Page 115 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
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Mr. Butler Aspinall: I have not got the exact wording of the regulation in my mind. The Attorney-General: I do not think there is anything about that in the regulations. Mr. Laing: I have them here. The Commissioner: “Rockets or shells throwing stars of any colour or description, fired one at a time at short intervals.” Mr. Laing: Private signals are dealt with by section 733. The Commissioner: What is a private signal? Mr. Laing: A company’s signal. The Commissioner: What sort of signal is it? Mr. Laing: It is a made up signal to show what particular line the ship belongs to. The Commissioner: But how is the signal different from distress signals? Mr. Laing: I think they burn different coloured flares or candles, or something of that sort. Sometimes they throw rockets. They throw balls, I know, sometimes - Roman candles. The Commissioner: But Roman candles do not go up in the air. Mr. Laing: No, but they throw up balls. It is dealt with by section 733 of the Merchant Shipping Act. 8007. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) After this conversation with the Captain through the tube, did you later see anything more? - Yes. 8008. What did you do? - At about 3.20, just before half-past three, as near as I can approximate, Gibson reported to me he had seen a white light in the sky to the southward of us, just about on the port beam. We were heading about west at the time. I crossed over to the port wing of the bridge and watched its direction with my binoculars. Shortly after, I saw a white light in the sky right dead on the beam. 8009. (The Commissioner.) How far away? - At a very great distance I should judge. 8010. What do you mean by a very great distance? - Such a distance that if it had been much further I should have seen no light at all, merely a faint flash. 8011. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Was it the same character of light as the rockets, or something quite different? - It was so far away that it was impossible to judge. 8012. Did you think it could have come from the steamer you had been looking at before? - No. 8013. It was something different, you think? - Yes, because it was not on the same bearing, unless the steamer had turned round. The Commissioner: And were these lights rockets? - I think not. 8014. (Mr. Butler Aspinall.) Did anything further happen between that time and the end of your watch? - Nothing further. 8015. Your watch ended at 4? - Yes. 8016. At 4 did you see the navigation lights of a steamer? - After 4 o’clock. 8017. When after 4? - Just after 4 o’clock - a few minutes possibly. The Chief Officer relieved me. I gave him a full report of everything I had seen and everything I had reported to the Master, his instructions, when the steamer disappeared, and the way she was bearing - the whole information regarding the watch. He looked over on the port beam, and he remarked to me, “There she is; there is that steamer; she is all right.” I looked at the steamer through the glasses, and I remarked to him “That is not the same steamer; she has two masthead lights.” I saw a steamer then just abaft the port beam showing two masthead lights apparently heading much in the same direction as ourselves. 8018. Do you know what that steamer was? - No. 8019. That could not have been the steamer you have been telling us about I suppose? - I should say not. 8020. I want you to consider this. You gave a full report, full information to the Chief Officer,
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