Page 129 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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got in this case as to the colour of that iceberg, except perhaps one fact which I do not think adds anything to it, but I will mention it in case my learned friend thinks it does, and that is that Lucas, one of the witnesses, says he saw ice on the well deck where it fell, and that it was of a darkish white. I do not know that it adds anything to it, because what a piece of ice that had fallen from the berg on to the deck would show as a colour is not necessarily a key as to what you would see in the mass, and I do not think it adds anything. Lee is at page 83, Question 2441 to 2444, and Fleet is at page 410; he is the one who first saw it, Question 17277. The passage I referred to in Mr. Boxhall’s evidence is at page 359, Questions 15496 to 15501. And really that is all the evidence you have got about it and what I am going to submit to you, if your Lordship pleases, is that really you have not apparently reliable evidence to find as a fact, if it were necessary to determine it, that this was one of those icebergs which capsized, or which was presenting its dark face. I think the only explanation of why it is said that it was that kind of iceberg, was that there was not any phosphorescent light about this iceberg. There was certainly no ice-blink according to the evidence, and I do not suppose there would be on any iceberg of this character, and I do not think there has been any suggestion that there was - but there was none; there was no ripple around the base of the berg at the waterline. That is independent of the colour of the berg, but it is one of the things relied upon; and there was no white outline at the top of the berg above the water, and that I think is the whole of the evidence about it. Now, my Lord, when you are dealing with it on a night of this kind, I think that all you can say about it is, when you bear in mind that this was a low-lying berg, 60 to 80 feet high. The Commissioner: Who was the witness who saw it vanishing on the starboard side of the ship? The Attorney-General: That is Shiers, my Lord, but I did not think that that came to anything. The Commissioner: I think he describes it as something of a grey colour. The Attorney-General: Yes, I did not think his evidence was of any value. The Commissioner: Perhaps he did not. I am sorry to disturb you, but it struck me he did say that he had seen it when it was vanishing. The Attorney-General: He did say it, my Lord. It is at page 111. It is quite plain that he is speaking about it there. It is the colour I wanted, and I do not fancy he says anything about that. I do not think he said anything about colour. He did say: “I saw the berg that was going away.” You are quite right in that, my Lord. The Commissioner: Yes. The Attorney-General: But I do not think it threw any light upon it. This is the nearest I think we shall ever get to it - that is why I did not pay any attention to it - Question 4544, at page 111: “About how far off? - (A.) I could not say; it was very dim then; I could just see it.” The Commissioner: Yes, that is what I had in my mind. “It was very dim; I could just see it.” You need not trouble any further about it. The Attorney-General: Very well, my Lord. Now, my Lord, there is a little evidence and of value upon this question of icebergs, which your Lordship no doubt has in mind, of Captain Rostron, of the “Carpathia,” and Sir Ernest Shackleton. I mean upon the point, the specific point, which was also deposed to by some other witnesses, of the dark iceberg; and showing that it was the kind of thing that you ought to expect; and there was also the evidence of Mr. Lightoller, to which I have referred. Now, my Lord, I only want to call your attention to the passages there again, because I have summarised it. I have stated what the effect of it is, and I have no doubt it is present to your Lordship’s mind. The effect of it really is this, that it is the kind of thing that every reasonable man must expect when he gets amongst ice, that some of the icebergs, or one of the icebergs, may present this dark appearance and will be difficult to detect. That is all that is necessary for the point that I am upon. The Commissioner: This dark colour is seen, is it not, after the berg has turned turtle?
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