Page 8 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
P. 8
No. (Q.) You do not believe in that? - (A.) No. (Mr. Scanlan.) If any condition of the weather prevented you from seeing clearly you would double the look-out? - (A.) Decidedly.” Of course, that answer, like other answers which were given by some of the other witnesses, relates to the fact that their experience has been of white icebergs - the great white iceberg, they see that. The value of the ripple is enormously enhanced, of course, if the iceberg is dark. With a great white iceberg you see it as you see that cartoon on the wall. Then at Question 23850, on page 669, he modifies, on re-examination by the Attorney-General what he had said on the point to which the Attorney-General called attention. I had better begin a little higher to make it intelligible. At Question 23834 the Attorney-General says: “Just assume this: A perfectly clear night, a perfectly flat sea, and no wind, and therefore nothing in the nature of surf round the edge of the iceberg. Would those circumstances, in your opinion, make the sighting of an iceberg difficult? - (A.) Yes, it would increase the difficulty of seeing it. (Q.) Are those circumstances very rare? - (A.) Yes. (Q.) A perfectly flat sea, no swell, no ripple? - (A.) They are extremely rare in the North Atlantic. (Q.) But still such circumstances are sometimes found? - (A.) Yes, my Lord.” These questions were put by your Lordship. Then your Lordship puts this: “How far do you suppose you would see an iceberg in those circumstances? - (A.) I should say a mile. (Q.) A vessel going 22 knots an hour, sighting an iceberg a mile away, can, I suppose, clear it? - (A.) Yes.” Then your Lordship asks how he explains that this iceberg was not seen. He says it may extend under the water a considerable distance from the portion seen above, and so on. I have read that passage. Then Question 23849: “(The Attorney-General.) There is one question on what your Lordship has said. (To the Witness.) Before this accident to the ‘Titanic’ had it ever occurred to you that on a specially calm night and a specially clear night it would be more difficult to detect an iceberg? - (A.) Oh, yes. (Q.) So that a skilled navigator would expect that it could be more difficult on a specially calm night and on a specially clear night? - (A.) Yes, it would be more difficult in the calm. You see the sea causes an extra warning, breaking against the berg.” The Commissioner: That is inconsistent with what he said before. Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, he modifies what he said before. When he gave the first answer, that seems really to have been in his mind was what I indicated before; his experience was with white bergs, and the value, of course, of the fringe of white is not so great where you have a great mass of white berg; you do not really want that. It is an extra guide, but its value is nothing as compared with what its value is if you come across that rare phenomenon a black berg, such as we had on the present occasion. Then the evidence of Captain Ranson, the Captain of the “Baltic,” is at page 676, Question 24981. Mr. Scanlan says: “Do you double the look-outs at night? - (A.) No, not in clear weather.” Then Sir Ernest Shackleton gave evidence on this point, but I read that yesterday, and I need not read it again. It is on page 678, down to page 681. Then Captain Pritchard, the Captain of the “Mauretania,” at page 732, states that his practice is the same, that he doubles the look-out in fog, but not in clear weather. That is at Questions 25178 down to 25187. He is in command of the “Mauretania.” Question 25178 is - The Commissioner: I have read it. Sir Robert Finlay: If your Lordship pleases. And the following questions bear out what I said as the result of his evidence; he doubles the look-out in foggy but not in clear weather. Then Captain Young, the Captain of the “City of Rome,” on the following page, from Questions 25230 to 25232, says: “With regard to look-out at night, when you have been informed that you may be passing icebergs, what provision did you make for your look-out under such circumstances? - (A.) The same as other times, as long as it was clear - two men in the crow’s-nest. (Q.) You had two men in the crow’s-nest? - (A.) Yes, I had two men in the
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13