Page 79 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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seen before 11.40, while the vessel which they describe came up and stopped in the ice; because that is the time when we know that the “Titanic” was steering West and would, if she was in sight, be showing to the “Californian” her green light. At that time the body of the evidence is that she was showing her red light. The Commissioner: Of course, if that was before the collision the steamer that the Captain of the “Californian” saw would be in the same position that the “Titanic” would be in, showing her green light. Mr. Dunlop: She would be a vessel to the Southward. The Commissioner: Showing the green light. Mr. Dunlop: Yes, any vessel to the Southward of him, bound West, would be showing the green light. The Commissioner: And, therefore, so far as it goes, she was showing the light that the “Titanic” would be showing. Mr. Dunlop: Showing that light to him at the time he had it under observation between 11 and 11.30. The Commissioner: Yes. Mr. Dunlop: But the Third Officer - and it was the Third Officer on whose evidence your Lordship seemed to be placing most reliance at the time - The Commissioner: What is his name? Mr. Dunlop: Groves. Groves, at Question 8228, is very emphatic about it; she was never showing her green light, but she was showing her red light, and he was the gentleman who went off duty at twelve o’clock. He had her under observation from eleven to twelve; and on that point his evidence was supported by that of the Second Officer and Gibson, who were watching her between 12 and 2, and the sidelight these three saw was the red light and not the green. The Commissioner: What Groves says at Question 8228 is this: “Did you see any navigation lights?” He has just said, you know, that he saw two masthead lights. “Did you see any navigation lights - sidelights? - (A.) I saw the red port lights. (The Commissioner.) When did you see that? - (A.) As soon as her deck light disappeared from my view.” That would be possible, I should say probable, when her helm was being starboarded. Mr. Dunlop: But, my Lord, she could not open her red light. The Commissioner: But you do not know. Her deck lights would disappear very likely, she might be pointing stern on towards the “Californian.” Mr. Dunlop: Not as the result of starboarding her helm, if she starboards two points from W. to W. S. W. The Commissioner: No, that is true. Mr. Dunlop: To every vessel to the northward of her she would be showing her green light. The effect of starboarding might be to show her stern lights, but it could not bring her bow round so as to show the port light. That is carried out by the bearings which the Third Officer gave. He said the steamer, when he first saw her, was about 12 miles off, bearing South. It does not matter, for this purpose, what the heading of the “Californian” was. Half an hour later he sees her about six miles distant, bearing S.S.E. That indicates a vessel steering somewhere about N. E., not a vessel during that time going to the westward as the “Titanic” was. The movements which the witnesses from the “Californian” described as to what the vessel which they saw did, were not what the “Titanic” did. They saw a steamer navigating, apparently slowly, through field ice; they give the bearings, and they give the time between these bearings. The “Titanic” was, in fact, going 22 knots in clear water; according to her evidence, she was not in the neighbourhood of field ice at all. She continued going at this speed until shortly before she struck the iceberg. What the witnesses from the “Californian” saw was a vessel coming up from the field ice and then stopping, and apparently they see a vessel which is bound, not to America, as the “Titanic” was,
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