-General is quite right, and that seems to indicate to me that possibly the man on the bridge had seen the ice even before he heard the bell. Sir Robert Finlay: It may be, or simultaneously. The Commissioner: We are perhaps a little off the point, but that also seems to indicate to me that there must have been something in the atmospheric conditions which prevented them seeing this berg until it was so close at hand that they could not avoid it. Sir Robert Finlay: I am much obliged to your Lordship; and that is a point upon which I shall lay the greatest possible stress. I do not attempt to deal with it at the moment, only for the reason that it would take a little time. The Commissioner: Then you will not forget that Captain Rostron told us about the uncertainty that he found during the time that he was making for the place of the disaster, in the detection of icebergs, seeing some at a considerable distance and not seeing others until they were close upon him. Sir Robert Finlay: It was one iceberg you will remember that he particularly did not see till he was very close upon it. The Commissioner: A quarter of a mile, I think. Sir Robert Finlay: He was, of course, further south than the scene of the disaster when that took place. It really provokes a suspicion that the iceberg may have been the same iceberg which had been seen from the "Titanic." She had gone further south by that time. It is, of course, pure speculation, but it was so exceptional a thing that that iceberg was not seen under the special conditions with regard to the absence of surf; it was black; there was neither wind nor swell and therefore that iceberg was not seen as soon as it would have been. There is something very special about that. But that takes me to another head. (Adjourned to To-morrow, at 10.30 o'clock.)
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