Page 7 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
P. 7
been a strong wind. All I mean is, I think it is put a great deal too high in the question which is addressed by Mr. Scanlan. The Commissioner: Oh, that you must expect; we have all done that in our time. Sir Robert Finlay: The vital point, the absence of swell, was one which no one realised until they got down to the water. That is the point. Then Mr. Owen Jones’s evidence is at page 665 - The Commissioner: I think if you would read the references, the numbers of the questions, that will be sufficient, because I shall have to look at all this. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. The Commissioner: And only read those parts that you think are of great significance. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. That will relieve me of a great deal of trouble. I think if all records run to such a length as this and one were to give the number of the question, such as 23598, one would need to introduce some system of units such as they have for giving the distance of a fixed star. It would shorten matters a little. On page 665, Question 23653, Mr. Scanlan asks what provision had he for a look-out, and he said: “Two men on the look-out. (Q.) Where? - (A.) One in the crow’s-nest and one on the stem head. (Q.) Was your one man on the stem head put on at night? - (A.) Yes, he was put on that night; just as we got on to the ice track. (Q.) Did you consider it a proper precaution to put a man at the stem head when ice was reported? - (A.) It had been always our custom; we have always done that for the last 27 years. (Q.) At night? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) Whether ice is reported or not? - (A.) In the ice track.” If you have only one man in the crow’s-nest; and they proceed on the principle of having one man, then on the ice track he would have a second man on the stem; but the evidence here is that the look-out from the crow’s-nest in the “Titanic” was rather better than from the stem. Then Captain Cannons, at page 666, Questions 23746 down to 23752, says that in clear weather he would not double the look-out even in ice. I think I have fairly summarised his evidence. He says that he carries one man on the look-out in the crow’s-nest in clear weather, and only that one in clear weather, except the officers on the bridge; that he would not increase the number of men on the look-out in clear weather, but would go steaming on with one man in the crow’s-nest, and that is all. The difference he makes, and this is the important answer, is in 23751: “(Q.) You do not put anybody, apparently, in the stem head? - (A.) No, not unless the weather becomes hazy, or any difference to ordinary clear weather. (Q.) If the weather does become hazy it would be better to put a man on the stem head, I understand? - (A.) A man goes there immediately.” Then at Question 23765 Mr. Scanlan returns to the charge upon this point. He says: “(Q.) If there is any difficulty at all in seeing ahead at night, would it be in accordance with your practice to double the look-out? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) You think that would be the proper thing to do? - (A.) If there was any haze at all, yes, immediately. (Q.) Apart from haze, if there was what has been described here as a flat calm, and the conditions were such that it would be more difficult than on an ordinary clear night to see an iceberg ahead, would you double the look-out? - (A.) Not in perfectly clear weather. (Q.) If it is calm is it more difficult to see an iceberg? - (A.) I have not found it so.” So that it comes to this, according to the evidence of Captain Cannons, as long as the weather is perfectly clear there is no occasion to double the look-out. The Attorney-General: Whilst your Lordship has that before you - it saves so much turning to it afterwards - would your Lordship read the next two questions, which bear upon what Mr. Lightoller describes as the one abnormal condition of which he had no knowledge. Sir Robert Finlay: I will read that: “(Q.) If it is calm is it more difficult to see an iceberg? - (A.) I have not found it so. (The Commissioner.) Do you think it is more difficult to see an iceberg when the sea is flat and with the weather quite clear? Do you think the flat sea prevents you from seeing an iceberg as readily as you would do if the sea were rough or rippled? - (A.)
   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12