Page 62 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 62
The Attorney-General: No, I think he said that from the first. The Commissioner: His whole case was that there was no swell, no wind, and no moon, and those three circumstances put together, he said, accounted for the iceberg not being seen, although the weather was quite clear. The Attorney-General: He did not know there was no swell until the accident had happened. Mr. Scanlan: Afterwards. The Commissioner: Yes, he found it out when he was launching the boats that there was no swell, because the water did not lift the boat. The Attorney-General: Yes, it could not get free from the tackle. Mr. Scanlan: There is this statement from him, which summarises the whole of his evidence; and is, I think, consistent with what he has said in these various passages. I have already referred to it at page 327, Question 14335: “At all events it was more difficult then than under normal circumstances to see an iceberg. You observed that yourself from six to ten?” And he answered, “Yes.” I want to refer generally now to the evidence given by the survivors and by members of the crew. We know now that they were in the midst of icebergs round about where the ship sank and where they were rowing until they were picked up by the “Carpathia”; but no single Witness who has been called has told us that any of the survivors noticed those icebergs while they were in the small boats, while, of course, they all saw them in the morning. There is the evidence of the Officer Boxhall, at page 358. The Commissioner: Are you suggesting that when the people got into the boats they did not see the iceberg because they were in a haze? You cannot forget the fact that they saw the light miles away. Mr. Scanlan: I can conceive a great difference between seeing a light and seeing an iceberg. The Commissioner: Yes, of course. Mr. Scanlan: There is this important distinction, according to Mr. Lightoller’s evidence, that an iceberg may be surrounded with its own haze, due to the fact that it is an iceberg, and that it takes it out of comparison at once with the visibility of the lights on a ship or of other lights which those people might have seen. Then, on page 358, in the evidence of Boxhall - The Commissioner: Are you going to be much longer on this point? Mr. Scanlan: No, my Lord. I finish with this reference with all the evidence on this point that I have collected. At page 358, Question 15488, Boxhall is asked: “Did you see any ice when the day broke? - (A.) Yes, I saw quite a lot of ice at daybreak. (Q.) Large bergs, did you see? - (A.) The first ice I saw, I saw it probably about half a mile on the port bow of the ‘Carpathia’ just as I was approaching it, when I got about two ship’s lengths away from her. Day was breaking then.” I give that as a typical sample of the evidence we have had from survivors on this point. These are the only references to the weather conditions with which I am going to trouble your Lordship. But looking to the procès-verbal and the statements in the messages from the Captain, there is a reference on page 5 to the moderate, variable weather. Those are the messages sent from the “Titanic” to other ships - to the “Caronia” and the “Noordam.” The Commissioner: I do not see the particular telegram you are talking about. Mr. Scanlan: It is a separate Paper that I have here, which is supplied to us all by the learned Attorney-General. The Commissioner: From whom is the telegram, and to whom? Mr. Scanlan: From Captain Smith, on Sunday the 14th. One of them is to the Captain of the “Caronia,” and the other is to the “Noordam.” The only reason that I read them is that he mentions on the Sunday variable weather. The Commissioner: There has been variable weather. At 3 o’clock in the afternoon there was, I think, some wind, but I do not know what this has got to do with a haze at twenty minutes to 12
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