Page 14 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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20239. Nor was it put before you with a view that you should criticise the “Mauretania.” It was only to enable us to know what we were talking about when we were alluding to watertight coal bunkers and the different arrangement at the bottom? - Yes. The Commissioner: I do not think that what we are doing amounts to any adverse criticism of the Cunard boat at all. 20240. (Mr. Rowlatt.) No, my Lord, it is only so much more easy to deal with a concrete thing than an abstract idea. Now, will you think over that problem generally? - Yes. 20241. And if anything further occurs to you, you will be able to give it to the Court later? - Certainly. 20242. Now, in connection with this, and before we forget it, can you offer us any theory which would explain the “Titanic” having first taken a list to starboard and then a list to port before she foundered? - I can, of course, only offer a theory for it; it does not amount to proof. But as to the slight list at first to starboard, your Lordship will remember that it is in evidence that the Post Office and baggage room was flooded in No. 3 hold at an early stage. To a certain extent there are partition bulkheads in the vessel on G deck - partition bulkheads on the port side of G deck - which would restrain for a brief time the water from entering the space which is filled by third class cabins. 20243. (The Commissioner.) That is to say, the water for a time would be confined to the starboard side of the ship? - Not absolutely strictly confined, but it would be more difficult for the water to rise on the port side than on the starboard side, and there would be an excess of water on the starboard side. 20244. It would be restricted in its flow? - It would be restricted in its flow. 20245. From the starboard to the port side of the ship? - Yes. 20246. Causing a slight list to starboard? - That would account for a slight list to starboard. Then, later on, the water got above E deck; we have heard of it in the working alleyway. When the water got above E deck, the broad passage we know as Scotland Road, the third class alleyway leading aft on the port side offers a much easier road for the water, and there is a much larger flow into it on that port side, because the only way the water could get into the first class alleyway on the starboard side is up the stair which comes from the Post Office; whereas there are several stairways and hatches at the former end of the deck, all of which could pour water, or enable water coming up through them to get along the working passage on the port side. 20247. The broad working passage on the port side which is called Scotland Road? - Yes, the 9 feet passage. 20248. There is a much broader passage on the port side than there is on the starboard side? - Quite right, my Lord, and also this water is restricted by the non-watertight steel door at the forward end of the first class passage on the starboard side from going into the starboard passage. Mr. Rowlatt: Your Lordship sees that door. The Witness: Yes, it is not watertight. 20249. (The Commissioner.) It is not watertight, but it is a door? - Yes, and a fairly substantial door. 20250. That may explain it. Of course, if the ship had remained afloat, all these differences in lists would have tended to right themselves? - Eventually, my Lord, yes. Your Lordship will notice that all the stewards’ rooms open off the working passage and would offer considerable means for water to get over to the port side from the working passage, and the doors were opened because all the stewards had come out of them. Then when the ship was in this condition she was beginning to get a serious reduction in her stability, and any weight on the port side would give her a list to that side, and then the list becomes cumulative, and piles up. She would not right herself, as she is continually going by the head. If, as your Lordship says, she had remained afloat she would eventually have come back.
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