Page 196 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 196
Solicitor-General.) At what speed did you go through? - (A.) Oh, very slow; I picked my way clear of the broken pieces. (Q.) And did you succeed in getting through? - (A.) Yes, I was through about daylight the next morning, about 6 o’clock. (Q.) After you got the messages about the ice did you continue going on full speed ahead until the ice was reported by the look-out? - (A.) Yes, certainly. (The Commissioner.) Now, I see the object. (The Solicitor-General.) That is the point. (To the Witness.) Is that, in your opinion, the usual practice? - (A.) Certainly, always. (The Commissioner.) What speed were you going at? - (A.) 15 knots. (The Solicitor-General.) Is that your full speed? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was the weather? - (A.) Dark and clear. (The Commissioner.) Suppose you had had a 22-knot boat, would you have gone 22 knots? - (A.) I should think it would be just as safe to go full speed with 22 knots. (The Solicitor-General.) What was the distance at which the ice was picked up? You are going your 15 knots, and it is reported, and then you say you stopped and ran on to reach it. Do you know how far ahead of you it was seen and reported? - (A.) Well, I saw the glare of it; I should say about 3 miles off. (Q.) You did yourself? - (A.) Yes, and I saw the ice itself fully a mile and a half. (Q.) Then I understand you stopped, let your vessel come to a stop, and then felt your way on to inspect it? - (A.) Yes.” I think I should read a passage at the very end of page 664, Question 23646: “With your experience on a clear night, have you always been able to detect ice by this ice-blink? - (A.) No, not by the ice-blink; the ice-blink does not always occur. (Q.) Then, if it is not the ice-blink which enables you to see it, what do you see it by? - (A.) You see the ice itself. (Q.) Can you suggest to us at all why it should be, if a good look-out is kept, that a ship would not see ice until she is close upon it? - (A.) No. (Q.) You cannot imagine? - (A.) No; I have always seen ice in plenty of time on a clear night.” Then at page 666, Question 23708: “(Q.) Where you have ice about, in your experience are you liable to have fogs? - (A.) Very liable. (Q.) Does that, in your judgment, afford any reason for the practice you have always pursued as to speed? - (A.) Yes, we always make what speed we can. (Q.) Just tell us, in your own way, what effect that fact has on your practice as to speed? - (A.) Well, we always try to get through the ice track as quickly as possible in clear weather. (Q.) If fog came on while you were there? - (A.) It would increase the danger very much. We have to slow down or stop.” The Commissioner: Are there many cases reported of collisions with icebergs? Sir Robert Finlay: Very few, my Lord. The Commissioner: I think there are very few indeed. Sir Robert Finlay: Very few. The Commissioner: There was one a good many years ago. Sir Robert Finlay: The “Arizona” I think your Lordship is referring to. The Commissioner: Is that the only one? Sir Robert Finlay: I think that is the only reported case, as far as I know. The Commissioner: I mean a reported case. Sir Robert Finlay: It will be in the early eighties. The Commissioner: This is 1880. The Attorney-General: Of course, you could not get the ordinary collision action; you have that difficulty. The Commissioner: That is so. Sir Robert Finlay: Not in rem against an iceberg. The Commissioner: But there have been a very large number of Wreck Enquiries, and I was wondering whether any wreck had been reported where the cause of the wreck was collision with an iceberg. Sir Robert Finlay: I am not aware of any Wreck Enquiry under such circumstances.
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