Page 82 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 6 - 9
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up by their boats. When every man has reported the boat he belongs to and his fire station I usually have a fire drill; I report a fire in one side of the ship, and they run to that side and connect the fire hose; and I usually swing a couple of boats out on the other side. 7125. Are your lifeboats provisioned in case of accident before you commence a particular voyage? - They are provisioned all the time with water and biscuits. 7126. And a compass? - A compass, lamp, oil, sea anchor. 7127. Are all those in each boat before the voyage begins? - They are in all the time. 7128. All the time? - All the time. 7129. In readiness for any emergency? - And renewed every voyage. 7130. Then all your hands know exactly the station to go to? - They do. Examined by Mr. ROCHE. 7131. You had never been in ice before? - Not in field ice. 7132. You stopped your engines at half-past 10 when you got amongst it? - 20 minutes past. 7133. And you did not put them ahead again until something after four in the morning? - The first move was 5.15. 7134. You were treating the ice, so to speak, with great respect, and behaved with great caution with regard to it? - I was treating it with every respect. 7135. May I take it that you were not anxious if you could help it, between 10 o’clock and 5 o’clock, to move your engines? - I did not want to move them if I could help it. They were ready to move at a moment’s notice. 7136. Was that the reason, perhaps, why you were not so inquisitive as to these signals as you might otherwise have been? - No, that had not anything to do with it. Examined by Mr. HARBINSON. 7137. I understand when you saw ice first this evening it was before 6? - It must have been about 5. 7138. So that it was pretty clear daylight then? - It was perfectly clear - a beautiful day. 7139. So that, it being clear at that time, you did not consider at that moment that it was necessary to slacken speed? - No. 7140. But assuming that you had first heard of ice at 11. 30 that night, would not you have considered it necessary? Did you, as a matter of fact, that night later on slacken speed? - Not until 20 minutes past 10. 7141. You were only going 11 knots an hour? - That was my full speed. 7142. Thirteen, I thought you said? - Driving. On my consumption then, 11 knots. 7143. Having seen ice and knowing you were on the verge of an ice-field, would you not have considered, provided you could have driven the ship at that speed, that 21 knots an hour would be grossly excessive? - Oh, I do not know anything about that. 7144. Under the conditions, ice being in the immediate vicinity, is not that a very high speed? - It was a clear night. 7145. It may have been. Is not it a high speed? - Twenty-one knots is a high speed. 7146. A very high speed? - Yes, very fast. 7147. And an ice-field is very dangerous? - If you hit it. 7148. And at night it is sometimes not easy to see ice? - I do not know. I saw it. 7149. You may have. So you tell us. But do you not consider that 21 knots an hour, or, rather, 45 knots in two hours, was a grossly excessive speed? - I really do not know. It all depends on how quickly that ship handles.
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