Page 71 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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“Californian” and the “Titanic” both belonged to the same great International Mercantile Marine Company. So much, my Lord, for the owners. Now, I wish to say a word on behalf of myself, because although I have been present very rarely during the course of this Enquiry some of my friends who have been present have told me that my position as an advocate for the “Californian” is not altogether an enviable one, and I appreciate that in addressing your Lordship now, I am to some extent appealing from your Lordship to your Lordship, because I have seen from time to time the observations that have been made with reference to what has been compendiously called the “Californian” incident. My Lord, all I desire is, if I may be allowed, with your Lordship’s permission, to put before you a number of considerations which I ask your Lordship to entertain, and to give them whatever weight your Lordship may, on reflection, think they deserve. And the first submission which I have to make to your Lordship is that the vessel whose lights or whose rockets were seen by those on board the “Californian’ was not the “Titanic,” and the vessel whose lights were seen by those on board the “Titanic” was not the Californian,” and I hope to satisfy your Lordship that the evidence, in whatever way the evidence is tested, leads to no other conclusion. My Lord, may I first deal with the position of the “Californian” herself, and invite your Lordship’s attention to the logbook. According to the logbook, the “Californian” was lying stopped in latitude 42 degrees 5 minutes North, which is admitted to be about 20 miles North by East of the place where the “Titanic” had struck the iceberg. This position was given by the Master at Question 6704, and while the Master was in the witness-box no one challenged the accuracy of that position. It was fixed by dead reckoning, and verified from time to time by observations. In the first place, there was the observation at noon. I have a chart here, my Lord, in which I have traced the course of the “Californian” back from the position at which she was lying stopped, and I should like to hand that up to your Lordship in order that your Lordship may compare it with the corresponding track of the “Titanic” at the various times. (The chart was handed to his Lordship.) That is the chart I have prepared for my own guidance I have not another copy, but I have a rough copy here which will enable me to explain. Your Lordship will see the noon position, 42.5 North and 47.25 West. The Commissioner: Is this document that we have had handed in the log or a copy of the log? Mr. Dunlop: My Lord, it was the original log that was produced by the witnesses. If it is the same log it would be the original. The Commissioner: It appears to be all in the handwriting of the mate. Mr. Dunlop: The Chief Officer. He was the man who said he wrote up the log. The Attorney-General: He wrote it up from the scrap. Mr. Dunlop: He wrote it up from the scrap log, in which was entered at the time the various entries which were subsequently copied into the log before your Lordship. The first observation that day appears to have been taken at 9.40 a.m., latitude 42 North, longitude 47 West. Your Lordship will see that at that time is also recorded a reading of the patent log. The log showed 47 1/2 miles. It does not appear on this day when the log was set. At 9.55 the course is altered, and at noon observations are taken by the officers on the bridge, verified by the Master, and her position fixed at 42.5 and 47.25, as recorded in the log. From there a course of South 89 true is set, practically true West. The Commissioner: Where do you get that from? Mr. Dunlop: That is from the evidence of the officer as to the deviation on the steering compass North 59. 9.55, altered course at noon North 61 degrees West, equivalent to South 89 degrees true, practically true West. The Commissioner: Where is the variation? Mr. Dunlop: The variation you will find in the log, 24 3/4 West. The Commissioner: Where is the deviation?
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