United States Senate Inquiry

Day 8

Testimony of Cyril F. Evans, cont.

Senator SMITH.
With a maximum wave length of 600 in use between the Titanic and yourself, did that drown out any attempted communication with Cape Race?

Mr. EVANS.
You mean that my signals would drown the Cape Race signals?

Senator SMITH.
Yes.

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Therefore you are very certain that he got your message?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And you received his?

Mr. EVANS.
I received his; what he sent back.

Senator FLETCHER.
You started to make some statement a moment ago that once a station is tuned - and there you stopped.

Mr. EVANS.
Once you get your station tuned, you can not alter the wave length, unless by special arrangement you can alter it over to 300 meters.

Senator SMITH.
Did you complete your full message -

Mr. EVANS. (interposing)
At 11 o'clock, approximately; 9.05 New York time.

Senator SMITH.
Did you complete your full message to the Titanic before you got the injunction to shut up?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And that is the last communication you sent to or received from the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes.

Senator SMITH.
That was about when?

Mr. EVANS.
That was exactly 9.05, New York time.

Senator SMITH.
That was about 30 minutes before the Titanic struck this iceberg?

Mr. EVANS.
It was 9.05; that would be about five minutes past 11, ship's time.

Senator SMITH.
Did your mate say how he knew that there had been rockets fired?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
The Titanic sank about 2 hours and 45 minutes before you were called from your bed?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know why you were not called when the rockets were first seen?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
What did the first mate or any other officer of the ship or member of the crew say to you about Capt. Lord being notified three times that a vessel was sending up rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
Well, we have talked among ourselves, but -

Senator SMITH.
One minute. I do not want any idle gossip. If you can recall anything that was said by any officer of your ship about that matter, I would like to have you state it; and if you can not, say so.

Mr. EVANS.
I know that the mate did not say anything to me; no.

Senator SMITH.
The mate did not?

Mr. EVANS.
The mate did not say anything about the captain being notified -

Senator SMITH.
And the mate was the man that called you?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes; the mate was the man who called me.

Senator SMITH.
Did any other officer of the Californian say anything to you about having notified the captain three times that a vessel was sending up rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
I think the apprentice did.

Senator SMITH.
What is his name?

Mr. EVANS.
Gibson.

Senator SMITH.
Is he now on the Californian?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
What did he say to you?

Mr. EVANS.
I do not know, exactly. I know the effect.

Senator SMITH.
I would rather have the language he used if you can give it.

Mr. EVANS.
I do not know his exact words.

Senator SMITH.
Give it as near as you can.

Mr. EVANS.
Well, I think he said that the skipper was being called; called three times. I think that is all he said.

Senator SMITH.
Who was meant by the skipper?

Mr. EVANS.
The captain, sir.

Senator FLETCHER.
Was being called, or had been called?

Mr. EVANS.
Had been called, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did you hear anyone else speak of it, any officer of your ship?

Mr. EVANS.
No; I think not.

Senator SMITH.
Now, witness, tell me if you heard anybody else say anything about the captain having been called three times and informed that rockets were being sent up, the night the Titanic sank?

Mr. EVANS.
Well, I do not remember any other special individual, but I know it was being talked about a lot.

Senator SMITH.
Collectively?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
There was a lot of talk about it, but you can not recall any individual who spoke to you about it?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir; except the apprentice. I think he told me that he had called the captain.

Senator SMITH.
Did this talk occur on board the Californian?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Immediately after the accident to the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
Before we got to the Titanic; yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Before you reached the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
Before we reached the scene of the disaster.

Senator SMITH.
Monday morning?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Before you reached the scene of the disaster?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
The men on the ship talked about it, did they?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Generally?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
What did they say? What was said?

Mr. EVANS.
From people taking up the conversation I know it was said that rockets had been seen - had been fired. They did not know what rockets they were. I know they said that rockets had been fired off, and the captain had been roused.

Senator SMITH.
How many times?

Mr. EVANS.
Three times, I think it was, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Is that all you heard said?

Mr. EVANS.
That is all I can recollect; yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Was there any talk of this kind after you left the scene of the sinking of the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes; it has been talked about all the time since then.

Senator SMITH.
They have talked about it all the time since then?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
As an unusual and extraordinary occurrence?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did anybody, in the course of this conversation that you heard, say anything about having seen the Morse signals used?

Mr. EVANS.
Oh, no. I remember the apprentice told me that he got the Morse lamp out and called up on that, sir. But he did not get any reply on that.

Senator SMITH.
He started to call up the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
I do not know whether it was the Titanic -

Senator SMITH.
But the vessel from which the rockets were being fired - he tried to call her up with his Morse signals?

Mr. EVANS.
With his Morse lamp; yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And got no Morse reply?

Mr. EVANS.
That is correct.

Senator SMITH.
Do you remember whether he made any attempt to attract the attention of that ship by firing rockets himself?

Mr. EVANS.
No; I do not think he did, sir.

Senator BURTON.
Was there anything said about the direction in which these rockets were seen? Did they say that they were off where the Titanic was sunk?

Mr. EVANS.
Nobody specified any special direction where they came from. From the south they were.

Senator BURTON.
The direction in which the Titanic was?

Mr. EVANS.
I would not be sure about that.

Senator BURTON.
In all this conversation, did they say these rockets came from that boat which the captain has mentioned or that they came from the Titanic?

Mr. EVANS.
They did not know which.

Senator BURTON.
Was it said that the rockets were those which had been sent up by the Titanic? Was that the talk on board ship?

Mr. EVANS.
Some of them seemed to think so, and some not, sir.

Senator BURTON.
Has anyone told you that he was to receive $500 for a story in regard to these rockets - anyone on your boat?

Mr. EVANS.
I think the donkeyman mentioned it.

Senator BURTON.
What did he say?

Mr. EVANS.
He said "I think I will make about $500 on this."

Senator BURTON.
Did he say that to you?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator BURTON.
That is the man who was a witness here this morning?

Mr. EVANS.
Gill, the second donkeyman.

Senator BURTON.
He said that he thought he would make $500?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes.

Senator BURTON.
When was that said?

Mr. EVANS.
The night before last.

Senator BURTON.
Did you hear him say that at any other time?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator BURTON.
He said that to you night before last?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator BURTON.
Where were you then?

Mr. EVANS.
I had gone ashore, and I was outside the station, I think. I do not remember whether it was the north station or the south station.

Senator BURTON.
It was after you had landed?

Mr. EVANS.
It was after I had landed; yes, sir; he asked if I was not going back any more. He said he had been up and told the newspaper about the accident.

Senator BURTON.
And he said that he would make about $500 out of it?

Mr. EVANS.
He said, "I think we will make about $500 out of it."

Senator SMITH.
I understood you to say that there was an apprentice on the bridge with the officer?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And that apprentice told you he saw these rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir; he said he saw rockets.

Senator SMITH.
He said he saw rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Do you know whether he got anything for his story, or whether he has given out any story?

Mr. EVANS.
I do not think for a moment he told anybody other than the people on the boat.

Senator SMITH.
But you got your information directly from the apprentice who was on the bridge with the officer?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
That he himself had seen rockets the night the Titanic went down?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Did you hear the captain say that he saw rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
I heard so the next day. I did not hear anything about it the same day.

Senator SMITH.
You heard him swear to it here a few moments ago?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
White rockets, he said, did he not?

Mr. EVANS.
I think so.

Senator SMITH.
Have you yourself been offered, or have you received, any money from any person for any information in your possession regarding this Titanic accident or wreck?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And the movements of the steamship Californian?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
Let us understand a little more clearly about the circumstances under which the fourth officer awakened you.

Mr. EVANS.
The chief officer wakened me.

Senator BOURNE.
Did he say that the rockets had just been seen or that they had been seen during the night?

Mr. EVANS.
He came to my room and said, "Rockets have been seen going off." He did not state any specific time. He said, "Rockets have been seen going off. Will you go and call?" He came on watch at 4 o'clock, I think. He was down below, before.

Senator BOURNE.
He had just been awakened himself, probably, before he came to see you?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
There was nothing from which you could ascertain when those rockets had been seen?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator BOURNE.
From your conversation with him you could not determine that?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir; nothing.

Senator SMITH.
Have you heard from anyone regarding the Titanic disaster whether any rockets were sent up on the Titanic the night she sank?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
You have no information of that kind?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir; no information from anybody on the Titanic.

Senator FLETCHER.
What were you told, when you were aroused, with reference to the rockets?

Mr. EVANS.
The mate came to my room, and he said, "Rockets have been seen to have been fired off." He did not say when. "Will you call and see if you can find out what is the matter?" In five minutes I knew what was the matter.

Senator FLETCHER.
The mate evidently considered that these rockets were distress rockets, did he?

Mr. EVANS.
He did not say so to me.

Senator FLETCHER.
But he would not ask you to inquire -

Mr. EVANS. (interrupting)
He said to find out.

Senator FLETCHER.
He would not ask you to inquire unless he apprehended there was some trouble?

Mr. EVANS.
I do not know. Two or three days before that I got word from another operator that there was a boat wanting to be towed, an oil tank. She was short of coal, and wanted to be towed, and I believe he thought it was her, I would not say. He did not happen to mention it for me; he has not mentioned it to me.

Senator FLETCHER.
Who was that?

Mr. EVANS.
The chief officer.

Senator FLETCHER.
When would you have gone on duty Monday morning, April 15, if you had not been awakened by the first mate?

Mr. EVANS.
Between 7 and a quarter past. The steward calls me at 7 o'clock.

Senator SMITH.
When the first mate awakened you and told you that the first officer wanted you to get up, that rockets had been seen -

Mr. EVANS. (interrupting)
It was the chief officer that came into my room, sir.

Senator SMITH.
The chief officer came to your room and aroused you?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
And told you rockets had been seen?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir.

Senator SMITH.
You deemed that of sufficient importance to arise immediately?

Mr. EVANS.
Yes, sir; I put on my trousers and called.

Senator SMITH.
Otherwise you would have remained in your bed until what time?

Mr. EVANS.
If I had not been called, I should have remained in my bunk until 7 o'clock, or between 7 and a quarter past.

Senator SMITH.
I believe you said you never received any offer or payment for any information in your possession regarding the Titanic disaster?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Have you accepted any money for anything of that character?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir.

Senator SMITH.
Would you receive any money for information of that character?

Mr. EVANS.
No, sir; I would not.

Senator SMITH.
Why?

Mr. EVANS.
I do not think is right to receive money for anything like that.

Senator SMITH.
That is all: you may be excused.

Mr. EVANS.
Thank you.

(Witness excused.)