Page 258 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
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top of that hole, and then it would come out? - That is the point of it, my Lord. 19996. Will you tell me, if it is not inconvenient, what the object is of making this watertight deck in the afterpart of the ship? - Yes, my Lord. It is in the event of anything going wrong with the propeller shafting and damaging the ship’s side. It makes a convenient way of protecting it. The Board of Trade require us to make the aftermost section watertight in that manner, and we carried it forward. 19997. (Mr. Rowlatt.) That is the aftermost section of all? - Yes, the aftermost part of all. 19998. You say the Board of Trade require you to do that. Does their requirement extend to the peak tank? Is that the aftermost section? - Yes, but also the piece forward of the peak tank, forward of the stern gland. 19999. How far forward does what you call the aftermost section carry you - as far forward as this (Pointing.)? - The Board of Trade specify that a part of this deck - they give a length for it which will extend to somewhere about there (Pointing.) - must be watertight. 20000. And as I understand it you carried it on to here (Pointing.)? - That is right. 20001. (The Commissioner.) Will you explain to me again what the object is of making this part of the ship watertight - that deck? - There are fast running shafts in it, my Lord, and there is only at the side of the ship close to the shafting the single skin of the vessel. In the event of any accident to the shafting, or anything of that character happening where there are moving parts, and it damaging the skin, it prevents any flooding. That, I understand, is the motive of the Board of Trade in asking for it to be protected. As we do not work any cargo or anything through that space, it was a reasonable precaution to carry it on into the two forward sections. 20002. It is to protect the ship in the event of the machinery damaging the skin of the ship, and then if it did, if it made a hole in any part of the skin of the ship, the effect would be that the water would come in and would be confined by the bulkheads on the one hand and by the watertight deck on the other? - Provided the hole was completely below the deck, of course. 20003. (Mr. Rowlatt.) As I understand, the hole would be very unlikely to be anywhere but below the deck, if the hole were to be made by the moving parts? - Yes. 20003a. It could only be below the deck? - What was in my mind when I made the qualification was the case of the “Olympic,” where she was damaged both above and below. 20004. (The Commissioner.) But that was by external violence? - Yes, that was by external accident. 20005. But you say this precaution is taken in anticipation of possible internal violence? - Yes, my Lord, that is quite right. 20006. (Mr. Rowlatt.) I just want to get clear another little point about the fore end of the ship. This is the firemen’s passage (Pointing.)? - Yes. 20007. That is a passage which is in the middle of the ship? - Yes. 20008. Is that watertight? - It is. The Commissioner: What are you asking him about now? When you say “Is this watertight?” what do you mean? Mr. Rowlatt: The firemen’s passage, my Lord. The Commissioner: You mean watertight on all sides? - Yes. 20009. The roof, sides, and bottom? - Yes, certainly, my Lord. 20010. (Mr. Rowlatt.) It is a longitudinal hole, just as that was a vertical hole? - Yes. 20011. (The Commissioner.) Now why is that made watertight all round? - It was made watertight because it was desired to enable firemen to use it as a means of access to their accommodation, which is forward of B bulkhead, the second bulkhead, and in order to do that, in order to provide them with access through it and not shut them out by a watertight door it had to be carried through as a watertight pipe. 20012. Then in point of fact it is a watertight communication to the firemen’s quarters, which
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