Page 21 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 1 - 5

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for the moment to indicate the size of the vessel, and she had a passenger certificate of the Board of Trade to carry 3,547 persons. The Commissioner: When you say “persons” you mean passengers? The Attorney-General: I did not mean passengers when I said “persons,” and your Lordship will see why I am subdividing them. The 3,547 persons includes passengers and crew - 905 first- class passengers, 564 second-class passengers, 1,134 third-class, and the complement of crew 944. She carried, as your Lordship may see from the model which is before you, a number of boats on her boat deck. Altogether she carried 14 lifeboats and two boats which were not lifeboats but wooden cutters, which were used as emergency boats or were swung out in case of anybody falling overboard or in case of any sudden emergency in the lowering of a boat. That made her total 16, and besides that she had four Englehardt collapsible boats, and, counting the collapsible boats, that gave her 20, with a carrying capacity according to cubic feet of 1,167 persons. Mr. Laing: I think it is 1,178. The Attorney-General: There is a very slight difference between us I know. According to the constructor’s view there was a capacity for 1,178, but it is not very material; according to our view it is 1,167. Then besides that, my Lord, there were 3,560 lifebelts or other similar approved articles and 48 life buoys. Her draught forward, on leaving Southampton, was 33 feet 8 inches and 34 feet 4 inches aft. This was the first voyage of the “Titanic,” and, as your Lordship sees from the model, and I think the statement which I am reading from here, she was, if not exactly built on the same lines and principle as the “Olympic,” her sister ship, substantially so. She left Queenstown on the 11th April on this first voyage bound for New York. She carried a total number of passengers of 1,316, and a total number of crew of 892. I cannot say that those figures which I have just given, and which make a total of 2,208, are agreed figures. There is a slight variation upon which I do not think for the purpose of this Inquiry we shall need to spend any time - I think my friend’s figures make it 2,206, but we need not trouble about that. My Lord, before I proceed to describe the voyage I want to indicate sufficiently, for the purpose of your Lordship bearing it in mind, that this vessel had, I think I am right in saying, fifteen bulkheads. Mr. Laing: Yes, that is right. The Attorney-General: Fifteen watertight bulkheads with a number of watertight doors. My Lord, I have no doubt it will be necessary, during the course of the case, to go more fully into the design of these watertight doors and also for the purpose of ascertaining how many compartments there could be divided up with these doors closed. I understand, but I do not for a moment profess to say more than that it is what I understand at the present moment with regard to this vessel, that she was designed and constructed on the principle that she would remain afloat in the event of any two adjoining compartments being flooded. That I understand to be the scheme of the design of this vessel with regard to the bulkheads and the watertight doors. She was so built and strengthened that in the event of any two of the adjoining compartments being flooded, the vessel nevertheless would float, and assuming that two of the adjoining compartments were flooded that there would still be a free-board of some 2 feet 6 inches to 3 feet in the bulkhead. That is the design of construction; that is, to put it in another way, that the bulkhead would in the event of two of the compartments being flooded extend to 2 1/2 to 3 feet above the waterline - that she would then float and the top of her bulkhead would be 2 1/2 to 3 feet above the waterline. Therefore the result would be, according at any rate to the design of this vessel, supposing that she had come into collision either with another vessel, or even with an iceberg or any other obstacle, that so long as not more than two of her adjoining compartments were flooded she would float in perfect safety, particularly if you assume, as we do here, a calm sea. That is the position, and I understand that is the design upon which she was built. Your