Page 145 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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iceberg. That really exhausts what I desire to add upon that subject, and I will now address myself to the other point to which it is desirable that I should call your Lordship’s attention. So far we have been dealing with the vessel up to the time of the report of the iceberg and the striking of the iceberg. It is unnecessary that I should call your Lordship’s attention in any detail - so it occurs to me, but, of course, I will take any course your Lordship thinks right - as to what happened from the report by the look-out men of iceberg ahead and the striking of three bells and the telephone message, and then what happens on board the ship with the order to Hichens, the quartermaster; it is unnecessary that I should go into detail upon that, because I am accepting literally the evidence as it was given, and that you may treat the two things - that is, the sighting by the look-out man of the iceberg and by the officer in charge, Mr. Murdoch - as simultaneous. That is the fairest way, at any rate to Mr. Murdoch, to deal with it, that he saw it at the same time, and that immediately an order is given, “Hard-a-starboard,” and if your Lordship will remember Mr. Moody’s evidence, he said that she was hard-a-starboard, the helm right over, just as the impact took place. One has to bear in mind, and I will only ask your Lordship to consider what all this means - that it has taken me pretty nearly three times as long to recapitulate this story as to what happened after the sighting of the iceberg as the actual occurrence took, as the actual time that elapsed between the sighting of the iceberg and the striking of the berg, which I say at most is 40 seconds. What I mentioned just now is the evidence of what Hichens said that Moody had said. I said the evidence of Moody, but I did not mean that Moody had been called. Now, my Lord, that brings us to consider what the effect of the collision was. Of course we have gone into that with considerable minuteness, having regard to its importance; we have examined the plans with the model and in particular with that large plan. Now that we have got it indicated as we have, your Lordship can see there on the section where exactly the wounds were inflicted, and I do not propose, unless you think it desirable (I am quite prepared to do it with references in detail to the actual evidence upon it, with the pages) to go into it. The Commissioner: I do not think it will be useful. The Attorney-General: No, my Lord. It did not seem so to me, because when you have located the spot there is very little importance in going through the evidence which tells you where the spot is which is now indicated on the section. Your Lordship will see that this ship, as she is veering to port under the starboard helm during this period of something like 40 seconds - because that is what it must be now; I am dealing with the wounds inflicted -strikes at about five places indicated on the section, and it is worth noting that she is considerably torn. I will indicate what they were. I have no doubt your Lordship has them well in mind, and I do not wish to dwell at any length upon the detail because I cannot conceive it will be of any assistance. The Commissioner: No. The Attorney-General: But what I want to do is to point out what the result of the whole evidence is, beyond all question, and therefore it is unnecessary to dilate upon it at any length. In the first place you have a blow struck in the forepeak tank. There is an undoubted puncture of the skin there - penetration. Then you have it further in 1, 2 and 3 holds; you have that clearly proved. Then you have a very serious blow which was struck in the firemen’s passage. That I say was very serious for this reason. Your Lordship will remember according to the evidence the blow struck there must have penetrated through the outer skin and through the inner skin of the firemen’s passage and the distance between the inner skin and the outer skin at the nearest point was 3 feet 6 inches. So that one can form some conception of the force of the blow, and also of the penetration which must have taken place there if you realise that at least - we do not know the exact spot - 3 feet 6 inches of that ship was penetrated by some spur or something on that
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