Page 23 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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10 miles to the inner South-Westerly direction beyond the track, crossing it, and then he made his corner where he turned in a Westerly direction 10 miles further to the South. At 5.50 p.m. the “Titanic” made her corner. Till he turned the corner his course had been S. 62 W. true. Then, on turning the corner his course was from 5.50 onwards, S. 86 W. true. Now that took him on a course which was to the South of the course of the ordinary track, varying in distance. Its greater distance is to the East. The Commissioner: That would be a difference of nearly 10 miles. Sir Robert Finlay: Nearly 10 miles. The Commissioner: And then you are gradually getting nearer to the marked course. Sir Robert Finlay: I think your Lordship is right. The Commissioner: Or is it eight miles? Sir Robert Finlay: It is more like eight miles, I think. The Commissioner: Let us get it right. I am told it is only 4 miles. Sir Robert Finlay: 4 miles, I am told, is quite right. Then it diminishes at the other end to something between 1 and 2, I think, at the time of the disaster - that she was less than 2 miles South of the track. The Commissioner: That is important, because hitherto I have thought that at the time of the disaster she was about 4 miles South of the indicated ice. I see now what it is. She was about, possibly, 2 miles South of the course, but she was about 4 miles South of the indicated ice. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, of the position; that is so my Lord. That is to say, she had passed 4 miles to the South of the position indicated for the “Baltic” ice; and a good deal more, of course, to the South of the position indicated for the “Caronia” ice, which was up on 42. The Commissioner: The “Caronia” and the “Californian.” Sir Robert Finlay: The “Caronia” and the “Californian.” If the Captain of the “Californian” is right in saying that his position was 42.5 N. Lat.; by the time the “Titanic” had reached the spot of the collision, she was far to the Westward of the situation of either the “Californian” ice or the “Baltic” ice. The Commissioner: The “Californian” ice was a good deal further off; more like 30 miles. Sir Robert Finlay: Quite that, I think rather more. If my memory serves me rightly she was 17 miles to the West of the “Baltic” ice, and it would be still more in the case of the “Californian.” The Commissioner: Then she was 40 miles to the West of the “Californian” ice. Sir Robert Finlay: I had guessed it roughly at about 30 miles; I may have underestimated it, but still it is a very long way. I am told it is 50 miles. Mr. Raeburn has taken it off, and he says 50 miles is correct. Your Lordship appreciates the importance of that fact because it demonstrates that as far as the “Californian” ice is concerned, and so far as the “Baltic” ice is concerned, the “Titanic” had avoided it. For what is absolutely certain is that, under the conditions that existed at this spot, neither the “Baltic” ice nor the “Californian” ice could have drifted in a Westerly direction. The drift of the ice would vary according to the depth it went below the water. In the case of field ice or bergs which were not so bulky as to reach down through the 50 fathoms or a little more of the Gulf Stream which runs in a North-East direction, in the case of ice which did not reach down through that stream to that cold Labrador Current below, which is running Southward, the drift would be Easterly, or, to put it exact, E.N.E. The Commissioner: That seems to show that she had succeeded in avoiding both the “Baltic’s” ice and the “Californian’s” ice. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: She passed out of the danger of it. Sir Robert Finlay: It proves it, my Lord; it was neither of those that struck the “Titanic.” Now, with regard to the “Caronia” ice, I say it is clear that she had also escaped the “Caronia” ice, and that these bergs belonged to other ice altogether, which had never been reported. For this reason:
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