British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry


Report | Account of Ship's Journey across the Atlantic/Messages Received/Disaster
Weather Conditions

From 6 p.m. onwards to the time of the collision the weather was perfectly clear and fine. (Lightoller, 13616) There was no moon, the stars were out, and there was not a cloud in the sky. There was, however, a drop in temperature of 10 deg. in slightly less than two hours, and by about 7.30 p.m. the temperature was 33 deg. F., and it eventually fell to 32 deg. F. That this was not necessarily an indication of ice is borne out by the Sailing Directions. The Nova Scotia (S.E. Coast) and Bay of Fundy Pilot (6th edition, 1911, page 16) says: -

"No reliance can be placed on any warning being conveyed to a mariner by a fall of temperature either of the air or sea, on approaching ice. Some decrease in temperature has occasionally been recorded, but more often none has been observed."

Sir Ernest Shackleton was, however, of opinion that "if there was no wind and the temperature fell abnormally for the time of the year, I would consider that I was approaching an area which might have ice in it." (Shackleton, 25062)