Page 261 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 14 - 18
P. 261
20041. (Mr. Rowlatt.) I think it comes, my Lord, further on in the report. Now on page 10 you deal with the firemen’s passage, but I took that out of its order. Now, on page 11 you get “structure” - you see it is headed “structure.” You say, “The vessel was built of steel and has a cellular double bottom of the usual type with a floor at every frame.” Now I just want to have this explained. When you talk of cellular double bottom you are speaking of the inner bottom and the skin of the ship which we have just been dealing with, are you not? - The space between the two. It in cut up into cells by watertight partitions, and hence its name. 20042. Now when you say “with a floor at every frame” will you just explain what that means. I think I know, but will you just explain it to the Court. Have you got a section there or a plan that will show it? - Yes. (Handing up a midship section.) The Commissioner: Now it has been explained to me that the floor is not a floor. 20043. (Mr. Rowlatt.) As I understand Mr. Wilding, a floor is a sort of tie? - A vertical plate running across the ship and keeping the inner and upper bottoms apart and tied together. The Commissioner: These floors are about 3 feet apart? - Every 3 feet apart amidships. 20044. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Is that where the frame comes? - The frames are carried up outside the double bottom. The floor constitutes the frame in way of double bottom. 20045. Now the depth of this frame is, you say, 63 inches for the most part, but 78 in way of the main reciprocating engines. I see there that the inner bottom is run up a little when you get to the engine section and falls again when you get to the first boiler room section - is that what you are alluding to? - That is quite right, it is necessary under the very heavy part of the engines to put heavier and stronger framing. 20046. Is that for weight? - No, for the movement, the internal movement of the engines, to keep them within control. 20047. Now you say for about half the length of the vessel this double bottom extended high enough up the ship’s side to protect the bilges and the bilge plating was doubled. Now “extended high enough up the ship’s side to protect the bilges,” does that appear upon this model? - To a certain extent. 20048. Does this piece of wood here in the bottom represent the space that we are speaking of between the two bottoms? - That is so. 20049. As far forward as that, extending up to the bilge and then forward where it has to be cut back only being in the middle of the ship, and not coming up to the bilge at all? - Only coming up to the lower part where the ship begins to rise away. 20050. And then it stops? - Yes, it stops, the idea being to protect the part of the ship which is likely to come on the ground in the event of her grounding. The Commissioner: Will you let me look at that model. (The model was handed up to his Lordship.) 20051. (The Commissioner - To the Witness.) You said something about for protection in the event of the ship taking the ground - what did you mean by that? - In the event of the ship accidentally grounding as ships sometimes do, it is very desirable that water shall be as far as possible kept out of the machinery spaces, that is to say the engine and boiler rooms, and it is very usually the bilge which gets damaged because the ship gets a slight list, and then the part of the ship that is beginning to rise gets damaged and water gets in; therefore we carried it round the curve, above the round of the curve of the bilge. 20052. (Mr. Rowlatt.) Now have you got a midship section? - I have already handed one up to My Lord. 20053. Does it end in that way, running right up to the ship’s side and ending in an angle? - Practically it comes to a knife-edge at the corner - a sharp corner, as shown in the midship section. 20054. That is not the case, is it, where you get to the other part of the ship where it is not
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