Page 190 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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ice-field, provided your boat had the power, to go ahead at 21 knots an hour? - (A.) It would be most unwise to go that speed at nighttime.” I think with that must be read Question 9407: “And when you say it is not wise to go at 21 ½ knots - I think your expression was in the neighbourhood of ice - did you mean field ice? - (A.) Field ice. (The Commissioner.) And you have never gone through field ice except when you went to the position where the “Titanic” was lost? - (A.) No; I do not pass any ice at all.” The Attorney-General: The original question is “in the neighbourhood of an ice-field.” Sir Robert Finlay: Yes; there might have been a slight ambiguity as to the meaning of the term “ice-field” in Question 9316, but that possible ambiguity is removed by Question 9407, which shows he was speaking of field ice. The Commissioner: I understand Question 9316 to refer to field ice. An ice-field, I think, means field ice. Sir Robert Finlay: So far as the field ice of which we had intimation was concerned we did not see anything of it, and we should not see anything of it. The Commissioner: I do not think that is very important. Sir Robert Finlay: What is important is that, having regard to the Easterly drift the field ice would have, so far as it had any drift at all - it would drift with the Gulf Stream - the course the Captain took was certain to avoid it, and, as a matter of fact, he did avoid it and avoided it effectually. Then at Question 9379, on page 210, my friend, Mr. Laing, puts this question to the Witness: “Have you had a long experience in the North Atlantic trade? - (A.) Twenty-seven years. (Q.) And do you run to Montreal in the summer and St. John’s in the winter? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Have you ever tried using binoculars for your look-out? - (A.) No. (Q.) Is that a new idea to you? - (A.) Yes, it is. (Q.) With regard to yourself, on this voyage did you get a Marconi notice that ice was about? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was it fine, clear weather? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Did you keep your speed? - (A.) I did. (Q.) I suppose in time you saw ice? - (A.) I saw no ice at all until I went back to the “Titanic’s” assistance.” The Commissioner: But I suppose when he says here that he kept his speed, he means in the daytime. Sir Robert Finlay: I do not think so, my Lord - “fine, clear weather.” All the witnesses say they all do so night or day so long as it is clear weather. The Commissioner: His speed was only 11 knots. Sir Robert Finlay: As your Lordship said just now, it does not make any difference in the principle really. Your Lordship will remember Sir Ernest Shackleton, whose boat, the “Nimrod,” had an outside speed of 6 knots, used to slow down to 4 knots when he got among the ice which he had to navigate - navigation, of course, of a very different kind from what we have to deal with in the North Atlantic. I will not enlarge upon that, because I shall comment upon Sir Ernest Shackleton’s evidence by and by. Then the observation which I make upon Mr. Moore’s evidence is this, that he speaks to the same practice as every other witness who knows the trade speaks to, and his observation about the danger of going at 21 ½ knots is confined to field ice. This gentleman was in the Canadian trade. Then Mr. Hayes of the “Adriatic,” on page 569 - The Commissioner: I think I am right in saying that the “Mount Temple” went to the Southward 26 miles? Sir Robert Finlay: But Southward of the ice only 5 miles. The Commissioner: But Southward of the course. Sir Robert Finlay: I cannot at the moment give your Lordship the precise number of miles South of the course; he went five miles South of the Southernmost ice that had been reported to him.
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