Letter | Published:

A Gun-Signal Recorder

Nature volume 24, page 335 | Download Citation



IN the judgment recently delivered by Mr. Mansfield on the stranding of the steamer Britannic, he says:—“With respect to the signals from the Hook Tower it is stated that the gunner who discharged the gun—a twenty-four pound gun—commenced firing at 1.50 a.m. on July 4, and continued firing at intervals of ten minutes till 10.10 a.m. He took the time from his watch, as his sandglasses were unserviceable; he had no light but a dark lantern in his gunhouse. Without imputing to him intentional neglect of his duty or wilful misrepresentation, it seems to the Court that he may have been less vigilant and less accurate than men who were keenly awake to the difficulties of their position, and who must have known that the safety of the ship was involved in their taking the time between the signals with scrupulous care. In his unsupported testimony the Court cannot find that the signals from the Hook Tower were fired at regular intervals of ten minutes. Looking at the importance of accuracy between the intervals of the fog-signals, the Court wish to draw attention to the statement of the gunner that he has no relief in his duty, however prolonged it may be; nor do the Court find that there is any check, mechanical or otherwise, on the gunner to insure accurate firing.”

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  1. Liverpool, July 30

    • A. G. P.


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