Page 125 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
P. 125
then a short white piece a little further along. The long piece represents the line of the watertight bulkhead between No. 5 and No. 6. That white line on the outside of the ship starts at the top where the watertight bulkhead begins, and it goes down to the bottom to the place where the watertight bulkhead would join the inner skin of the ship. Your Lordship asked that length, and that length is 40 feet. The Commissioner: The bulkhead is 40 feet perpendicular. The Solicitor-General: That is it, my Lord. Then the other piece of paper which is rather more forward is the point on the outside of the ship corresponding to the place where, according to this Witness’s evidence the water came in at the moment of the collision. The Commissioner: Now can you tell me what space that hold opened into. The Solicitor-General: Yes, my Lord, I can. As I understand, his evidence is to this effect. Immediately in front of that watertight bulkhead which is there indicated is Section No. 6, which is the foremost boiler room of the ship. Immediately behind that perpendicular bulkhead is Section No. 5. The man’s evidence begins by his being in No. 6, which is his proper place, and he says he was at work there in No. 6 together with, I think, eight firemen and four trimmers, and the first thing that he testifies to is the appearance of a red disc in No. 6 which, as he knew, indicated that a message had been sent to the engine room to stop. The engine rooms, of course, are further on. That is the first thing he says. Then he says as soon as he sees this red disc appear in his stokehold, which means that the engines had been told to stop, he orders his gang to push in the dampers so as to reduce the draught on the fires. He says that they were in the act of putting those dampers in when the collision occurred, and that he felt it. He says that the moment it occurred, or immediately afterwards, water came into No. 6, where he was standing. The Commissioner: That is where the small piece of white paper is. The Solicitor-General: Yes. And this is what I venture to think is the important point. He says that as far as he could judge the water came in at something like 2 feet above the plate level where he was standing. The plate level, Mr. Wilding tells me, there would be something like 18 inches or 2 feet above the top of the tanks; and by that means one is able to tell, Mr. Wilding says, how far that is below the level of the water outside approximately. Mr. Wilding tells me that he estimates that the waterline outside, the level of the sea outside, would be 25 or 26 feet above the stokehold plates. Therefore, if the water came in some 2 feet above the stokehold plates it came in at a point some 23 or 24 feet below the level of the sea. The Commissioner: The level of the sea would be how many feet below the top of the watertight bulkhead? The Solicitor-General: Perhaps Mr. Wilding will just tell us. My Lord asks, Mr. Wilding, assuming your figures, how much below the top of the bulkhead the level of the sea would be? The Commissioner: The waterline? Mr. Wilding: About 13 or 14 feet. It is the difference between 23 or 24 feet and 40 feet. The Commissioner: The ship had to sink 13 or 14 feet before the water could get over the bulkhead. The Solicitor-General: It had to sink that amount at this point. The Commissioner: But the moment it sank that amount at that point, then supposing the bulkhead was quite firm and strong, the water would come over into the next compartment? The Solicitor-General: That is so - 13 or 14 feet from the top would bring you to the level of the sea; another 25 or 26 feet would bring you to the plates. The Commissioner: That makes the 40 feet. The Solicitor-General: That makes the 40 feet. Then, the Witness goes on to say that upon this water rushing in from the side, as he describes it, he and Mr. Shepherd, who is the second assistant engineer, ran back through the watertight door which was then open, that is to say through the bulkhead into No. 5, and that they had just passed through that open door when the
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