Page 229 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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but not very much. Hichens merely says that he has never seen a man in the crow’s-nest, and a man also in the stem, but he knows it may sometimes be done in circumstances of danger. Then, my Lord, there is the evidence of Lee, at page 77. The Commissioner: Hichens said this in answer to me. I put the question to him: “Have you ever seen a man in the bow when there are men in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Never, my Lord. (Q.) Did you ever hear such a thing? - (A.) Never, my Lord.” Sir Robert Finlay: Is this Hichens, my Lord? The Commissioner: Yes. Questions 1306 and 1307. Sir Robert Finlay: I thought I read it; I had it marked. The Commissioner: No, I told you I had read it. I stopped you from reading it. You said something to the effect that this witness stated that he had heard of it; that is inconsistent with his answers to those questions. Sir Robert Finlay: I will look and see whether I am right; I thought what he was saying there was that he had never seen it himself. The Commissioner: He says he never heard of it. Sir Robert Finlay: Your Lordship is perfectly right. That qualifies, I think, what I thought he had said before. The Attorney-General: He has seen a man in the bow, but not in the crow’s-nest as well. Sir Robert Finlay: At Question 1300 Mr. Scanlan asked him. “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.” That is what led me to say what I did, but he contradicts that when your Lordship puts it to him. I read Question 1302. The Commissioner: That is what you had in your mind, 1302. Sir Robert Finlay: 1301 I had in my mind and then the qualification in 1302, when in answer to your Lordship, he says: “I have not seen that, my Lord - not a man stationed forward and stationed in the crow’s-nest, too.” That qualifies the answer which Mr. Scanlan got in 1301, and it is finally dispelled by the answers to 1306 and 1307 to your Lordship with regard to the practice. That goes to show that in Hichens’ experience it was unknown and that he had never heard of it. Lee’s evidence is at page 77, and I think when Lee’s evidence is analysed it comes to this, that they have a look-out man in the bows in the fog. The Commissioner: This is one of the men who were on the look-out. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. “(Examined by Mr. Scanlan.)” - at 2596 - “When you are at sea in a fog is it a usual practice to station a watchman at the bows in addition to the look-out in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) The captain of the ship has to be responsible for that kind of thing. (Q.) Just tell us whether in your experience it is usual to do that? - (A.) If the captain of the ship thinks it is necessary. (Q.) Have you seen it done? - (A.) I have. (Q.) Have you seen it done frequently? - (A.) Frequently.” The question was in a fog your Lordship sees. The Commissioner: I do not think this is very relevant. Sir Robert Finlay: Then he is pressed as to whether there was not a haze at the time, and at 2617 (Mr. Scanlan.) asks this: “Would it have been easier to have observed the iceberg from the bow than from the crow’s-nest? - (A.) I cannot answer you that. (Q.) When you have been on other ships, have you ever been at watch on the bows? - (A.) Yes. (The Commissioner.) Was there a crow’s-nest on that ship? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And was there somebody in the crow’s-nest as well? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) And somebody on the bridge as well? - (A.) That was off the banks of Newfoundland.” Your Lordship knows how special the conditions are there. “(Q.) Was there somebody on the bridge as well? - (A.) Two quartermasters were there, and
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