Page 192 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: And none other. She was South of all the ice. Sir Robert Finlay: She was South of the position. The Commissioner: Of all the ice referred to in these three telegrams? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: And the nearest ice referred to in these three telegrams was over four or five miles to the North. Sir Robert Finlay: Certainly. I will deal in detail by-and-by with the course that the Captain took and his reasons for it, because, of course, one has to bear in mind that while the bergs are drifting and may be drifting Southward if they are so bulky as to get through the Gulf Stream down to the Labrador Current below, the field ice and any bergs which are not so bulky as to get down through the Gulf Stream to the Labrador Current will be drifting Eastward. And I shall show your Lordship, I hope, that the Captain had very good reasons for going just as far South as he did and not further. I hope to show beyond all doubt that the berg which struck the “Titanic” was not a portion of any ice which had been reported to him. The Commissioner: You have gone away from the point to another point. Sir Robert Finlay: But the points your Lordship puts are so important that I do not like to pass them by, but I want to clear them up as I go along. The Commissioner: You are quite right. Sir Robert Finlay: Now I have finished with Mr. Moore’s evidence, and I pass on to the evidence of Mr. Hayes, of the “Adriatic,” on page 569. He states his experience in the first column on that page, and at Question 21804 he is asked with regard to the matter upon which the Court is engaged. He is first asked about the look-out. The Commissioner: Tell me, to begin with, what line this gentleman belongs to. Sir Robert Finlay: The “Adriatic,” the White Star Line. Then Question 21809 and the following questions are devoted to the look-out. I will not read them, because I shall have to deal with the look-out by itself. At Question 21814 he is asked: “Did you proceed at the same rate of speed? - (A.) At the same rate of speed. (Q.) You made no alteration? - (A.) No alteration. (Q.) Is that the practice in your line, so far as you know? - (A.) It is the practice all over the world, so far as I know - every ship that crosses the Atlantic. (Q.) To make no alteration in speed, notwithstanding that you may have been advised of the presence of ice? - (A.) Ice does not make any difference to speed in clear weather. You can always see ice then. (Q.) The experience of the “Titanic” shows you cannot always? - (A.) There were abnormal circumstances there which nobody has ever experienced before. (Q.) But you said you can always see it? - (A.) In clear weather, I am talking of. (Q.) Now I want to ask you, at night - supposing you are steaming at night, and it is reported that along the course you are following you will come into an ice-field, according to your view would you make any reduction in the rate of speed? - (A.) None, till I saw the ice. (Q.) None till you saw the ice? - (A.) No. (Q.) If you saw it too close it would be too late? - (A.) But you would not see it too close in clear weather. (Q.) What? - (A.) You would not see it too close in clear weather. That is my experience. (Q.) Of course, I am only asking you according to that. Is this right then? Supposing the weather is clear, and a proper look-out is being kept, you would be able to see ice at sufficient distance to enable you to avoid it? - (A.) Certainly. (Q.) That is what you mean? - (A.) That is what I mean. (Q.) Whatever your rate of speed? - (A.) Whatever my rate of speed. (Q.) And supposing you have an iceberg which is 60 to 80 feet high from the sea level, how far off do you think you would see that on a clear night? - (A.) Six or seven miles, I should say. I have seen it 10 miles. (Q.) What is it that you see; what is it first calls your attention to the fact that there is an iceberg there? - (A.) You see a light there; the ice is light. (Q.) You mean light against the horizon? - (A.) It is like looking at that piece of paper on the wall; you can see the brightness.” Then I think he pointed across to the plan of the
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