Page 76 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
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6956. And no reply was ever obtained? - No reply. 6957. So it would follow from what you have said, would it not, that if your man Gill says he did see a distress signal he was right? - No. At the distance we were away from that steamer, if it had been a distress signal we would have heard the report. 6958. I do not understand. From what you have been telling us just now you did not know that this rocket which you saw was not a distress signal? - Well, I am under the impression it was not. 6959. Why? - Because we did not hear the report; we were close enough to hear the report of any distress signal. 6960. How many miles off were you? - About four or five - four to five miles. 6961. Let us go back to the story. At half-past 4 in the morning, when the chief officer called you, do you remember saying to him that the second officer had said something to you about a rocket? - Yes, I said that. 6962. Did you then go on the bridge? - Yes. 6963. Do you remember just before 5 o’clock a conversation with your chief officer? - I do. 6964. About the steamer? - About this, which he said was a yellow-funneled steamer. 6965. What was it? - Do you mean the whole of the conversation? 6966. I only want the substance of it? - Well, I was conversing with him about the probability of pushing through the ice, to commence with. I was undecided whether to go through it or to turn round and go back, and we decided to go on, so I told him to put the engines on and stand by. He did so. Then he said, “Will you go down to look at this steamer to the southward?” I asked him, “Why, what is the matter with it?” He said, “He might have lost his rudder.” But I said, “Why? He has not got any signals up.” “No, but,” he said, “the second officer in his watch said he fired several rockets.” I said, “Go and call the wireless operator.” 6967. Did he? - He did. 6968. Did he go to the wireless operator? - Yes. 6969. Did the wireless operator come back, or did the chief officer come back? - The chief officer came back some time after. 6970. How long after? - I suppose 15 to 20 minutes. 6971. And what did he say? - He said, “There is a ship sunk.” 6972. Did he tell you what ship? - No; he went back to the wireless room straight away. 6973. Did he come back a few minutes after that? - Some time after that. He said, “The ‘Titanic’ has hit a berg and sunk.” 6974. What did you say then? - I left the bridge and went to the wireless room myself. 6975. Did you say anything at all about these rockets? - To him, then? 6976. Yes? - No. 6977. Or anything about the ship you had seen the night before? - No. 6978. Or about the possibility of that having been the “Titanic”? - No. 6979. Or about the vessel that had been stopped about 11.40? - No, I never mentioned a thing to him then. I went right to the wireless. 6980. Or about the vessel you expected to hear about from Gibson? - No. 6981. Or whether Gibson had been sent down by the second officer to tell you anything about that steamer? - No. 6982. It never occurred to you at all? - Not then. 6983. Were you quite comfortable in your mind when you heard the “Titanic” had sunk, in reference to your own actions? - Well, I thought we ought to have seen her signals at 19 miles, that was the only thing that was worrying me. 6984. Do you mean rockets? - Her distress rockets - if she had fired any, which I presume she had. 6985. You ought to have seen them? - I thought we might have seen them at 19 miles.
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