Page 67 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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regulations is concerned. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, that is a much better way of putting it. But it is not the case, my Lord, that they are all as reckless as the White Star people in reference to look-outs. Mr. Ismay says in this part of his evidence that he would not double the look-out; he does not think the look-out should have been doubled. The Commissioner: To tell you the truth, I do not pay much attention to what Mr. Bruce Ismay said upon a matter of that kind. He is not a sailor. Mr. Scanlan: He is not a sailor, my Lord, but he is the representative of the owners, and the principal owner of the “Titanic” - one of the principal members of the Company or syndicate which owned the “Titanic”; and in the circumstances in which he is connected with this voyage of the “Titanic” I think the observation is quite fair to him. A number of people who have given their evidence speak of doubling the look-out as being a proper thing. I do not think there could have been better evidence with regard to that than the evidence we had today from Captain Rostron. It was his practice. And I think in other points, as to the degree of care and the precautions which should be taken, his evidence strongly supports the contention which I have made all along that in the presence of ice, in proximity to ice, and especially where ice is reported, the look-out should be doubled, and in particular look-out men, or at least one look-out man, should be stationed in the bows. The Commissioner: Do you apply this observation to this case? Do you think if there had been a dozen men there they would have seen the iceberg any sooner? Mr. Scanlan: I think they would have had a chance of seeing it sooner; they might have seen it sooner; but if there was not a certainty that they would have seen it sooner, then the other obvious precaution should have been taken - of slackening the speed of the ship. The Commissioner: Have you thought about a combination of causes in this connection? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: That is to say, a bad look-out plus excessive speed. Mr. Scanlan: I have not thought of a bad look-out, my Lord. The Commissioner: No, you will not contemplate the possibility of your men not having looked properly, but have you thought about the combination of bad look-out, or, if you like, a bad disposal of the look-out - that you do not object to. Mr. Scanlan: No, I must not quarrel with that. The Commissioner: That does not hurt your clients - a bad disposal of the look-out, together with excessive speed. Mr. Scanlan: Of course, I am bound not to complain of the combination, because I have already complained of both of those things taken separately and individually. The Commissioner: What I mean is this: Can you logically attribute the accident to the two together, or must you confine yourself to one? Mr. Scanlan: I do not think so, my Lord. I do not think it is necessary to confine myself to one. In the evidence of Captain Rostron, he said in some circumstances (and he is a very clear-sighted man, I have no doubt, and a man with excellent eyes and great practice), a look-out man might see an object ahead sooner than the man on the bridge. I think, therefore, that that is a wise precaution. The Commissioner: He does, but he says in 75 percent of the cases the men on the bridge see an object before the look-out man. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. As your Lordship has suggested one view about the look-out, perhaps I should be permitted to say this: Captain Rostron saw one berg probably about the distance ahead that Fleet and Lee [Original spelled Leigh.] saw the berg which caused the collision; therefore, it would be unreasonable to hold that the look-out men who were posted in the crow’s-nest could have seen this berg sooner than they did, whether your Lordship takes the
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