Page 208 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 208
Bearing round like that in answering the helm, she was still about a quarter of a mile from you? - (A.) Yes.” That finishes it on that page. Then, my Lord, I turn to page 745, the first Question on the page, “25516. I am dealing with the number of icebergs you saw. From a quarter to 3 to 4 o’clock you picked up with the eye six icebergs? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) When it cleared up and got daylight, and you were more or less in the same place, you found yourself surrounded by icebergs? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) You have told us there were a great many, and some of them 150 to 200 feet high? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) But the point I wanted to be quite clear about was that these icebergs must have been close to you without your seeing them? - (A.) They must have been, yes. (Q.) I wanted to know if you could tell us how far off the nearest one was, leaving out the one which was only a quarter of a mile from you, of which you have told us in detail. How far off was the nearest berg, so far as you can tell us, of 150 to 200 feet high, when full daylight came and you could see plainly? - (A.) Somewhere about three or four miles. (Q.) That would be about the closest? - (A.) Yes, that would be about the nearest. (Q.) That would seem to indicate that it must have been particularly difficult to pick them up by the eye that night? - (A.) Under certain circumstances, yes. Of course, it all depends what you are looking for. If you know what you are looking for you pick them up better than a man who does not know what he is looking for. (Q.) Was there anything, so far as you know, peculiar in the atmospheric conditions that night? - (A.) No, I never saw a clearer night. It was a beautiful night.” I call your Lordship’s attention to that particular answer, in view of the evidence about which we have heard a great deal, and which may be referred to a great deal more - the evidence of the look-out men as to haze: “I never saw a clearer night. It was a beautiful night.” The Commissioner: For myself I do not believe there was a haze at all. There may have been a haze of a foot or two at the base of the berg. The Attorney-General: I think, my Lord, I may save time if I say this. I have looked into this evidence very carefully; and particularly in view of what my friend Mr. Scanlan said - he directed attention to all the particular portions of evidence which bear upon this - I am not going to ask your Lordship to say (I do not think on the evidence one can ask your Lordship to say) that there was a haze. I think the evidence on that point is the other way, so far as it is material to this particular point. The Commissioner: I am quite satisfied on that. Sir Robert Finlay: I think the haze was a myth, possibly originating in a black berg coming out of the blackness, and that one of the look-out men thus developed the theory of a haze; but I need not trouble about that after what has been said. The Commissioner: I do not think so. Sir Robert Finlay: “I never saw a clearer night. It was a beautiful night. (Q.) So far as you could see, you ought to have been able to pick them up easily, or comparatively easily? - (A.) Comparatively easily, yes. (Q.) If you are looking out for them? - (A.) If you are looking out for them. (Q.) If you are not particularly directing your attention to picking up icebergs, you might not see them, although they are close to you? - (A.) That is so. May I give you one more instance? (Q.) Yes, do? - (A.) We starboarded for this iceberg, which we saw ahead. When daylight broke and we were picking up the passengers from the first boat, I was looking round, and 200 yards on my port quarters I saw a lump of ice 20 feet long and 10 feet high, which we had not seen at all. (Q.) I think there is only one other matter I want to ask you about. You have navigated for a good many years on this North Atlantic track? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And you have often seen icebergs on this track? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Have you seen them during this particular month, April, on this track? - (A.) I never remember seeing ice in April on the track. (Q.) Supposing you had had a wireless message giving you the position of icebergs, and an ice-field or ice-fields, which you would reach in the ordinary course of things within a few hours, what precautions would you take when approaching that region, if any? - (A.) A great deal would
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