Page 20 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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The Commissioner: I think it means the place marked as the navigation room. Sir Robert Finlay: I think so, my Lord. The Commissioner: It is practically on the bridge. Sir Robert Finlay: It is, my Lord; it is really on the bridge. It is under cover. If your Lordship will look at this larger plan it shows it more clearly, and it shows the chart table, which is in the navigation room. (The plan was handed to his Lordship.) The Commissioner: If he was sitting in that room I suppose he would be sitting with a bright light. Sir Robert Finlay: It depends, my Lord. Of course, if he were looking at the chart or anything of that kind he would, but a man may go in there simply to rest. The Commissioner: Do we really know anything about the light in his room at the time that he came out? Sir Robert Finlay: I do not think we do; there is no evidence about it. All I mean is this, that a man may be resting in his room dressed and ready to go out, and yet have turned down the light because it is a great relief to the eyes to have the light down. The Commissioner: But there is no evidence about it. Sir Robert Finlay: There is no evidence about it one way or the other. The Commissioner: Because, you know, if he came out of the bright glare of an electric light on to the dark bridge, it would take him some time - we know by our own experience - to get the eye accustomed to the change from light to darkness. Sir Robert Finlay: It would, undoubtedly. However, I do not think anything turns upon that, because what had happened had happened when he came out. The Commissioner: But it may be a point that he should not have been away from the bridge in these circumstances, so that he could not the moment he came on to the bridge realise what was taking place. Sir Robert Finlay: Of course, in the first place, we do not know that the light was on. It may or it may not have been. In the second place, there was absolutely no circumstances of danger, so far as was known. He left word, “If the slightest haze comes on, call me,” and he was sitting close at hand. Under those circumstances I submit that it could not be said - The Commissioner: There is always that conversation which Mr. Lightoller remembers with such distinctness. Sir Robert Finlay: I submit that does not come to very much, my Lord. Would your Lordship kindly look at Mr. Boxhall’s evidence with regard to this on page 376. Mr. Boxhall was on duty from 8 to 12. “16923. Was there any message during the time you were on duty, from 8 to 12, received by any of the officers on the bridge? - (A.) Not to my knowledge. (Q.) You know of none. Was Captain Smith on and off the bridge during your watch? - (A.) Frequently. (Q.) At what intervals did he come on the bridge? - (A.) The first time that I remember seeing Captain Smith was somewhere in the vicinity of 9 o’clock, but from 9 o’clock to the time of the collision, Captain Smith was around there the whole of the time; I was talking to him on one or two occasions. (Q.) Were you talking to him on the bridge? - (A.) Sometimes in the officers’ chart room and sometimes at his chart room door.” The officers’ chart room is just on the other side of the vessel, your Lordship will recollect. “16927. What were you talking about? - (A.) I was discussing some stellar bearings I had had. I was also standing at his chart room door while he pricked off the 7.30 stellar position of the ship. (Q.) Was anything ever said by the Captain about any such message as that that the ‘Mesaba’ sent? - (A.) No, none whatever.” He was recalled really to negative the “Mesaba” message being received, so that it is quite plain that the Captain was close at hand. He was close at hand, and was going on to the bridge. Then on page 334 in the evidence of the same witness, Mr. Boxhall (what I have already read was Mr. Boxhall’s evidence when he was recalled) you will see Question 15352: “Did you see anything done with
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