Page 108 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
P. 108
7827. After a time did you make any communication to the captain? - Yes. 7828. How? - By means of the speaking tube. 7829. What did you communicate to him? - I communicated that I had seen white lights in the sky in the direction of this other steamer, which I took to be white rockets. 7830. What time was it you gave him that information? - Just about 1.10. 7831. Had you seen white lights? - Yes. 7832. Now, will you tell me what you had seen? - First of all, I was walking up and down the bridge and I saw one white flash in the sky, immediately above this other steamer. I did not know what it was; I thought it might be a shooting star. 7833. What was the nature of the flash? - A white flash. 7834. You did not know what it was? - No. 7835. How long have you been at sea? - Eight years. 7836. You know distress signals? - I know what they are, yes. 7837. Was it like a distress signal? - It was just a white flash in the sky; it might have been anything. 7838. I know, but what did it suggest to your mind? What did you say to yourself? What did you think it was? - I thought nothing until I brought the ship under observation with the binoculars and saw the others. 7839. Then you took up your glasses, apparently, and looked? - Yes. 7840. And how many more did you see? - I saw four more then. 7841. What were they, rockets? - They had the appearance of white rockets bursting in the sky. 7842. Did they come in quick succession? - At intervals of about three or four minutes. 7843. Now what did you think they were? - White rockets. 7844. What do you think they meant? - I thought that perhaps the ship was in communication with some other ship, or possibly she was signaling to us to tell us she had big icebergs around her. 7845. Possibly, what else? - Possibly she was communicating with some other steamer at a greater distance than ourselves. 7846. (The Commissioner.) What was she communicating? - I do not know. 7847. Is that the way in which steamers communicate with each other? - No, not usually. The Commissioner: Then you cannot have thought that. Just attend to the question. 7848. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) You are an officer and hold a certificate and have been to sea for eight years? - Yes. 7849. You had been keeping this vessel under close observation and saw five rockets go up in fairly quick succession. What did you think at the time they meant? You applied your mind to the matter, did you not? - Yes. 7850. Now, what did you think at the time? - I knew they were signals of some sort. 7851. I know; of course - signals of what sort did you think? - I did not know at the time. 7852. (The Commissioner.) Now try to be frank? - I am. 7853. If you try, you will succeed. What did you think these rockets were going up at intervals of three or four minutes for? - I just took them as white rockets, and informed the master and left him to judge. 7854. Do you mean to say you did not think for yourself? I thought you told us just now that you did think. - [No Answer.] 7855. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) You know they were not being sent up for fun, were they? - No. 7856. (The Commissioner.) You know, you do not make a good impression upon me at present. 7856a. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Did you think that they were distress signals? - No. 7857. Did not that occur to you? - It did not occur to me at the time.
   103   104   105   106   107   108   109   110   111   112   113