Page 195 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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that? - (A.) I think you would see the surf round it at a shorter distance than you would see the iceberg, if it was a large one. The ice has a phosphorescent appearance. (Q.) I should have thought, that, as a seaman, you would have had some sort of explanation to suggest? - (A.) I cannot think of anything, because they say the ice was dark blue, almost black. I never saw an iceberg like that in my life, and I have seen a good deal of ice too. (Q.) Does that lead you to infer that they are mistaken when they say it was black? - (A.) I would not like to say that, my Lord. I do not know, of course; I was not there, but I never saw an iceberg of that kind. (Q.) Have you ever seen a growler? - (A.) These low bergs? (Q.) Yes? - (A.) Very seldom. (Q.) What is the colour of a growler? - (A.) White. (Q.) The same as an iceberg? - (A.) The same as an iceberg, only a smaller one. That is what I understand by a growler - a low-lying berg. We always see those. (Q.) If there was any haze, I suppose it would be seen from the bridge? - (A.) The berg? (Q.) No. If there was any haze the haze would be seen? - (A.) Immediately. As soon as there is the slightest beard on the green light and we are in the ice region we slow down, because you cannot say how far you can see, but when it is absolutely clear we do not slow down for ice. (Q.) Of course, if there had been a haze you could have accounted for it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Would a bad look-out account for it? - (A.) Yes, but I do not believe there are bad look-outs on any Atlantic steamers. I do not believe that. (Q.) There were two men in this crow’s-nest and there were two officers, I think, on the bridge. You do not suppose there could have been a bad look- out? - (A.) No, I should not think so. I never knew a bad look-out on these steamers, especially when you are in the ice region - not necessarily because ice was reported, but from longitude 41 to 51 we are always looking out for it. (Q.) If a haze comes on, is it the duty of the man in the crow’s-nest to report it to the bridge? - (A.) No, Sir, it is not; we would know it quicker than he would, or just as quick, because we always see the little blur on the green light.” It is what he has referred to as the “beard”; it is a familiar expression. The Commissioner: Yes, I know what it means. Sir Robert Finlay: “(Q.) It is the business of the man on the bridge to notice it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And to give directions accordingly? - (A.) Call the captain of the ship immediately. (Further examined by Sir Robert Finlay.) (Q.) May I suggest one question with regard to what the witness said as to what Mr. Lightoller said? You said that you thought that if there had been a swell the white of the waves breaking at the foot of the iceberg would not be seen further than the iceberg itself? - (A.) I do not think it would be seen as far, unless there was a sea on. Then you would see the breakers just like breakers breaking on the beach. (Q.) I am speaking only of an ordinary swell? - (A.) No, I should think you would see the berg first. (Q.) You are speaking of the icebergs of which you have experience - white icebergs? - (A.) Yes.” Your Lordship remembers he said he had never seen a black iceberg. “(Q.) Suppose you had a black iceberg? - (A.) I would not see it, I suppose. (Q.) Would the white of the waves, if there was a swell, be seen further under those circumstances? - (A.) Oh, yes, of course, according to the amount of sea. (Q.) You were speaking of the white icebergs with which you are familiar? - (A.) Quite so, yes.” The next witness is Mr. Owen Jones, of the “Canada.” That is one of the vessels of the Dominion Line. It is at page 664, Question 23612: “Tell us what you did when you found yourself in the neighbourhood of the ice. That is what we want to know? - (A.) It was some hours later when we came to the ice. (Q.) Whenever it was, what did you do? - (A.) When I saw the ice I stopped. (The Commissioner.) This was pack ice? - (A.) Yes. (The Solicitor-General.) What sort of ice? - (A.) Pack ice. (Q.) You stopped altogether, did you? - (A.) Yes, I stopped altogether. I let my ship run her way off, and then I gave her a touch ahead, so as to get close to the ice, so as to inspect it. (Q.) Was this in daylight or at night? - (A.) At night, 11 o’clock at night. (Q.) Then you say you gave your ship a touch ahead to get close to the ice to have a look at it? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What did you find? - (A.) Broken ice and lanes between them, so I decided it was safe for me to go through. (The Commissioner.) To go through? - (A.) Yes, my Lord. (The
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