United States Senate Inquiry

Day 4

Testimony of Frederick Fleet, cont.

5315. Did you carry a watch?
- No, sir.

5316. You made no record of it in any way?
- No, sir.

5317. You went to the lookout at 10 o'clock?
- Yes, sir.

5318. Whom did you relieve?
- Symons and Jewell.

5319. Did they tell you they had seen icebergs?
- No, sir; they only gave us the orders to look out for them.

5320. But they did not say they had seen any?
- No, sir.

5321. Were you four men the only men that occupied this position in the boat?
- There were six.

5322. Who were the other two?
- Hogg and Evans.

5323. Did they survive the wreck?
- Yes, sir.

5324. All of the lookouts survived?
- Yes, sir.

5325. Where do these last two men live? Do you know?
- No, sir; there is one here.

5326. Which one?
- Hogg and Symons are here besides me. The other three have gone home.

5327. Lee?
- I do not know where Lee is. He got detained in New York.

5328. What is the watch? It is two hours on and -
- And four hours off.

5329. Who was on watch from 8 to 10 that night in the crow's nest or lookout?
- Symons and Jewell.

5330. Who was on watch from 6 to 8?
- Hogg and Evans.

5331. Did either of these mates of yours say anything about having seen icebergs Sunday or Sunday evening?
- No, sir.

5332. Your last watch before 10 o'clock was from 4 to 6, was it not?
- From four to six; Yes, sir.

5333. And from four to six did you see any icebergs?
- No, sir.

5334. Up there in the crow's nest, are there any indications of the presence of ice off the Grand Banks of Newfoundland?
- No, sir.

5335. Does the weather change on the Newfoundland Banks?
- No, sir. It is all open in the nest, sir.

5336. Was that a cold night - Sunday?
- Yes, sir.

5337. What protection against the weather have you in the crow's nest?
- We have nothing ahead, and there are just two bits of screen behind us.

5338. Canvas?
- Yes, sir.

5339. And nothing ahead?
- Nothing in front.

5340. So your view is unobstructed?
- Yes, sir.

5341. Are you given glasses of any kind?
- We had none this time. We had nothing at all, only our own eyes, to look out.

5342. On the Oceanic you had glasses, had you not?
- Yes, sir.

5343. Each of you?
- There is one pair in the nest.

5344. One pair of glasses?
- Yes, sir.

5345. What kind of glasses are they; strong, powerful glasses?
- No, not always, sir.

5346. What were those on the Oceanic?
- Very poor; you could see about from here to that looking-glass (indicating).

5347. Did you make any request for glasses on the Titanic?
- We asked them in Southampton, and they said there was none for us.

5348. Whom did you ask?
- They said there was none intended for us.

5349. Whom did you ask?
- We asked Mr. Lightoller, the second officer.

5350. Did you make the request yourself?
- No; the station lookout men did, Hogg and Evans.

5351. How do you know they made it?
- Because they told us.

5352. Where did they tell you; after leaving Southampton?
- In Southampton, and afterwards.

5353. You expected glasses?
- We had a pair from Belfast to Southampton.

5354. You had a pair of glasses from Belfast to Southampton?
- Yes, sir; but none from Southampton to New York.

5355. Where did those go that you had from Belfast to Southampton?
- We do not know that. We only know we never got a pair.

5356. And you had none from Southampton to the place of this accident?
- No, sir.

5357. Suppose you had had glasses such as you had on the Oceanic, or such as you had between Belfast and Southampton, could you have seen this black object a greater distance?
- We could have seen it a bit sooner.

5358. How much sooner?
- Well, enough to get out of the way.

5359. Did you and your mates discuss with one another the fact that you had no glasses?
- We discussed it all together, between us.

5360. Did you express surprise or regret that you had none?
- I do not know what you mean.

5361. Were you disappointed that you had no glasses?
- Yes, sir.

5362. Do you know whether the officer on the bridge had glasses?
- Yes, sir.

5363. Did you see him using them?
- Yes, sir.

5364. Who was on the bow of that boat, if anyone, Sunday evening, forward of the bridge?
- There was nobody forward of it.

5365. Nobody forward of the bridge?
- No, sir; we were the only ones that were forward - up in the nest.

5366. And there was no one else?
- No, sir.

5367. What time did you have your supper that night; Sunday night?
- What? Tea?

5368. Yes.
- Five o'clock.

5369. In the mess?
- In the mess, sir.

5370. You were not in the habit of eating your meals in the crow's nest?
- Oh, no, sir.

5371. Did you have any other business in the crow's nest, you and your mates, except to keep a sharp lookout ahead?
- No, sir.

5372. And that was your business?
- Yes, sir.

5373. And has been your business how long?
- For the last four years and a half. I went straight from the Oceanic to the Titanic.

5374. What wages do you receive?
- Five pounds a month, and five shillings lookout money.

5375. What is the lookout money for?
- It is what we get from the company. It has nothing to do with the pay. It is just £5 a month, and then 5 shillings for the lookout.

5376. That lookout money means for your special service?
- Yes, sir.

5377. Is that paid to you at the end of each month?
- Each voyage.

5378. Did all of the lookout men on the Titanic get the same pay?
- Yes, sir.

5379. Are you a married or a single man?
- Single.

5380. Tell the committee what you did after you left the crow's nest that night.
- I went down below and I found there was nobody down there, and the quartermaster come down and said we were all wanted on the bridge.

5381. Did you go up to the bridge?
- I went up on the boat deck.

5382. What did they say to you up there?
- I did not see anyone there; I seen them all at the boats, getting them ready and putting them out.

5383. The lifeboats?
- Yes, sir.

5384. What did you do?
- I helped to get the port boat out.

5385. The fourth one?
- The port-side lifeboat. I got No. 6 out.

5386. How many of those boats did you help lower?
- I lowered No. 6 to the rail.

5387. How many sailors or men of the crew were put into No. 6?
- There was me and one quartermaster.

5388. Yourself and one quartermaster?
- Yes, sir.

5389. Was that all of the crew or officers that were in that boat?
- That is all. No officers; just us two.

5390. You and the quartermaster?
- Me and Quartermaster Hichens.

5391. Did he survive?
- Yes, sir; he is staying in New York.

5392. After lowering the lifeboat to the boat deck, did he get in first or you?
- I was told by Mr. Lightoller to get in the boat and help the women in.

5393. You got in by direction of the second officer?
- Yes, sir.

5394. And helped the women in?
- Yes, sir.

5395. How many men were in that boat?
- Five.

5396. Who were they?
- Three men passengers and two of the crew.

5397. Who were the passengers?
- I do not know. There was one steerage and two first.

5398. You do not know who they were?
- No, sir.

5399. Have you ever seen them since?
- No, sir.

5400. How many women or children were there in the boat?
- There was no children. They were all women. I could not tell how many because I did not count them.

5401. Was the boat full?
- It was full up, but it could have took a few more forward, where I was.

5402. How many do you think you had in it all together?
- About 30.

5403. Was it the regular lifeboat, the large size?
- One of the wooden lifeboats.

5404. You got about 30 people in there, and then it was lowered to the water?
- Yes, sir.

5405. And what did you do then?
- We got the oars and pulled for the light that was on the port bow.

5406. Did you see it?
- Yes, sir.

5407. What happened there?
- We could not get up to it.

5408. Why not?
- There were only two of us pulling.

5409. You could not get up to it?
- No, sir.

5410. How close could you get to it?
- She was getting away off.

5411. At that time were there any persons in the water?
- No, sir.

5412. Did you hear any cries of distress?
- No, sir.

5413. When you found you could not get up to it, what did you do?
- We kept on pulling; that is all.

5414. In that direction; away from the boat?
- Away from the boat.

5415. Away from the Titanic?
- Yes, sir.

5416. Did you keep right on pulling away?
- We kept on pulling.

5417. And did not stop?
- No, sir.

5418. Toward what did you pull?
- We thought we could get up to this light, but we could not. It seemed to be getting away from us all the time.

5419. What light was it?
- It was a light on the port bow. She seemed to be abreast of us.

5420. Are you now talking of the Titanic?
- Abreast of the Titanic.

5421. From the time you started to pull away from the Titanic’s side, did anyone try to get into your boat?
- No, sir.

5422. Did anyone try to get out of it?
- No, sir.

5423. Did anyone step into your boat, man or woman, and then step out of it?
- No, sir. There was just one passenger, when we was lowering away, come in the boat.

5424. Who was that?
- One of the men passengers.

5425. Who was it; do you know?
- I do not know who he was, sir.

5426. When you were lowering away?
- Yes, sir.

5427. How far had you gotten below the boat deck?
- It was not very far; just about the length of the table down. He got over the life lanyard and swung in and come down the fall.

5428. You took no other persons aboard this lifeboat from that time?
- No, sir.

5429. And landed all of your occupants of that boat alongside of the Carpathia?
- Yes, sir.

5430. During the time you were waiting for the Carpathia, were you rowing the boat away or lying on your oars?
- We pulled until we were clear of the suction of the Titanic.

5431. Pulled away from the Titanic?
- Yes, sir.

5432. Assuming there would be suction when she went down?
- Yes, sir.

5433. Was there any?
- No, sir; we were too far off.

5434. Did you see her go down?
- No, sir.

5435. Why not?
- The lights were out, and we were too far away.

5436. You could not see her when she disappeared?
- No, sir.

5437. Where were you picked up by the Carpathia, near the Titanic?
- When we sighted the lights of the Carpathia, we pulled toward her again.

5438. And were picked up by her?
- Yes, sir; right alongside.

5439. After getting alongside the Carpathia you did not take your lifeboat back to the scene of the wreck?
- No, sir.

5440. You got aboard the Carpathia?
- Yes, sir

5441. Were there lights of any other vessels in sight when you came down from the crow's nest?
- There was no lights at all when we was up in the crow's nest. This is after we was down and on the boats; then I seen the light.

5442. Where did you see it?
- On the port bow. The other lookout reported it.

5443. How far ahead?
- It was not ahead; it was on the bow, about four points.

5444. I am not speaking of that. I wanted to know whether you saw ahead, while you were on the watch, on the lookout, Sunday night, after the collision occurred or before, any lights of any other ship.
- No, sir.

5445. You saw no lights at all?
- No, sir.

5446. Did you see any rockets fired from the deck of the Titanic?
- Yes, sir; when we were in the boat and when we were on the deck before I went in the boat.

5447. But you saw no lights ahead that indicated the presence of another vessel?
- No, sir.

5448. Or while you were in the crow's nest?
- No, sir.

5449. Nor any other object except the one you have described?
- No, sir.

5450. Did you see any other icebergs; field ice, or growlers while you were in the crow's nest Sunday or Sunday night?
- Only the one I reported right ahead.

5451. Only that one?
- That is all.

5452. I think that is all at this time, and if I want you again I will send you word. Will you just remain subject to the committee's call?
- Yes, sir.

5453. (Senator Newlands.) I want to ask just one question. Can you see with glasses at night as well as during the day?
- Yes, sir.

5454. (Senator Smith.) What color were the lights toward which you were pulling when you were on the lifeboat?
- A bright light.

5455. White -
- (interrupting). White; yes.

5456. White, green, or what?
- A white light.

5457. How many were there?
- One.

Senator Smith:
I wish you would return at half past 3, Mr. Fleet, and I would like also to have Maj. Peuchen present at 3.30 as well.