Page 80 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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but bound to some European port, and, therefore, showing to them her red light, and, apparently, to the Third Officer, steering about N. E. And that is also what Gill, the donkeyman, described, because, although his glimpse was only a momentary one, what he saw of the vessel was a vessel apparently heading in the same way as the “Californian” was, and the evidence from the “Californian” is that at that time she was heading about N. N. E. by the compass, which would be about N. E. true. The vessel, therefore, which Gill saw would not be the “Titanic,” but heading in the opposite direction. There is no evidence that the ‘Titanic” turned round before she sank and headed in the direction of Europe. The Commissioner: Gill appears to have thought that the steamer that was visible was out of the field ice. That is so, is it not? He says he looked and he could see the edge of the field ice, in which they were, about five miles away. Mr. Dunlop: Yes. The Commissioner: And the steamer that he saw was five miles further away and, therefore, would be in open water. Mr. Dunlop: My Lord, I should have thought that evidence was extremely unreliable; the evidence of a donkeyman going forward to call his mate at midnight. He would not in the ordinary course of things notice how far the ice extended and whether the vessel that he saw was navigating in clear water or not. The Commissioner: Gill did not give me the impression of a man who wanted to make a case against his ship. Mr. Dunlop: My Lord, he may not have given your Lordship that impression, but - The Commissioner: Do you suggest he came here with a desire, I will not say with an intention to deceive, but with a desire to make out that it was the “Titanic” they did see? Mr. Dunlop: Yes, my Lord, I think he did, and I think he did for this reason. This donkeyman hearing of the loss of the “Titanic” the next morning, a few days later arrived in New York, interviewed by New York reporters, giving evidence at the American Inquiry, his imagination got fired by all this excitement and he began to imagine that the steamer of which he had a momentary glimpse was in fact the “Titanic.” I submit that from whatever point of view you test the evidence of the “Californian,” either as regards the class of vessels seen, the lights seen, the movements which they describe as having seen, they all point to the same conclusion that the vessel which they saw was not and could not have been the “Titanic.” That is further corroborated by the evidence of the Master of the “Carpathia,” whose evidence your Lordship will probably be inclined to accept. In his depositions, which your Lordship will find at page 746, Question 25551, he says: “I approached the position of the “Titanic,” 41.46 N.L. 50.14 W.L. on a course substantially N. 52 W. (true), reaching the first boat shortly after 4 a.m. It was daylight at about 4.20 a.m.” That is of importance. “At five o’clock it was light enough to see all round the horizon. We then saw two steamships to the northwards, perhaps 7 or 8 miles distant. Neither of them was the ‘Californian.’ One of them was a four-masted steamer with one funnel, and the other a two-masted steamer with one funnel. I never saw the “Mount Temple” to identify her. The first time that I saw the “Californian” was about 8 o’clock on the morning of 15th April. She was then about 5 to 6 six miles distant, bearing W.S.W. (true), and steaming towards the ‘Carpathia.’” It is not until 8 o’clock in the morning that the “Californian” comes within sight of the “Carpathia”; at that time she was about 6 miles distant. She is about half an hour’s steaming away from the “Californian” at that time. Put the “Californian” back an hour and a half steaming, one hour at full speed and thirty minutes at slow, and it follows in my submission that the “Californian,” before she came in sight of the “Carpathia,” must have come from a position some 20 miles north of the “Titanic’s” position. If the vessel which was seen was the “Titanic,” if the “Titanic” was in sight of the “Californian,” it is impossible that the Master of the “Carpathia” could have missed seeing the “Californian” as soon as he came up to the
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