Page 205 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 205
I rather think that I had better read some evidence on page 742, although what is directly relevant on this point is on page 745. I think you will agree that that is a convenient course. The Attorney-General: Yes, I think so. Sir Robert Finlay: It will save reading it again afterwards. He says at the very bottom of page 741: “(Q.) 25405. And you intended, as I follow you, to pick her up on the port bow? - (A.) Yes, on the port side; that was the lee-side; but just after I saw his light I saw an iceberg right ahead. Then, of course, I starboarded - I could not port - to get away from the berg; so I starboarded to make it more convenient for the boat I was going to pick up, and I picked it up on the starboard side. (Q.) How close was the iceberg which you saw? - (A.) Well, when we had stopped, when daylight broke, it was something less than a quarter of a mile away. (Q.) I should like to follow that to understand it. Had you seen that iceberg before? - (A.) No, it was the first I saw of it. We were close up before we saw it. (Q.) Was day breaking at all? - (A.) No, it was perfectly dark at the time. (Q.) And you had men on the look-out? - (A.) Yes, we had doubled our look-outs. (Q.) Had you men in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) When you say you doubled the look-out, does that mean you had also men in the eyes of the vessel? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Right on the stem? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Two? - (A.) Two, and one on the look-out, one in the crows-nest, and two in the eyes. (Q.) Is that your practice? - (A.) No, we have one in the crow’s-nest and one forward. (Q.) Your practice is to have one in the crow’s-nest and one forward? - (A.) At night. (Q.) Do you take any particular precautions if you have received ice reports? - (A.) Always. (Q.) Is that what you do? - (A.) Yes, immediately I started round, before I knew we should be up to the ice; in fact, as soon as I got this report, and I had put her on the course for the “Titanic’s” position, I doubled the look-outs at once, and took all the precautions I possibly could. (Q.) Was that the first iceberg that you had seen? - (A.) Oh, dear, no. (Q.) I mean on this particular night? - (A.) Oh, no; the first iceberg we saw was at a quarter to 3. (Q.) I wanted you to tell us about that. You saw one at a quarter to 3? - (A.) We saw about half-a-dozen - in fact, more than that. I was moving about to get between them up to 4 o’clock. (Q.) No ice-field? - (A.) No ice-field. We were not up to the ice-field then. (Q.) Only icebergs. Take the first one you saw about a quarter to 3; how far off was it when you first saw it - when it was reported to you? - (A.) I should think it was about a mile and a half to two miles away. (Q.) And with regard to the others, I think you say you saw about six up to 4 o’clock? - (A.) Yes, about six. (Q.) Did you see all those at about the same distance? - (A.) Yes, about the same distance - from one to two miles. (Q.) Then, I understand, when you came to the last one - you will correct this if I am wrong - as far as I gather from your evidence, you did not see that till it was somewhere about a quarter of a mile off? - (A.) That is so; at daybreak I saw it was between 25 and 30 feet high. (Q.) Will you explain to us a little more in detail why it was that you did not see this iceberg, the one which you found about 4 o’clock, earlier? - (A.) I cannot tell you, we were all on the look-out. (Q.) It was rather low? - (A.) It was low. (Q.) Twenty-five to 30 feet. I do not know whether you can tell us what the height of your forecastle was from the waterline? - (A.) Yes, the forecastle head would be just about 30 feet. (Q.) Your two men were on the look-out, then, in the eyes of the vessel? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) No report had been made to you? - (A.) No. (Q.) Who was it saw it first, do you know? - (A.) Yes, I saw it first. (Q.) Before the look-out men? - (A.) Yes, we saw all the icebergs first from the bridge. (The Commissioner.) I do not understand that. (The Attorney-General.) You were on the bridge with your officers, I presume? - (A.) Yes, the whole time. (Q.) And each time, if I follow you, that an iceberg was seen, you picked it up first on your bridge? - (A.) Either one of my officers or myself, before the look-outs. (Q.) Did you pick it up by sight, or by naked eye, or with binoculars? - (A.) At first with the naked eye. (Q.) Do you find that you pick them up better with the naked eye than with binoculars? - (A.) It all depends. Sometimes yes, at other times not; it depends. (Q.) How was it neither of the look-out men saw it or reported it to you? Why did not they see it before you? - (A.) Well, of course, they had all had warning about keeping a look-out
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