Page 38 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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25448. If I followed correctly what you said, you rely in the main upon what is seen from the bridge by the officers? - Yes. 25449. Of course, it may be that the officer is, for the moment, attending to something else; his attention may be distracted by something else which is happening, and in that case he would have to depend on the look-out? - Well, the only thing is, supposing an officer is looking on the port side and there is an object on the starboard side, and the seaman happens to be looking on the starboard side, naturally he might detect it first and he would report it. 25450. (The Commissioner.) Were you on the bridge? - I was. 25450a. You cannot account to me for your seeing some of these bergs a couple of miles away, but not seeing this particular one till it was about a quarter of a mile away? - No. 25451. You cannot account for it? - No. 25452. It happened to yourself? - I cannot account for it at all. 25453. It did happen to yourself? - Yes, it did happen. 25454. (The Attorney-General.) That would seem to indicate a considerable risk in going through the ice region, does it not? - Yes. 25455. (The Commissioner.) Is that a common experience, that when you are amongst icebergs you will detect one two or three miles away and another not till it is within a quarter of a mile? Is that within your experience? - No, I do not think it is common experience. I think it is rather uncommon, as a matter of fact. 25456. (The Attorney-General.) Rather uncommon? - I think so. 25457. I want to understand this a little more if we can. If I correctly followed you, you said you only saw this one at about a quarter of a mile distance from you by the streak of a star upon it? - No, the first one I saw was about one and a half to two miles away; that was the one we saw at about a quarter to three with the streak of the star. That was the first one we picked up; it was a large one. 25458. That one we understand, but this last one that you saw about 4 o’clock when you were getting ready to pick up the boat on the port side, was there anything at all special about the colour of that iceberg? - No, but I suppose it must have been because of the shadow or something of that kind that we could not make it out before. I cannot account for it. 25459. Does it sometimes happen? - Yes, very often. 25460. It may be, the iceberg presents to you a luminous appearance? - Yes. 25461. Or it may be, it presents to you a dark appearance? - Exactly. 25462. That is what you would ordinarily expect when you are looking out for icebergs, is it? - Yes. 25463. You cannot tell from which side you are going to see it? - No. 25464. Or how it is going to present itself to you in appearance? - No. 25465. So that if I follow what you have said, you would always have to be prepared for an iceberg which presented a dark appearance to those who were looking out for it? - Yes. 25466. (The Commissioner.) I do not understand where the shadow comes from; there is nothing to create a shadow. There were no clouds in the sky? - No, my Lord, there were no clouds, but the shape of the iceberg itself might account for it. Now this iceberg was about 30 feet high and the sides were rather precipitous. If the side had been more of a slope, do not you think that slope would have given off some shadow? If you have a greater surface and there is anything in the theory about “blink,” you would have more blink if you had a greater surface, and so you might have a dark place if the iceberg itself had a crevice in it or a break. I can imagine that, but I do not know where the shadow comes from. 25467. (The Attorney-General.) I do not profess to know sufficiently about it. It may depend upon the angle of refraction. I do not profess to be able to explain it better than that. (To the
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