How Many Officers Saw the Iceberg?


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Aaron_2016

Guest
Does anyone know how many officers actually saw the iceberg? Boxhall was on duty and he said - "I would not swear to seeing it." 6th officer Moody was also on duty but we know he did not see the iceberg because Pitman said the following - "I walked along to the after end of the boat deck, and met Mr. Moody, the sixth officer. I asked him if he had seen the iceberg. He said no; but he said, "There is some ice on the forward well deck." Does this mean the only officer who saw the iceberg was Murdoch? Would Chief officer Wilde have seen the iceberg? It appears the incident happened so fast that nobody knew what had struck them until it actually passed by. e.g.

Boxhall
Q - Could you see what had occurred?
A - No, sir; I could not see what had occurred.
Q - Did you know what had occurred?
A - No, not at all.....



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A

Aaron_2016

Guest
4th officer Boxhall said the Captain and Murdoch walked over to the bridge wing to see the iceberg. Boxhall said Murdoch pointed it out to him. Question is, how could any of them see it when their view was clearly blocked by the lifeboat? Quartermaster Olliver said the order "hard a-port" was only given when "the iceberg was away up stern" but that would mean it was impossible for them to see it from the bridge wing. Is it possible that Captain Smith said "Where is it, I can't see it?" and instructed Murdoch to turn her helm in order to get a clear view of it?


bridgeiceberg1.png




Is it possible that the helm order was given during the collision, and when they reached the bridge wing the stern had already swung away which allowed them room to see the iceberg immediately after the collision?


bridgeiceberg2.png



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Dec 4, 2000
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Smith and Murdoch were seen on the starboard bridge wing peering aft by Lightoller who came on the bridge from his cabin on the starboard side. Lightoller did not see berg. Moody's location in wheelhouse prevented him from observing berg. Boxhall was forward in well deck.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Thanks, although I thought Lightoller went on deck a few minutes after the collision and saw the Captain and Murdoch keeping watch at opposite ends of the bridge and were both looking ahead, not behind? Boxhall said he went below to look for damage and never mentioned the order "hard a-port" so I assume he went below before that order was given or was never there, which could explain why he maintained his belief that the ship was still facing west during the evacuation because he was not present during the collision.

This is what baffles me because Boxhall said that he went out to the bridge wing and he said Murdoch pointed at the iceberg, but if he was there right after the collision and Murdoch was able to point at the iceberg then it means Boxhall should have been present when the order 'hard a-port' was given and the stern swung away. One explanation I can think of is that Boxhall heard the order 'hard a-port' which made the stern swing away and allowed the iceberg to be seen and he deliberately withheld that information and instead claimed the order was 'hard a-starboard' to create the impression they saw the iceberg well in advance to turn the ship before the collision i.e. justifying their speed.

The only alternative I can think of is that Boxhall had arrived on the bridge a significant time after the collision and by that stage the stern had swung clear off the iceberg and Murdoch was able to point at it from the bridge wing and Boxhall had no knowledge of the order 'hard a-port' which allowed the iceberg to come into view because he was not there during the collision.

I think the latter makes more sense because of his belief that the ship was still facing west during the evacuation. If he really was on the bridge at the time of the collision he would have heard one or both helm orders and would know for certain she was not still facing west. Question is, why would he state he was on the bridge when his own testimony proves that he wasn't?


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