Page 139 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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Sir Robert Finlay: I submit there is no inconsistency at all, my Lord. What they apprehended was, although no other ice had been reported, and although the course that they took would avoid, and did avoid, the ice which had been reported, yet they had got to the longitude where this ice had been reported, and it was, of course, always possible that there might be other ice. The Commissioner: Do not you see the danger of that? If they knew that they were in the region where ice might be, where icebergs might be, then they ought to have taken that circumstance into consideration. Sir Robert Finlay: I think they did, my Lord, as I shall show in answering your Lordship’s other question; but I hope that I have made clear that the explanation which Lightoller gave of that discrepancy between the two calculations is a correct one. The Commissioner: I remember very well what he said, and a very unsatisfactory explanation it was. Sir Robert Finlay: But, my Lord, it exactly fits in with the position of the “Titanic” at 9 o’clock and at 11 o’clock. The Commissioner: It may be, but if you remember he said when Moody told him that he expected to meet ice about 11 o’clock, “I noticed that it was wrong, but I did not say so; he was busy at the time and I did not want to disturb him.” It appears to me a most unsatisfactory explanation, but that is what he says. Then he says. “I thought” - he said this subsequently and seems very like an afterthought - “I thought that Moody’s calculation was based on some other telegram.” Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, I do not know whether Mr. Lightoller is now in the country. If your Lordship thinks it might conduce to the interests of truth to recall him - The Commissioner: I do not want to have Mr. Lightoller back; I am quite satisfied with the evidence as far as it goes. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. The Commissioner: I should not care for any evidence of Lightoller coming after the discussion. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. The Commissioner: If you follow what I mean - Sir Robert Finlay: I follow perfectly. My submission is that Lightoller’s evidence as it stands is clear and consistent with the facts so far as relates to these two messages, and I submit it does not touch the point which I made that all this ice that was reported - the “Baltic” ice and the “Caronia” ice, as well, of course, as the “Californian” ice which was far to the Eastward - was successfully avoided, and the course taken was one which would avoid it, because, while the field ice and the smaller bergs would be well to the Northward, the big bergs must have gone to the South. The Commissioner: I have been thinking very anxiously about your theory about the Labrador Current taking these big bergs to the South, and I shall give it great consideration. But it seems to me that your admission that there might have been other bergs in the track which they were following, put upon them, if it be true, the obligation to do more than they did. Sir Robert Finlay: My Lord, I submit not for this reason. As soon as you have had a report of ice in a particular longitude, although you have taken a course which avoids the ice which is reported, every prudent navigator will take into account that there may possibly be other bergs; and then it comes back to the question whether, by following the course which is invariably adopted in North Atlantic navigation, of keeping the speed at which the vessel was going, there was anything in the slightest degree blameworthy. The Commissioner: Then you come to the abnormality? Sir Robert Finlay: I do, my Lord. I shall deal with that in answering your Lordship’s second question.
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