Page 59 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 59
This, my Lord, is all the positive evidence as to the existence of a haze that night; but I think the evidence is corroborated by Mr. Lightoller, and I would direct attention to his evidence at page 305. At Question 13571 he is asked, “Was there any breeze on this night? - (A.) When I left the deck at 10 o’clock there was a slight breeze. Oh, pardon me, no. I take that back. No, it was calm, perfectly calm.” Then Question 13575 on the same page: “Do you agree from that experience that this was an occasion when it was an absolutely flat sea? - (A.) Absolutely flat. (The Commissioner.) Not in fact, but to all appearance? - (A.) In fact, my Lord,” is his answer. Then at page 306, Question 13606 he mentions about a drop in the temperature. Then Question 13607: “Well, it was now nine o’clock, and you had worked out in your head that you would probably get the 49 degrees meridian by half-past nine? - (A.) Just let me correct that. It must have been a few minutes before nine, because I remember the Commander came on the bridge at five minutes to nine, and I told him then that I had already sent word round, so it was perhaps ten minutes or a quarter to nine, as a matter of minutes. (Q.) Then that is a drop of 10 degrees in less than two hours? - (A.) Slightly less.” Then his conversation with the Captain is given, and he is asked at Question 13612: “Is that all that took place? - (A.) No, my Lord. We had a conversation with regard to the weather. (Q.) But had you no conversation with regard to ice? - (A.) Well, I was coming to that, my Lord.” I think I had better read on further: “(The Solicitor-General.) Had not you better tell us as accurately as you can what passed between him and you when he came on the bridge at five minutes to nine? - (A.) I will. (Q.) If you please? - (A.) At five minutes to nine, when the Commander came on the bridge (I will give it to you as near as I remember) he remarked that it was cold, and as far as I remember, I said, ‘Yes, it is very cold, Sir. In fact,’ I said, ‘it is only 1 degree above freezing. I have sent word down to the carpenter and rung up the engine room, and told them that it is freezing or will be during the night.’ We then commenced to speak about the weather. He said, ‘There is not much wind.’ I said, ‘No, it is a flat calm, as a matter of fact.’ He repeated it; he said, ‘A flat calm.’ I said, ‘Yes, quite flat; there is no wind.’ I said something about it was rather a pity the breeze had not kept up whilst we were going through the ice region. Of course, my reason was obvious; he knew I meant the water ripples breaking on the base of the berg. (Q.) You said it was a pity there was not a breeze? - (A.) Yes, I said, ‘It is a pity there is not a breeze,’ and we went on to discuss the weather. He was then getting his eyesight, you know, and he said, ‘Yes, it seems quite clear,’ and I said, ‘Yes, it is perfectly clear.’ It was a beautiful night; there was not a cloud in the sky. The sea was apparently smooth, and there was no wind, but at that time you could see the stars rising and setting with absolute distinctness.” The Commissioner: “Rising and setting with absolute distinctness.” Mr. Scanlan: Yes, with absolute distinctness. Then the next question is: “On the horizon? - (A.) On the horizon. We then discussed the indications of ice. I remember saying, ‘In any case there will be a certain amount of reflected light from the bergs.’ He said, ‘Oh, yes, there will be a certain amount of reflected light.’ I said, or he said; blue was said between us - that even though the blue side of the berg was towards us, probably the outline, the white outline, would give us sufficient warning, that we should be able to see it at a good distance, and, as far as we could see, we should be able to see it. Of course, it was just with regard to that possibility of the blue side being towards us, and that if it did happen to be turned with the purely blue side towards us, there would still be the white outline.” Then will your Lordship look at Question 13643, at page 307? He was asked if it came at all hazy what were they to do. I do not know whether it would be as well to direct your Lordship’s attention to question 13635 - it is all on the same context, and if I only read those other questions it may not be quite clear. The Attorney-General: They must be read at some time. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, Question 13635 is: “The Captain left you about twenty or twenty-five past nine, you say. Did he say where he was going to, or where he had been, and so on? - (A.) Yes.
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