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Titanic officer may have 'played down' iceberg claims to dodge negligence claims

By Mirror | April 10th 2014

By Mirror

 The most senior officer to survive the Titanic may have played down the iceberg collision to dodge negligence claims, insurance documents reveal.

Second officer Charles Lightoller said he felt a “slight jar” when the luxury liner hit a “small and low-lying” iceberg.

The iceberg was actually up to 100ft high by 400ft wide, but the 46,000-ton ship was speeding through an icefield at night and crew failed to spot it in time.

Lightoller’s statement, which is now up for auction, helped the ship’s owners, the White Star Line, win a $5million insurance payout – equivalent to 42,050 million Kenya shillings today.

He stated, “The captain was on and off the bridge throughout the watch. A sharp lookout was kept from the crow’s nest.

“The ship was on course South 86 degrees West true when the lookouts reported ice dead ahead.

“The first officer immediately starboarded the helm reversed the engines full speed and closed all watertight doors.

“The ship swung to port but struck a ‘growler’ or small low-lying iceberg with the bluff of her starboard bow, making a comparatively slight jar with a grinding sound.”

The statement, taken in New York days after the disaster in 1912, is set to fetch 1,740,000 Kenya Shillings at auction in Devizes, Wilts, on April 26.

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