Page 6 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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nest? - (A.) Yes, and on the bridge, and I personally stay round. (Q.) You do not put anybody in the bows? - (A.) Not in clear weather. (Q.) Not in clear weather or fine weather? - (A.) Clear weather must be fine. (Q.) Do you mean, not when you can see clearly, but when you have a smooth sea? - (A.) I do not take the sea into consideration at all. It is as long as the weather is clear.” And then he goes into the question of the rate of speed. Then Captain Passow, the Captain of the “St. Paul,” on page 571, at Question 21863, says he agrees with the evidence that has just been given by Captain Hayes, the last preceding witness. Then Captain Steel, at page 575, Question 21978. Mr. Scanlan puts this to him: “If it was found, as is stated by Mr. Lightoller, that he had observed from six o’clock to ten o’clock on the night of the 14th of April that it was more difficult than under normal circumstances to see an iceberg, would that suggest to you from the point of view of seamanship that a double look-out should have been set that night? - (A.) No. (Q.) Do not you think it would be desirable to place an extra look-out man on the bows? - (A.) No.” I think the assumption of fact in that question is erroneous. Mr. Lightoller never said it was more difficult in normal circumstances to see an iceberg. I mean, he never said he knew it then. What he did say was that when they found the sea was absolutely still, without any swell at all, then that showed him that there had been a difficulty which, when he was on the bridge, he had been quite unable to realise, of course. There was no statement by Mr. Lightoller that he had found out, when on watch, that it was more difficult that night to see an iceberg. The Commissioner: You are not quite right about that, but you are right, I think, to this extent, that he had not appreciated the absence of one important circumstance that would indicate the presence of ice, namely, the swell. I do not think you can put it higher than that. Sir Robert Finlay: That is enough for my purpose. I do not find that Mr. Lightoller anywhere says that when he was on the bridge there were any circumstances which brought to his mind that it was more difficult on that night to see the iceberg. On the contrary, he says it was a perfectly clear night, and the arrangement that the Captain made was that if it became in the least hazy, so that it should become difficult to see, the Captain, who had only gone into the chart room, should be called at once. The Commissioner: I remember it quite well. It all comes in the conversation that Lightoller says he had with the Captain. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes. The Commissioner: For my own part, I doubt that conversation a good deal. People have extraordinarily accurate memories at times, and that seems very accurate. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes; but, my Lord, it is a very natural conversation. I daresay the words are not exactly those used. The Commissioner: I was making the observation in your favour. Sir Robert Finlay: I accept that, my Lord. In reproducing a conversation, one throws it, of course, into conversational form; the words used may not have been exactly those which were employed - but still they give the effect of what passed. But my point is this, and I think what your Lordship has said, bears it out, that Mr. Lightoller never said that he or anyone on the bridge thought that there was anything in the circumstances of the weather that night to make it more difficult than usual to see an iceberg. The Commissioner: He says this, that there was an absolute absence of wind, of motion on the sea. It was a calm sea. He talks about it, and the Captain says it is a pity. I think he uses the very words, “It is a pity.” Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, he said so to the Captain. The Commissioner: He said it was rather a pity the breeze had not kept up. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, he does not go beyond that; but still, if there had been a swell, there would have been enough to call attention to the iceberg; not so good, of course, as if there had
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