Page 119 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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can you help us at all, did that indication 42 N. indicate to you that it was near where you were likely to go? - (A.) It would, had I taken particular notice of the latitude, though, as a matter of fact, latitude with regard to ice conveys so very little. (Q.) Is that because it tends to set North or South? - (A.) North and South, yes.” He means to say it is coming down South, I suppose? The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: “(The Commissioner.) I do not follow that? - (A.) We take very little notice of the latitude because it conveys very little. You cannot rely on latitude. (Q.) (The Solicitor-General.) For ice? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) (The Solicitor-General.) He answered that ‘Because the ice tends to set North and South. (To the Witness) Then do you attach more importance to the longitude? - (A.) Far more.” Mr. Laing: Will your Lordship look at Question 13487? The Commissioner: Yes: “(Q.) That is longitude. Did you form any sort of impression at that time as to what time of day or night you were likely to reach the area indicated? - (A.) Not at that time.” Mr. Laing: That is all, my Lord. “The area indicated.” The Commissioner: You know there is a singular omission on the part of Mr. Lightoller to tell Murdoch that Moody’s calculation was, according to him, wrong. The Attorney-General: He seems to have acted upon it as if it were right. I think this matter is put at rest so far as Mr. Lightoller is concerned, without reading the three or four pages to which I have referred, if you look at page 328, your Lordship’s own questions, and the answers when Mr. Scanlan was examining him. The Commissioner: Will you read it to me? The Attorney-General: Yes. It is page 328, Question 14352. I was only going to read two questions and answers that are quite material, but one can follow it a little more easily if I read these few questions and answers preceding; it will save me reading the pages to which I have given the reference. If you look at page 327, Question 14346, leading up to what I said just now: “(Q.) Did the course which you followed lead you into the region from which the presence of ice was reported to you? - (A.) The course set at noon? (Q.) Yes? - (A.) No. (Q.) Did the course you were following up to the time you left your watch at ten o’clock lead necessarily to a place where you expected ice? - (A.) Where there was a possibility of seeing ice? (Q.) Not only a possibility of seeing it, but a possibility, and almost a certainty, of running into it? - (A.) Oh, no. (The Commissioner.) I do not think he could say that. (To the Witness.) Before you left the bridge did you know you were making for a locality in which ice was to be expected? - (A.) Quite so. (Mr. Scanlan.) Because you so stated to Mr. Murdoch when you were leaving the watch, according to your evidence here yesterday? - (A.) Yes. Let me explain my point, and we will get it far clearer. You see, we were making for a vicinity where ice had been reported, as you say year after year, and time and again, and I do not think for the last two or three years I have seen an iceberg, although ships ahead of us have reported ice time and time again. There was no absolute certainty that we were running into an ice-field, or running amongst icebergs or anything else, and it might have been as it has been in years before ice reported inside a certain longitude.” Now come the two questions and answers on which I rely. Your Lordship says: “I can understand that; it does not follow that because ice is reported you are going to have a collision with an iceberg? - (A.) That is what I wish to convey. (Q.) You need not trouble about that at all as far as I am concerned. The point which I understand is being put to you at present is this, that you knew you were steering into what I may call an ice-field, a district in which there were icebergs and growlers and field-ice. That is what you want to put, Mr. Scanlan? (Mr. Scanlan.) Yes, it is, my Lord. (To the Witness.) You knew you were heading there when you left the watch” - that is 10 o’clock, and he says, ‘Yes.” Now that is the point.
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