Page 76 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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from the question of speed, judging it from the record of the interval of time that there was between his position and that of the “Titanic,” that is 2 1/2 hours’ steaming from the “Titanic’s” position - if there is one point on which all the evidence agrees it is this, that as soon as they did hear of the “Titanic’s” loss they with all speed went to her assistance. They went in the direction reported by the “Carpathia,” and did so at full speed. If you allow for 2 hours at full speed and 30 minutes at slow, and her full speed is something like 13 knots or 13 1/2 knots, I submit, my Lord, it follows that the position recorded in the log as the place where the “Californian” was stopped must be approximately accurate. The Commissioner: That is about 20 miles North of the place of the disaster. Mr. Dunlop: North by east of the place where the “Titanic” struck. I invite those who assist your Lordship to check the logbook. We will send for and get if we can the deviation-book, and I submit that the logbook will bear that investigation and will establish that the “Californian” was, in fact, in the position which her log records. That also, my Lord, is corroborated by the distance which you would ordinarily expect to find between vessels bound respectively to New York, as the “Titanic” was, and to Boston, as the “Californian” was, at the 50th Meridian of longitude. You would expect to find them at about 20 to 30 miles apart, if they were both steering the course to the port to which each was respectively bound. If the log is approximately right, it follows that neither vessel could possibly have been at any time in sight of the other. They were separated by so great a distance and so great an interval of time that the “Californian” could not possibly have been of any assistance had she steamed to the “Titanic” as soon as the “Titanic” struck the iceberg. So much, my Lord, for the log. I further submit to your Lordship that the fact the vessel seen was not the “Titanic” is borne out by what the witnesses from the “Californian” have themselves described as what they saw. And in this connection I think it is important to remember that the witnesses from the “Californian,” when they were watching this steamer, had in their minds the “Titanic,” because they had shortly before been in wireless communication with the “Titanic.” Now, my Lord, what did the witnesses see? First, with regard to the class of vessel which they saw, the Master had her under observation for at least an hour. He said in his evidence that he remarked to the Third Officer, who was standing beside him at the time: “She is not the ‘Titanic’; she is not even a passenger steamer.” It was impossible to mistake the “Titanic” for the steamer he was seeing. My Lord, that is his evidence at Questions 6724, 6755, and 8197. Stone, the Second Officer, and Gibson, the Apprentice, were the two who were on watch from midnight till 4 a.m. Those were the two witnesses who had this steamer longest under observation, and the better opportunity of judging what she was. They both said in their evidence, and both agreed at the time, when they were watching this steamer, that she had no appearance at all of being a passenger boat. They both agreed to this, my Lord, when they were discussing her, that she was a tramp, and they were looking at her through glasses. My Lord, that is not only their evidence, the views they expressed here, but it is what both say that they expressed to each other at the time they were looking at her, and when, as I say, they had the “Titanic” present to their minds. Stone’s evidence you will find at Questions 7863 and 8088; and Gibson’s, the Apprentice, at 7545, 7706, 7728, and 7792. Gill, the donkeyman, who your Lordship may remember went forward at the end of his watch to call his mate at about midnight, had a momentary and passing glimpse of a steamer which he associated with the “Titanic,” of whose loss he heard next morning. But even Gill, the donkeyman, with his imagination stimulated by what had taken place in New York, could not and did not say that she was the “Titanic.” He judged her to be a passenger steamer because of the glare of lights - her saloon lights and her port lights. The Commissioner: What did Gill say about the vessel that he saw being a tramp? Mr. Dunlop: Gill did not say so, my Lord. The Commissioner: What did he say?
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