Page 152 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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of that is to show that we do get from Mr. Ismay’s questions to the Captain and to the Chief Engineer within a short time after the impact, conversations which show what their view was of the injury. I will not trouble your Lordship with references to it, because I have no doubt it is present to your Lordship’s mind. It is stated really in a couple of sentences. The effect of it was that the Captain said, “It is very serious.” The effect from the conversations with the Chief Engineer was: “It is very serious; I hope that I may be able to keep it under with the pumps.” That is how it stands. And, of course, there is further evidence of the conversations with Mr. Andrews, to which reference has been made, but which indicate, in any event, that he put the life of the vessel at the moment that he was asked as 1 1/2 hours only. I am taking the extreme view. According to one witness he said half an hour, but according to another witness he said an hour- and-a-half, and I will take the longer time. There are just a few passages upon it to which I wish to direct your Lordship’s attention. Mr. Lightoller says that he realised that it was serious when Mr. Boxhall came to him half an hour after the impact and told him that the water was up to F deck. That is at page 310, Questions 13784 to 13791. My friend the Solicitor-General says: “Time is very difficult to calculate, especially when you are trying to go to sleep, but seriously, do you think it was half an hour? - (A.) That I was in my bunk after that? (Q.) Yes? - (A.) Well, I did not think it was half an hour, but we have been talking this matter over a very great deal, and I judge it is half an hour, because it was Mr. Boxhall who came to inform me afterwards we had struck ice, and previous to him coming to inform me, as you will find out in his evidence, he had been a considerable way round the ship on various duties, which must have taken him a good while. It might be less, it might be a quarter of an hour. You will be able to form your judgment. (Q.) He is the Fourth Officer? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) How would his time of duty run? - (A.) He was on duty till 12 o’clock. (Q.) 10 to 12? - (A.) 8 to 12. (Q.) It was Mr. Boxhall who came to your room and gave you the information? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) What was it he told you? - (A.) He just came in and quietly remarked, ‘You know we have struck an iceberg.’ I said, ‘I know we have struck something.’ He then said, ‘The water is up to F deck in the mail-room.’ (The Commissioner.) Well, that was rather alarming, was it not? - (A.) He had no need to say anything further then, sir.” The Commissioner: By F deck he meant G deck; is not that so? The Attorney-General: Yes, that is quite right. The Solicitor-General: Yes, it was cleared up afterwards. He said Boxhall did say F deck, but he meant G deck. The Attorney-General: Then at page 316, Mr. Pitman says, at Questions 14931 to 14956: “(Q.) You were aroused, and at first did you think much had happened? - (A.) No, I did not. (Q.) What was it aroused you; was it a noise, or a jar, or what? - (A.) A noise; I thought the ship was coming to anchor. (Q.) Did you lie on in your bunk for some few minutes? - (A.) I did. (Q.) At the end of those few minutes did you do anything? - (A.) Yes, I went on deck. (Q.) Was that curiosity, or what took you there? - (A.) Yes, I suppose it was. (Q.) Getting on deck, what did you see or hear? - (A.) I saw nothing and heard nothing. (Q.) Did you go to the forward part of the navigation bridge? - (A.) No, I only just went outside the quarters.” It comes a little later: I will leave out the intervening part. Question 14948 is: “(Q.) While you were dressing did you receive any information? - (A.) Mr. Boxhall came to my room and said the mail room was afloat. (Q.) How long do you think had elapsed between the time you were aroused and Mr. Boxhall coming and telling you this? - (A.) I should think it must be 20 minutes. (Q.) Did he give you any information as to what had caused the mail-room to be afloat? - (A.) Yes; I asked him what we had struck, and he said an iceberg. (Q.) After that did you quickly proceed with your dressing? - (A.) Yes, I put my coat on and went on deck. (Q.) When you got on deck, did you see anything being done? - (A.) The men were uncovering the boats.” Then Mr. Boxhall, at page 361, Questions 15607 to 15613.
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