Page 193 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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“Titanic.” The Attorney-General: Yes. Sir Robert Finlay: “Colour - something which attracts your attention? - (A.) The brightness of it attracts your attention. (Q.) And is that the way you distinguish it at night? - (A.) That is the way you distinguish it any time; you see the colour of it. It is differentiated from land in the daytime. (Q.) Have you ever been very close to an iceberg yourself? - (A.) Not in clear weather. I have steamed in between them. They have been scattered all over about the course on either bow, and I have gone on my course steering between them at nighttime. (Q.) I should assume that was in the daytime from what you tell me? - (A.) At nighttime, approaching Belle Isle. (The Commissioner.) Going full speed? - (A.) Going full speed.” The Commissioner: What was the speed of this man’s ship? Sir Robert Finlay: The Attorney-General asks the question, my Lord: “What is your full speed? - (A.) 18 knots; the “Laurentic” was 18 knots. (Q.) That was on the Canadian service? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Of the White Star Line? - (A.) Of the White Star Line. (The Commissioner.) That is in the track North? - (A.) Yes, by Belle Isle. (The Attorney-General.) Where you would meet more ice and expect to meet more ice than on this track? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Is that your invariable practice? - (A.) Everybody’s invariable practice, as far as I know. (The Commissioner.) No, not everybody’s, because we have had evidence about the Canadian Pacific boat, I think it was. (Sir Robert Finlay.) Not on this point, my Lord.” That was cleared up. That related to the notice about field ice; they were not to enter field ice at any time. I endeavoured to summarise it at page 570 in th e first column. “(Sir Robert Finlay.) I think it stops there - they are not to enter field ice - because it is given more in detail in our Rule, which was issued to vessels using that track, the Northern track, to Canada, and it was pointed out that even if there is a lane it may very likely be a lane which does not go very far. It is no use to enter the ice. (The Attorney-General.) It does not really stop there, it goes further. The next is: ‘When you got warning there was ice ahead, what precautions did you adopt? - (A.) I simply steered down. I went down further to the Southward,” and he says his highest speed was about 11 knots.” That is referring to the evidence of Mr. Moore. (Sir Robert Finlay.) He is asked: ‘Did you decrease your speed? - (A.) Not at all; it was daylight. (The Attorney-General.) He steered further to the Southward.” The Commissioner: If it had been night he would? The Attorney-General: It is the qualification of the answer before. The Witness does say it was daytime. Sir Robert Finlay: All the other evidence of the witnesses who deal with night say it makes no difference. The Commissioner: But that answer plainly indicates a distinction in the man’s mind. Sir Robert Finlay: Not necessarily, my Lord. Very often a man saying - The Commissioner: Well, it is a matter for observation, perhaps. Sir Robert Finlay: He puts in a circumstance which is perfectly true, but he would have done the same, even if that circumstance had not existed. Then the Attorney-General in the second column on page 570 says: “Then he is asked if he makes any change in the look-out, and he says: “If we expect to see ice we always double the look-out.” That is how it stands, I think. We shall have to consider later the evidence already given. (To the Witness.) I only want to get your view. Supposing you had had a report of field ice ahead, not of icebergs, would you still steam full speed ahead? - (A.) Till I saw that ice in clear weather, yes. (Q.) Even at nighttime? - (A.) On a clear night.” Your Lordship sees that deals with that point. “(Q.) What I do not quite understand is this: Where there was an iceberg of from 60 to 80 feet from the sea level, and it was not seen until within half a mile away, how do you account for that if it was a clear night? - (A.) I was not there on that night. (The Commissioner.) That is my difficulty. (The Attorney-General.) I agree. (The Witness.) There must have been some abnormal conditions which misled them. (The
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