Page 202 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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Lord, you say you did not hear what he said, and the witness repeats the answer: “25274. Whether it is clear or not? - (A.) Yes.” Then he is examined by me. He was crossing the Atlantic on the 14th April in the “Tunisian”; he was there and had ice reports. I do not think his evidence came to anything. Then there is the evidence of Mr. Braes, also of the Allan Line, at the bottom of the same page, page 734. He agrees with the evidence of the last four witnesses; his practice is just the same: “25287. Is your practice when you may be meeting ice at night similar to their practice? - (A.) Just the same. I never slowed down so long as the weather was clear.” “25290. In your experience is that the universal practice in the Atlantic? - (A.) I never knew any other practice.” Then, my Lord, there is the evidence of Mr. Apfeld, the Flemish gentleman of the Red Star Line, who came from Antwerp, on page 746, Question 25575. He is the Marine Superintendent of the Red Star Line, a Belgian line of steamships; he lives in Belgium; his vessels sail from Antwerp to New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Baltimore, and they carry passengers and mails. He has been for 39 years at sea and five years as Marine Superintendent. He has been with the Red Star Line for 32 years. “25583. When you have been navigating in the region of ice, have you changed your course or speed? - (A.) Never. I slow her down in the case of fog or thick weather, otherwise not. (Q.) Is that the case, although ice has been actually reported to you? - (A.) I would not slow her down. (Q.) Have you examined the deck logbooks and the engine logbooks of the steamers of your line running the Atlantic passage during April last? - (A.) I have.” Then he gives the names of the six vessels: “25587. Do these logbooks show whether those vessels passed ice? - (A.) Some of them. (Q.) Which of them? Can you remember the ‘Lapland’ and the ‘Manitou’? - (A.) The ‘Lapland,’ the ‘Finland,’ and the ‘Manitou,’ and I believe the ‘Zeeland.’ (Q.) They all passed ice? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Where were they going to - to New York? - (A.) They were going to New York, except the ‘Manitou’ said the ‘Minomini,’ which were going to Boston. (Q.) Did they change their course or their speed? - (A.) Absolutely not. The ‘Manitou’ slowed down after she entered the field ice. She went into field ice at full speed for about an hour, and then the field ice became thick, heavy lumps amongst it, and her Captain slowed her down for about an hour. He reduced speed for fear of damaging the propeller.” The Commissioner: Then there is another man named Tride? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: You need not trouble about him. Sir Robert Finlay: He is a Captain in the Red Star Line. My Lord, I say that that makes a body of evidence of extraordinary clearness and strength, and I further say there is absolutely no contradiction. I say that with reference to the evidence to which I am now coming of Sir Ernest Shackleton. Sir Ernest Shackleton’s experience has, of course, been an experience of quite a different nature. My Lord, I ought also to have called attention before passing from these witnesses - it was an accidental omission - to the Table which was drawn up at your Lordship’s request, summarising the results with reference to the vessels which were crossing the Atlantic at this time in this neighbourhood. The Attorney-General: I presume you are also going to call attention to Captain Rostron’s evidence on the point? Sir Robert Finlay: Certainly. This is a typewritten document. I had better run through the table: “Californian” - already dealt with by Enquiry. “Antillian” - no ice. I need not read what is written under the head “Instructions to Commanders of Vessels” and “Ship and Engineers Logbooks.” Then there is the Anchor Line: “No vessels in actual vicinity, but ‘Caledonia’ was warned by wireless of field ice, course altered to Southward to avoid it. Sighted ice 9th April. Date, between April 6th and 9th.” Then under the head of “Instructions to Commanders of Vessels” there appears: “Course to be altered on ice being seen or reported. In the event of fog,
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