Page 200 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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“Titanic,” had it ever occurred to you that on a specially calm night and a specially clear night it would be more difficult to detect an iceberg? - (A.) Oh, yes. (Q.) So that a skilled navigator would expect that it would be more difficult on a specially calm night and on a specially clear night? - (A.) Yes, it would be more difficult in the calm. You see, the sea causes an extra warning breaking against the berg.” I think your Lordship realises that that witness says expressly in some passages, and implies throughout, that the swell would break against the berg and would cause a white foam, and that, in the case of a black berg, would be specially noticeable. Then, my Lord, Mr. Ranson, of the “Baltic,” gives evidence on pages 717 and 718. I do not think anything was put to him by the Attorney-General in chief on this subject. As my friend says, he was called on another point, but having been called Mr. Scanlan put this question to him on page 718: “24978. What is your individual practice if ice is reported? - (A.) How do you mean, clear weather or foggy weather? (Q.) At night? (The Commissioner.) At night, in clear weather? - (A.) We go full speed whether there is ice reported or not. (Q.) As far as you know, is that the practice of all liners on this course? - (A.) It is.” Then at 24982 I ask him this question: “With regard to your speed, you know the practice in the Atlantic if the weather were clear and ice reported, do you keep up your speed? - (A.) We keep up our speed. (Q.) And is that your invariable practice? - (A.) It has always been my practice. (The Commissioner.) What is the speed of your boat? - (A.) Sixteen knots. (Sir Robert Finlay.) You said the speed of your boat, the ‘Baltic’ was 16 knots? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Have you been on other boats in the Atlantic? - (A.) - Yes. (Q.) Faster boats? - (A.) Yes, the ‘Oceanic,’ the ‘Majestic,’ and the ‘Teutonic.’. (Q.) How many knots an hour would they make? - (A.) Twenty to twenty-one (Q.) Is the practice you have spoken of one which prevailed with regard to ships of that class as well as your boat, the ‘Baltic’? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) You know, of course, the Atlantic well (A.) Yes. (Q.) Was that practice always pursued by all Masters of liners? - (A.) Yes, for the last 21 years, to my knowledge.” Then, my Lord, Mr. Pritchard, the Captain of the “Mauretania,” gives evidence at page 732. The Commissioner: Are you going back to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s evidence? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, I will take him by himself, my Lord. Mr. Pritchard, at page 732, says he has been retired for two years, and has left the sea. His last command was the “Mauretania”: “25172. I believe for 18 years you have commanded Cunard steamships sailing between Liverpool and New York? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Have you heard the evidence in this case with regard to the weather conditions which existed when the “Titanic” struck? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) You know them? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Now, what practice did you follow with regard to maintaining your full speed or reducing your speed, assuming similar conditions, and assuming you had information that there was a probability of your meeting ice on your course? - (A.) As long as the weather is clear I always go full speed. (Q.) You always have done so? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was the speed of the “Mauretania”? - (A.) 26 knots.” Then at 25186 Mr. Scanlan asks: “If there was any difficulty at all in seeing would you reduce your speed? - (A.) Well, if it was hazy, yes. (Q.) If it was a flat calm and you expected ice - you were warned of ice and knew you would meet ice in the course of the night - would you double the look-out? - (A.) No, as long as the weather is clear.” Then he is examined by myself. He states that he has been for 51 years at sea; has had a Master’s certificate for 37 years, and he says that not only does he keep his course in clear weather, but he maintains full speed. “25219. And was that the universal practice in your experience? - (A.) Yes.” That is the evidence of Captain Pritchard, of the “Mauretania.” Then Mr. Young, of the “City of Rome,” of the Anchor Line, gives evidence at page 733. He also has left the sea. He says that he was travelling for 35 years across the Atlantic from Glasgow. “25224. Are you familiar with ice-fields and icebergs? - (A.) Quite. (Q.) Do you know the weather conditions which existed when the “Titanic” struck the iceberg? - (A.) I understand it was a dead calm. (Q.) It was a dead calm; it was a clear night? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) No sea? - (A.) No sea. (Q.) And no moon. Now, assuming those to be the conditions, and assuming that you
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