Page 31 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, that is so. The first “Californian” message was not acknowledged in that way, but your Lordship’s observation was that it related only to the “Baltic” and the “Caronia.” The Commissioner: The observations I have just made related to the “Baltic” and the “Caronia,” that is to say that both messages were acknowledged in the name of Captain Smith. Sir Robert Finlay: That is so. The Commissioner: But the “Californian” message was never acknowledged in that way. Sir Robert Finlay: That is so, that is what I ventured to put to you. (After a short adjournment.) The Commissioner: As Sir Robert is not here at the moment I am going to ask you, Mr. Laing, if you can tell me how long you are going to be? Mr. Laing: I thought I should say all I want to say certainly within an hour. The Commissioner: Now, you were going to say something rude; you were going to add, “but if I am interrupted.” Mr. Laing: No, my Lord; but I thought if your Lordship wanted further information that I have got at hand it might take longer, but with the material I have prepared I certainly think it will not take more than an hour. The Commissioner: And how long is Mr. Dunlop to take? Mr. Laing: I could not answer for that. The Commissioner: But you know him. Mr. Laing: Yes, I know him. The Commissioner: How long do you think he will take? Mr. Laing: My Lord, I think he will be more than an hour. The Commissioner: That is very indefinite. Mr. Laing: I could not answer for him. Sir Robert Finlay: I was dealing with the question of the course that the Captain took, and I pointed out as regards the field ice and shallow and small bergs reported by the “Caronia” he had given them, by deflection to the South, a wider berth than he would have had if he had kept to the ordinary track. As regards the deep bigger bergs which would be influenced by the Labrador Current, the Labrador Current is stated in the “United States Pilot” in the passages I have already read, to be of variable force, but one knot is suggested as a not unusual force. It is not so rapid as the Gulf Stream. If it were one knot the “Caronia” ice in 48 hours would have been taken 48 miles to the South of the spot at which it was reported, which is a long way to the South of the course which the “Titanic” took. If it went only half a knot an hour it would have gone 24 miles, which would be several miles to the South of the course which the “Titanic” took. I therefore suggest for your Lordship’s consideration that although it is impossible to know what passed through the Commander’s mind in all probability his calculation was: “I will give the field ice and the smaller bergs a clear berth and I will pass under the stern of the bigger bergs which must have gone further South than the track I am going.” That is why he went just so far South and no further. My Lord, there is only one fact I recall to your Lordship’s recollection; the time at which the “Mesaba” message was sent was according to “Titanic” time 9.40; it was 7.50 according to New York time which the “Mesaba” was keeping, and 9.40 “Titanic” time. So your Lordship sees the point of time at which it arrived at the “Titanic.” I think those are all the considerations which I have to submit to your Lordship bearing directly on the question of the navigation of the vessel. In the result, I respectfully submit that Captain
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