Page 228 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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clear. The Attorney-General: Oh no, when I told your Lordship I was not going to suggest there was a haze that was intended to cover this point. I take it it was a perfectly clear night. The Commissioner: I think it is the view of all the gentlemen with me. Sir Robert Finlay: I am obliged to your Lordship. That will save a good deal of time. Then with regard to the question of doubling the look-out and putting a man on the stem head, I do not know whether the Attorney-General is going to say that ought to have been done. If so, I must refer to the evidence. The Attorney-General: I think that must be considered, yes. Sir Robert Finlay: Now, the evidence with regard to that is rather voluminous, but I will take it as shortly as possible. The first witness who says anything in relation to the point at all is Jewell at page 17, and his reference to it is extremely distant. They are Questions 12 and 13; in fact, he merely gives the number of the look-outs. “(Q.) Are there two forward? - (A.) No, not in clear weather; we take two hours each. (Q.) Let us just get it clear. There was you and there was Symons in the crow’s-nest. Were there no other look-out men on duty? - (A.) No, not so long as the weather was clear”; and then he says the weather was clear. The Commissioner: Who is this man. Sir Robert Finlay: Jewell, my Lord, one of the look-outs on the “Titanic.” He was not on duty at the time this iceberg was sighted. He came on duty at 8 o’clock and remained there till 10. The Commissioner: This man was on from 8 to 10; I do not think it is of much importance. Sir Robert Finlay: No, I said it was rather remote, my Lord. Then Hichens is more to the point on page 47. Then Hichens was the Quartermaster, your Lordship will recollect. This is in answer to Mr. Scanlan at Question 1296. “Is it usual on board liners in circumstances of danger to double the watches - the look-out? - (A.) That is always so, Sir. (Q.) Had the watch been doubled or augmented - increased in any way - on this occasion? - (A.) Not that I am aware of. They do not double the watches on the bridge, where there are three officers on the bridge, two junior officers taking eight-bell watches, and the senior officer taking command of the bridge. (The Commissioner.) Do they double that watch? - (A.) No, Sir. (Mr. Scanlan.) What watches do they double? - (A.) In ships where they are not manned with so many officers, and when they are nearing the shore in foggy weather they might double the watches. (Q.) Is it usual in circumstances of danger to station a watchman at the bows - a look-out man? - (A.) I cannot say. He cannot see so well as the man can see in the crow’s-nest. (Q.) I am asking you, is it usual or not? - (A.) In some ships, Sir, they do station a man there. (The Commissioner.) As well as in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) I have not seen that, my Lord - not a man stationed forward and stationed in the crow’s-nest too.” The Commissioner: What experience has this man? Sir Robert Finlay: He is a Quartermaster, my Lord; I think he had been at sea for a considerable time. He says at the beginning of his evidence that he was a Quartermaster. I do not think it appears how long he had been at sea.” (A.) I have not seen that, my Lord - not a man stationed forward and stationed in the crow’s-nest, too. (Mr. Scanlan.) If a watchman was stationed at the bow he would be considerably nearer the water than the man in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Yes, that is so, Sir.” Well, it is the difference between 60 and 90 feet. The Commissioner: I have read this evidence down to Question 1307. Sir Robert Finlay: Very well, then I need not trouble with it. The Attorney-General: 1321 might be of use. Sir Robert Finlay: “This was my first time in the North Atlantic, Sir,” and then there are questions put to him about the number of men in the boat, and so on. That does not come to very much. He says sometimes it is done; it comes to more than Jewell,
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