Page 178 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 10 -13
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were all in perfect working order. 14535. And the warning is or ought to be given to the engine room that it is being done? - Yes. 14536. That is in order that they may not be in the way of the doors as they descend? - Exactly. 14537. We have had some evidence or suggestion that the watertight doors were opened again. I do not know whether you know that was done or not? - No. 14538. But tell me, if you will, how that could be done. It was suggested it could be done from the engine room. Do you know is that so? - Yes. 14539. With or without communication with the bridge? - Let me explain that. You put the lever over to “on.” 14540. Who does, the officer on the bridge? - You put the lever over to “on” on the bridge. That forms a contact alongside the watertight doors and releases a friction clutch which allows the door to descend. As long as the lever is over to “on” I understand the doors cannot be lifted; but if you put the lever to “off” the doors have then to be raised by hand and can be raised by hand. 14541. What we get, therefore, is this, that when the bridge has put the lever to “on” the engineers cannot in any way alter or reverse that order without communication with the bridge? - Without us actually altering the handle. 14542. Which of course does require that somebody should be communicated with and should sanction it by doing something, namely, moving a lever? - Quite so. 14543. Can you tell us whether you have heard about one other matter which seems involved in some considerable obscurity. We have been told a length of piping was fetched from right aft in the tunnel and was carried further forward, where we do not know. Do you know or have you heard anything about the purpose of that? - Nothing, except what I have read in the evidence. I cannot explain it. I could not say how they got it through or why. The Commissioner: What was the significance of this piping. 14544. (Mr. Roche.) The point is to know what was going to be done with it in the first place, and secondly it was suggested that its being moved involved the opening of some of these watertight doors. Therefore one wanted to know what the conditions were that made it desirable to bring this pipe into use and where it was taken to in order to see what watertight doors were open. But you cannot help us at all about that? - I am afraid not. The Solicitor-General: There was a suggestion made to us - I do not know whether it was made to your Lordship - when you went over the “Olympic”; when we went over we were shown the piping my friend refers to and it was lying in one of the after compartments. The Commissioner: What is it for? The Solicitor-General: We were informed that it might be used as a supplementary piping to attach to the pumps further forward, and there were pointed out to us the pumps in the different pump rooms, in the different compartments, with a flange to which this piping might have been attached to form an extra suction pipe. That was the suggestion made to us when we went over the ship. Mr. Roche: I am much obliged for my friend’s explanation. If we can get from some witness where it was taken to, it would help; but you cannot help us? The Witness: No. The Commissioner: Assuming that the watertight doors were closed automatically from the bridge, as soon as the collision took place, there is at present no reason to suppose, except possibly the evidence about this pipe, that they were ever opened again. Mr. Roche: I forget who it was, but the witness who says the pipe was fetched said that, in fact, the doors were opened. That was his view and recollection. Sir Robert Finlay: Only in the forward part. The doors it was suggested were opened were only those forward.
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