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Fleet's 'Haze'

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Arun Vajpey, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Boxhall claimed the collision was felt a mere 10 second walking distance from his door.


    Either Boxhall was right and Scarrott was wrong, or:
    Scarrott was right and Boxhall was wrong, or:
    Both of them were right which emphasises what the other survivors had heard Fleet say i.e. That multiple warnings were made and ignored.

    One possible explanation could be related to what Captain Lord of the Californian said - "I was sometimes mistaking the stars low down on the horizon for steamer’s lights." I recall the lookouts on the Parisian did the same thing and kept misreporting to their bridge that there were ships on the horizon when in fact they were just stars. Perhaps Fleet and Lee had done exactly the same as both other ships, but they were too ashamed to admit their mistakes at the public Inquiry and were afraid of digging themselves deeper into trouble. One can only speculate. For instance Fleet told the US Inquiry that they did not ring 7 bells at 11.30pm because "we generally miss it" but Reginald Lee told the UK Inquiry afterwards that they did ring 7 bells. It feels like the US Inquiry was just a rehearsal for the crew to weed out and correct the mistakes that were said. As Lightoller described the US Inquiry as being of "little consequence" and that the main British Inquiry was simply a "whitewash" to protect the interests of the company and the board of trade.

    It is odd that Scarrott was never asked if the weather was clear or hazy when he saw the iceberg pass the ship. Since Mr. Shiers testified that there was a "thick haze" when he saw the iceberg pass by. Perhaps the British Inquiry did not want to dig too deep on the subject and were happy to hear and dismiss Reginald Lee's claim that there was a dense haze and did not press harder on the subject for fear of learning that he was right after all.

  2. Scarrott's Testimony

    I quote Scarrott because he was: a.) on the ship; b.) in a position to hear the bell; c.) a seaman looking forward to that 12th bell and, thus, worried about time; d. he did not give a precise answer, but a good-faith estimate as honest people do; and e.) because what he said fits into the events surrounding the accident of which he had no knowledge.

    Those who do not quote Scarrott or belittle his testimony do so because it goes against the convention wisdom of how the accident took place. I find it curious that he alone is attacked so vehemently, but only by those who have blind faith in the duration from first sighting to impact on the iceberg being 35 to 50 seconds.

    This sort of discarding unpleasant testimony has no place in academic research either serious or, as in this case, for pure enjoyment of the exercise. As Sam has said, "We are all entitled to our opinions, but no one is entitled to his own facts." I am simply saying that we either accept testimony of all witnesses equally, or we discard the whole lot -- American and British testimonies -- and make up our own stories. Maybe the ship did have a cargo of unicorns and winged monkeys did fly out of funnel #4 to announce dinner. In a world where we can pick and choose our facts such nonsense has as much standing as eyewitness accounts.

    Aaron's Drawing (Immediately Above)

    While it is well done and with good intention, Arron's drawing illustrates precisely what I referred to in my first graph of this post when I wrote of "events surrounding the accident." Missing from his drawing are the IMM/WSL duties required every half hour 'round the clock. Specifically, the checking of the steering compass against the standard. The rule specified every 30 minutes which means every half hour no matter how the clocks were set back to account for the extra 47 minutes acquired by steaming westward that day.

    As noted many times, for the two crew watches to split those extra minutes evenly required that "crew midnight" for change of watch purposes had to happen 24 minutes after 2400 that night -- 2424 hours. Given the multiple testimonies that the accident took place 20 minutes prior to that change of watch, then the time of impact was 2424 hours minuts 20 minutes or 2404 hours. (NO that's not 4 minutes after midnight because midnight would have come at 2447 hours in April 14th unaltered time.

    At 2400 in unaltered time Boxhall was required to work with Moody on the required compass checks. That puts him coming out of the officers quarters at 2358 or so. A minute later at 2359 by regulation he would have joined quartermaster Olliver on the standard compass platform. The checks and other work would have been done, and Boxhall would have been back on his way forward to perform another duty required of the fourth officer every hour -- going the round of the starboard watch men under his command. All of this took some time, about five to eight minutes (sound familiar?).

    Where was Boxhall headed? On a "rope yarn Sunday," the crew did only work necessary for the safe operation of the ship. (God rested, sailors just worked less on the 7th day.) He would have been headed down the companionway opposite to the captains quarters (again, sound familiar?) to B deck and then he would have crossed to port where another ladder led down to the well deck. Directly forward he would have found his men maintaining the coffee watch and waiting for 8 bells and a warm bed. By the time he skipped down to B deck we have used a good deal of Scarrott's "five to eight minutes" between warning bell and impact. Simply put, if Titanic were a well-run ship then Scarrott must have been telling the truth even though we have accounted for his time estimate by using events in which he played no part.

    -- David G. Brown

    PS -- No, I don't know where the put Titanic's zoo with all those flying monkeys. Ask the woman in the pointed black hat. If you can't find her, then have a good chuckle and remember this is an academic exercise just for enjoyment. Anyone who takes it too seriously should be sent to grease the anchor bearing and come back with a bucket of prop wash.
    Aaron_2016 likes this.
  3. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Agreed. One should always keep an open mind and never dismiss any of the survivor accounts. They are all relevant and important in the study of the Titanic disaster which is a never-ending story with many branches of interest. After all, they were actually there, and we were not. What I find baffling is that a number of survivors saw tons of ice which had fallen on the forward well deck. Yet Boxhall apparently saw none of that and walked right passed it, went below and saw a man holding a piece of ice and wondered where he got it from. He looked over the side and saw a low lying growler and he claimed that he could not even swear to actually seeing the fatal iceberg and heard afterwards from Moody that they had struck an iceberg. His evidence contradicted itself so much that one can paint a number of versions. Like piecing together two jigsaws that are mixed together. One true, the other false, and figuring out which one will lead us to the real picture.
  4. The problem with eyewitness testimony is separating out the truth from honest memories and separating those from falsehoods. "Truth" is testimony that can be corroborated by the iron on the bottom or by other tested references recognized as accurate. An honest memory is not a lie even if a falsehood so long as the witness believed he/she/it was speaking the truth to the best of their abilities. Falsehoods, of course, are deliberate lies told to alter the historical record. What makes things particularly difficult are people like Fourth Officer Boxhall who seems to have spoken truthfully and also told falsehoods in different parts of his testimonies. When was he being angel? when devil?

    -- David G. Brown
  5. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Hello David.

    We have been over this before but for the benefit of those who are yet to be bored by it, allow me to point out one or two things.

    For a start off, Scarrot did not say the three bell warning came 5 to 8 minutes before impact this is exactly what he said:
    "337. Do you know what time that was? A: - Not to be exact I do not, but it was round about half-past eleven."
    343. How soon did you feel this vibration after you heard the three strikes on the gong?
    A: As I did not take much notice of the three strikes on the gong, I could hardly recollect the time; but I should think it was - well, we will say about five or eight minutes; it seemed to me about that time.

    The man was so obviously guessing, David. You cannot build evidence on a guess. He was giving evidence 18 days after the event and after a previous Inquiry and a mountain of press reports had provided a mountain of information to play with. But let's suppose he had a photographic memory and, keeping in mind a time interval of no more than 8 minutes, examine Scarrot's next revalations.

    "344. Where were you at the time? A: - Just about the forecastle head.
    345. Did you remain there? A: - No.
    346. Where did you go? A: - I rushed down to tell my mate that was in the "bath room just at the bottom of the ladder. He asked me to give him a call if anything was doing.
    347. What did you do after that? A: - Rushed on deck with the remainder of those that were in the forecastle. The shock caused everybody to turn out, and we came on deck to see what was the cause of the vibration."

    So the picture is one of Scarrot mooching about under the forecastle head when he heard the three bells and felt the vibration. Since he had no idea of what was going on at that moment, what did he tell his mate?
    Perhaps it was "Seems we have hit something, mate better get out of there. All hell's about to descend on the Watch". Then he rushes up on deck in time to see the ice which had been dislodged from the berg. His next revelation is up to speed with the previous ones.

    "351. Tell me what you saw. A: - When we came up, that was before the boatswain's call, we saw a large quantity of ice on the starboard side on the fore-well deck, and I went and looked over the rail there and I saw an iceberg that I took it we had struck. It would be abaft the beam then - abaft the starboard beam.
    352. Was it close to? A: - No, it seemed the ship was acting on her helm and we had swung clear of the iceberg.
    353. But how far away from your beam was the iceberg, a ship's length or two ships' length? A: - Not a ship's length.
    354. You speak of this ship as if answering her helm - as if answering under which helm? A: - Under the starboard helm - under the port helm."

    This guy had been reading too many "Penny Dreadfuls". Let's re-cap

    1. He hears a 3 bell warning 5 or 8 minutes before he feels what seems like the vibrations caused by a vessel going astern. He did not feel the initial impact.
    2. He rushes down and tells a mate. who is in the bog, about vibrations that in his own words "The shock caused everybody to turn out,". So he was telling his mate about something the poor man already knew about.
    3. He rushes up on deck and sees the iceberg abaft the beam, to starboard, not more than a ship's length away and seeming to act under hard a port helm, i.e., the stern slewing away from the berg.

    So we have, according to Scarrott's uncertain memory, a period of 8 minutes between 3 warning bells and vibration matching that felt when a ship's engines run astern.
    Despite Scarrott not feeling the impact, it was felt slightly in the engine room at the other end of the ship.
    We know from Trimmer Dillon that the engines started running astern, about 2 minutes after impact and ran astern for 2 minutes after that astern for another 2 minutes before they stopped. When a ship which is over 884 feet long starts her engines astern, a great deal of cavitation takes place, this results in an unmistakable flexing vibration at the ship's extremities. I suggest to you David that Scarrot did not hear the bells but the rest of his story except for the stern slewing away from the berg, matched the stories of other witnesses.
    Rob Lawes likes this.
  6. Jim and I disagree over Scarrott, but on friendly terms. I believe he is reading too much into the testimonies from this seaman, while I'm trying to simply get the order of events and approximate times. Readers can take their choice, or come up with something different. However, my main point which cannot be disputed is that Scarrott's testimony is as valuable as any other survivor's statements and he cannot be ignored out of hand.

    One thing we agree upon is the cavitation and rumbling that would have gone along with the full reversal of the engines. I've talked with a navy sailor who was catapulted out of his bunk when his aircraft carrier did a "crash back" emergency stop. In any logical scenario, Murdoch first rang down an engine order before closing the watertight doors and both of these took place before his "hard a-port" command as the ship went on the ice. Murdoch's career indicates he was a skilled man who was not rattled by emergencies. He certainly knew that with a sea watch standing in the engine room it would take longer to stop or reverse engines than with a full maneuvering crew standing to the various controls. He also knew that "crashing back" would only help stop in a shorter period of time, but that the backwash from the props would make steering less effective.

    There is a third option beyond either going forward or stopping engines. That's to steer using the outboard screws. Done properly and without way on, a twin screw vessel can just about be rotated in its own water. At speed, if one screw is slowed or stopped, the ship will slew toward the side of that propeller. Murdoch's last steering command, "hard a-port" indicates to me that he expected to steer with engines and not to crash back or even simply stop them. I think Murdoch planned to pivot the bow against the iceberg and swing the stern outward, away from danger. This would have been his best option once he knew that impact could not be avoided using any combination of rudder and screws.

    This is my basis for objecting to Jim's #1 above. From the order of events in the man's statements Scarrott must have felt the rumbling prior to the actually engines doing any maneuvering, but especially before the may have gone full astern. The men of the starboard watch on duty in the forecastle any of the port watch preparing for watch change started for the well deck just as Scarrott rushed down to notify his friend upon the seat of ease. Survivors from that group of men seem to have been certain they felt and/or heard the ship meet the ice. Certainly, none of them ever testified to feeling the inevitable rumbling of engines being "crashed back" as Jim requires for his explanation to work.

    However, if I'm right that Scarrott felt first impact on the ice, we can assign that event the time of 11:40 o'clock per crew time. Five minutes earlier would have been 11:35 and eight would have been 11:32 o'clock -- both of which are shortly after 7 bells which struck at 11:30 o'clock. This fits nicely Scarrott's testimony:

    "337. Do you know what time that was? A: - Not to be exact I do not, but it was round about half-past eleven."
    343. How soon did you feel this vibration after you heard the three strikes on the gong?
    A: As I did not take much notice of the three strikes on the gong, I could hardly recollect the time; but I should think it was - well, we will say about five or eight minutes; it seemed to me about that time.

    Proof that while Scarrott was not specific, he was not guessing about the time can be discerned by working up where Fourth Officer Boxhall and quartermaster Olliver should have been at the time of impact. More specifically, we can use the three strikes on the lookout's bell to establish a synchronized chronology.

    Jim and I agree that the crew clocks had been set back by 24 minutes prior to impact to give the starboard watch their half of the 47 extra minutes earned that day by the ship's westward motion. The 11:40 o'clock recorded on crew clocks for the accident can be equated to 2404 hours in unchanged April 14th hours. According to IMM/White Star regulations and the ordinary practice of seamen in 1912, the steering compass was to be compared against the standard compass every half hour. The nearest comparison to the accident was 2400 which equates to 11:36 o'clock in crew time. some time prior to 2400 the quartermaster would have gone to the standard compass to prepare the lamps for the upcoming check. The officer would have arrived a bit later, perhaps a minute or so. The compass work would have taken at least 3 and perhaps 4 minutes or more. So, to be completed by the half hour mark of 2400 hours in unaltered April 14th time, the compass work had to start four to five minutes earlier at 2456 to 2455 hours. Walking to the compass platform was a matter of less than a minute. All-in-all, it means that Boxhall had to leave the door of the officers quarter at 2454 to 2455 hours in April 14th time which equates to 11:31 or 11:32 o'clock crew time when the fourth officer herd the warning strokes.

    Doing the math, 7 bells rang at 11:30 o'clock. Eight minutes before impact would have been 11:32 and five minutes before would have been 11:35 o'clock. All of which corroborates Scarrot's estimate that the lookouts rang three strokes after 7 bells and some five to eight minutes before impact.

    -- David G. Brown
  7. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    En Garde! David.

    On the contrary, I do not read anything into the evidence of Scarrot because he was so vague and unspecific. Additionally, his timing evidence is uncorroborated and contradicts the evidence of the Lookouts and the helmsman with regard to the sequence o... initial sighting...bell warning ...phone warning...initial helm order and initial engine room order.

    Cavitation starts the minute the propeller blades fall into the voids - cavities produced by drag and following wake current. FULL ASTERN is not a necessary for it to happen. it starts almost immediately the engines are put astern in a ship moving at speed. The forecastle deck "bounces". Ask your Navy friend about coming to anchor in the normal way.

    As to the clock set back? We certainly do agree that there was a partial set back before the impact, but doing so creates a problem with the evidence of Scarrot.
    Because the clocks were partially set back before impact, Titanic had run a total of 12+ 4 = 12 hours 4 minutes from Noon April 14 before the impact occurred. If the normal practice of ringing time bells had been followed as you suggest, then after running a total of 11 hours and 30 minutes, 7 bells would have sounded telling Watchkeepers that 3 hours and 30 minutes of the 8 to Midnight Watch had passed. The same bells would have told the Lookouts Fleet and Lee that they had been up there for exactly 1 hour and thirty minutes. Incidentally, as you know, time bells denote actual Watch time, they have little to do with passenger time.

    Now, we agree that the clocks were set back at Midnight April 14 and impact took place at 4 minutes after Midnight, April 14.
    However, 4 minutes after Midnight happened is 34 minutes after the 11-30 pm 7 bells (if they were sounded). Apart from that, there is serious doubt as to whether or not 7 bells were sounded at all but that takes us on a different tack.
    Regardless of whether or not 7 bells were sounded at the proper time of 11-30 pm, that time of 11-30 pm was 34 minutes before impact. If. as you believe, the three bells were sounded 8 minutes before impact, then they were sounded at 11-56 pm which was 26 minutes after 11-30 pm.
    On the other hand, if the 3 bells were sounded at say 11-32 pm then the lookouts saw the iceberg when it was 24 minutes and 9 miles away which is absurd.
    What is equally absurd is that even if there had not been a clock change, the lookouts saw the iceberg 8 minutes or 3 miles away.

    As Robbie the Robot was heard to exclaim "It does not compute!"
    Rob Lawes likes this.
  8. So why should that stop a good story from being told? :p
    Ioannis Georgiou likes this.
  9. Hmm? If it were a problem for Scarrott then it should have been a problem for Fleet and Lee and everyone else. But it wasn't.

    Mr. FLEET. Well, I reported an iceberg right ahead, a black mass.
    Senator SMITH. When did you report that?
    Mr. FLEET. I could not tell you the time.
    Senator SMITH. About what time?
    Mr. FLEET. Just after seven bells.

    Just after was 34 minutes after? Really?

    2420. Then what was the first thing you did report? - The first thing that was reported was after seven bells struck; it was some minutes, it might have been nine or ten minutes afterwards. Three bells were struck by Fleet, warning “Right ahead,” and immediately he rung the telephone up to the bridge, “Iceberg right ahead.” The reply came back from the bridge, “Thank you.”
    2421. (The Commissioner.) Seven bells struck, and ten minutes after, about 10 minutes, Fleet struck three bells? - Yes.

    9 or 10 minutes is according to you 34 minutes after? Really?
    Ioannis Georgiou likes this.
  10. Ah, yes, more confusion over time. The crew clocks had to have been set back prior to 7 bells, or 11:30 o'clock. So, in unaltered ship's time those bells sounded at 2354 hours. Ten minutes later, at 11:40 o'clock for the crew it was 2404 hours in April 14th time. By confusing the two it is possible to prove anything, except that monkeys flew out of the #4 funnel at noon. Question 2421 illustrates time confusion. Ten minutes after 7 bells is 11:40 o'clock the time of impact on the crew's clocks. There was no need to announce that moment from the crow's nest. So, the person asking the questions was either a dunce of specifically attempting to use time confusion to hide the truth. Fleet's answer to Q2240 is naturally not precisely accurate. Ask a garbage question you get a garbage answer.

    Something else, 10 minutes after 7 bells is 11:40 o'clock crew time. By acceptance, that is the moment steel met ice. There was no reason to warn the bridge of an underway impact. Suggesting Fleet warned the bridge of the ongoing impact slanders the man. Especially when the truth is he made his warning in plenty of time to avoid the accident.

    What Fleet said is that he sounded the warning after 7 bells which were struck in crew time. That much is true. Any time from 11:30:01 on the crew clock qualifies as "after 7 bells." Recall he is also the witness who said under oath that he couldn't tell an hour from a minute in passing time. by his own admission his time duration is subject to question. Thus, 11:35 o'clock or 11:38 o'clock certainly fit into the totality of his testimony. Those are five and eight minutes after 7 bells when Scarrott estimated he heard the lookouts sound their alarm bell. As I see it, Scarrott fits Fleet as well as eyewitness accounts ever fit together. They overlap without giving us a specific time for the alarm. Most important, they both say the crow's nest bell sounded prior to 11:40 o'clock crew time or 2404 unaltered April 14th hours.

    As to seeing the iceberg, Fleet was specific that what he saw was a "black mass" and not the reflection of starlight on an iceberg. That is, he didn't see the berg directly, just the silhouette of one. I've pointed this out numerous times. Silhouettes can be seen for millions of miles in space and far more miles than light reflected off any object at sea. So, whether the distance was 1.8, 2.0, or even 2.5 miles to the berg doesn't matter. The drawing done by Fleet later in life clearly illustrates the situation "in extremis" when the berg was too close to be properly avoided and that was not his first sighting of the "black mass."

    -- David G. Brown
  11. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Don't forget that Fleet originally said in his US testimony:

    "I do not think we struck seven bells. I believe it was just after seven bells."
    Q - You said you did not believe that they struck seven bells, and then you said it was just after?
    A - It may have been just after. We never, generally, ring bells up in the crow's nest every half hour; we generally miss it.
    Q - Then it was just after half past 11 o'clock that you saw it?
    A - Yes, sir.

  12. Looking at Fleet's testimony forces us to have a debate over the time duration implied by the word "just." To me, that's "just" nuts.

    -- David G. Brown
  13. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Yes "really" Sam, Particularly if we are going by the evidence of Fleet. Lee. Evans, Hogg and Pitman. I'll leave the last out since you completely dismiss the part of his evidence relative to Watch change time.

    Fleet and Lee had no means of telling time up in the nest. They took their time from the sounding of the time bell on the bridge. Normally, they would repeat what they heard and thus the crew on deck would also know how much Watch time remained for them to be on duty, However, as Aaron pointed out, it seems they did not generally repeat the time bells in the nest after a certain time at night. I can vouch for that practice in a passenger ship. However, they did shout back to the bridge to show that they were awake and alert.

    Notwithstanding the foregoing, you cannot ignore the following (but you probably will)
    "We were to get about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
    I remained in the crow's nest until I got relief.
    Q: How long did you stay there? A: About a quarter of an hour to 20 minutes after...After the accident.
    Q: Then did you remain on the crow's-nest? A: - Yes.
    Q: Until eight bells? A: - Till eight bells went.
    Q: At eight bells, in the ordinary course, you were relieved? A: - Yes.

    Then there is the evidence of Fleet's relief...Hogg.

    "I waked up, at 20 minutes to 12, with the confusion in the forecastle. I rushed up on the deck, and I saw there was not much confusion on deck, and I went below again, with some of my shipmates.
    I asked the time, then, of my mate Evans, and he said, "It is a quarter to 12. We will get dressed and get ready to go on the lookout."

    You were not on duty - you did not go on duty till 12 o'clock? A:
    Q: That is right? A: - That is right.
    Q: You relieved Fleet and Lee? A: - Yes.
    At 12 o'clock, when you went there, did you get any message about ice then when you relieved them that night after the collision?
    - We got a message we had hit one."

    For your information, Sam. 8 bells and all time bells are initially sounded by the bridge, not the Crow's Nest or the Forecastle. They are not sounded until a Watch has been completed and a New Watch starts,
    It follows that if 8 bells were sounded, it meant that the full 8 hours of a Watch, plus or minus any planned alteration for that watch had been completed.
    If the 8 to 12 Watch had not run its course, Fleet and Lee would have spent a total of 44 minutes in the Nest prior to being relieved In fact, they spent about 20 minutes up there after impact. Fleet also emphasized the fact that "the watch was almost over". Even you have to admit that a Watch that still has 44 minutes left until it is over is anything but "nearly" over.

    Additionally, any suggestion that those who were coming on duty did not know the proper time is totally absurd.

    You can waffle -on all youlike , Sam about all the other things that passengers said or pick other bits of evidence to support your ideas. However, if Fleet and Lee were relieved as normal, 20 minutes after impact then the clocks had most decidedly been altered before impact. Here's a little schematic which might help newcomers to understand this argument.
    Run up to impact..jpg
    Mike Spooner likes this.
  14. Mila

    Mila Guest

    Hi Jim,
    This arcticle should be purchased. It is against the Journal regulations to provide passwords or user name. Sorry.
  15. Mila

    Mila Guest

  16. Mila

    Mila Guest


    While I was researching for the article I found an interesting reference (see above)

    A Rare Titanic Family

    I believe the author of the book knows nothing about the haze controversy and therefore could be trusted. So was there really conspiracy there? Another interesting point of this reference is the mention of Mr. Murdoch changing course. Could it provide an answer on why the Titanic started turning before sighting of the iceberg as some say she did?
    BTW a few days ago I saw a real sea smoke or rather sea steam. Has nothing to do with the Titanic situation of course, but could give some idea how it looks
  17. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Seeing all the comments of bells and clock time. Question are this at the time entered into the scrap book and ship log book?
  18. Mila

    Mila Guest

    For the last 2 weeks we had really, really bad haze due to the smokes from wildfires. I did not realize before to what extend haze could reduce the visibility. Of course Bay Area haze has absolutely nothing to do with Titanic's haze, but I thought you might be interested to learn more about haze in general. Below are 4 images of Golden Gate Bridge. The first two were taken about 2 km from the Bridge, and the last two about 5 km from the Bridge. On both hazy days there was no fog, no mist, no clouds, just haze.

    figure 4 0.jpg figure 4.jpg
  19. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    Hi Dave,
    Seeing you are were a experience sea Captain and have read your excellent book. THE LAST LOG OF THE TITANIC, which has given me a better understanding the role of a sea captain.
    I have question? If Smith on the bridge about 9.0pm said to the officer on duty before leaving the bridge. If there was any change in the weather please let know. So if the haze came up why wasn't he informed? In other word is that the standard practical for officers on duty to inform their captain of such a change?