Page 126 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5
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door shut behind them automatically. The Commissioner: From the bridge. The Solicitor-General: From the bridge; and that brought him and Mr. Shepherd into No. 5. The Commissioner: Yes. The Solicitor-General: Your Lordship may remember we had an earlier Witness, Beauchamp, yesterday, who was a fireman, and who spoke as to the order to close the dampers; he said that the water had come in and he said that he escaped by the emergency ladder. The Commissioner: Yes. The Solicitor-General: Then, my Lord, this Witness goes on to say that as soon as he got into No. 5 with Mr. Shepherd and the watertight door shut behind him, he looked to see whether water was coming into No. 5, and his evidence is that a certain amount of water was coming in immediately behind this bulkhead in the empty coal bunker. The Commissioner: Yes, through the skin of the ship. The Solicitor-General: I understand through the skin of the ship, but I propose to ask him this morning a question to be sure, because your Lordship will remember the plan shows that immediately behind the bulkhead is a coal bunker on the starboard side and another on the port side, the passage-way being between the two. The Commissioner: But the watertight bulkhead, as I understand, goes through the middle of the bunker. The Solicitor-General: There are two bunkers, one on each side, one bunker to serve No. 5, and one bunker to serve No. 6. Of course, there are more bunkers than one. The Commissioner: Oh, yes; but that particular bunker is divided by the bulkhead. The Solicitor-General: Yes. He says that particular bunker, that is to say, the bunker immediately behind this bulkhead on the starboard side was empty. The coal had been used; and that he could see into it; and in that way he noticed some water coming in. I propose this morning to ask him another question about that, because I am not clear as to how it came to be stopped. Then he went on to say that in addition to Mr. Shepherd and himself he found also in No. 5 two others of the engineer's staff; he found Mr. Harvey and Mr. Wilson. He says they were busying themselves about the pumps. He says that orders were given that the other stokers and firemen should go up; he was kept behind, as he says, in case he should be wanted. He says that almost immediately afterwards the lights went out, and that it was his business then to go up by the emergency ladder to the alleyway where he sent a man to the engine room for some lights. The Commissioner: To get a lamp. The Solicitor-General: Yes. He says that when this lamp or these lamps came back he took them down to No 5, and almost at the same time the electric light came back. I think the next thing he says is that orders were given to him to get some firemen back in order to draw the fires in No. 5, and that he did get 15 or 20 men to come back, and that they drew the fires; and he says that that took about a quarter of an hour. He says that they had just done this, they had just drawn the fires, when they were ordered up again; that he was then in No. 5 with the engineers; that there was a short wait, and that during that time he was asked to lift a manhole plate from the floor in No. 5. He says that No. 5 was full of steam owing to the fact of the fires having been drawn, water had been thrown on them, and that in the confusion Mr. Shepherd fell into this hole and broke his leg. He says he lifted Mr. Shepherd up and put him in what he calls the pump room which is in the same level, in No. 5, one of the little rooms, and that just as he put him there, suddenly there was a rush of water into No. 5 through what he describes as the pass. The Commissioner: Between the two boilers? The Solicitor-General: Yes, my Lord, the pass being the space between the two boilers - a little space, and, as I follow, on the same line as this emergency door, which had already closed. He says it came in very suddenly, and he had to escape, and did escape.
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