Page 68 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
P. 68
view that there was a haze, or refuses to adopt that view. Another thing which confirms this is the fact that only the two look-out men saw the berg, and on this occasion the officer on the bridge, who was Mr. Murdoch, did not see the berg. There is nothing to show that Mr. Murdoch was not a careful officer; there is nothing to show that his mind was in any way distracted from his duty at the time the collision occurred, and when you couple those two considerations together, that these men did see it, and this other man who was in an equally good position did not see it, the iceberg in all probability was seen by those men as far ahead as they could have seen it in the peculiar circumstances of the night, and of the position in which they were placed. You have the evidence of Captain Jones as to stationing a look-out on the bows. He is a man who believes in going ahead. His evidence is at page 665. The Commissioner: Who was Jones? Mr. Scanlan: He was one of the Captains called. The Attorney-General: Captain of one of the Dominion Line boats. The Commissioner: The Dominion Line goes to Canada, does it not? Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: I say it in your favour: if it is a wise precaution to do what this Captain says he has been in the habit of doing for the last 27 years, I do not see why it should not be done anywhere else where there is ice reported. Mr. Scanlan: Yes, my Lord. Another Captain, Captain Cannons, at page 667, says at Question 23771: “If any condition of the weather prevented you from seeing clearly, you would double the look-out? - (A.) Decidedly.” The Commissioner: That is not to the point. Mr. Scanlan: At Question 23778 he is asked about doubling the look-outs. The Commissioner: Yes, that is to the point. Mr. Scanlan: “Is it considered that the position of the stem head is a good commanding position from which to see low-lying ice? - (A.) Yes, it is a position of advantage.” Of course, there is the most important and, to my mind, convincing evidence of Sir Ernest Shackleton on this point. His evidence is at page 720. He is asked by the Attorney-General at Question 25041, “That would rather suggest that your view would be that you could detect bergs of that kind better at the stem than you could at the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Better, the nearer you are to the waterline. When we navigated in thick or hazy weather there was always one man on the look-out and one man as near the deck-line as possible. (Q.) That is thick or hazy weather? - (A.) Yes, that is thick or hazy weather, or even clear just the same. (Q.) What I want you to tell my Lord is, Do you think it is of advantage in clear weather to have a man stationed right ahead at the stem as well as in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Undoubtedly, if you are in the danger zone; in the ice zone. (Q.) And supposing you were passing through a zone where you had ice reported to you would you take precautions as to the look-out? Supposing you only had men in the crow’s- nest, would you take any other precaution? - (A.) I would take the ordinary precaution of slowing down, whether I was in a ship equipped for ice, or any other, compatible with keeping steerage way for the size of the ship.” Then he says he would slow down. The Commissioner: What did you say the speed of the “Titanic” would have to be to keep steering way on? The Attorney-General: Six knots; that is admitted. Mr. Scanlan: Then there is an important piece of evidence at page 734, from Captain Fairfull. He is asked at Question 25272 - other captains had been examined and he is asked if he agrees with them - “Is your practice in accordance with theirs? - (A.) All except that when we get to the ice track in an Allan steamer, besides having a look-out in the crow’s-nest, we put a man on the stem head at night. (The Commissioner.) I do not hear what you are saying. (The Witness.)
   63   64   65   66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73