Page 15 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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20251. If she could have remained afloat she would have righted herself in time? - Probably, my Lord, as far as I can judge. 20252. (Mr. Rowlatt.) On the same page of this document, page 11, you deal with the construction of the double bottom. You say, “Forward and aft of the machinery space the construction was of the usual type. Where it extended from bilge to bilge it was so divided that there were four separate tanks athwartships.” Does that mean that the space between - ? - Between bilge and bilge was divided by longitudinal partitions making four tanks. 20253. “Before and abaft the machinery space it was divided by a watertight division at the centre line except in the foremost and aftermost tanks”? - Quite right. 20254. Is that something different from the four separate tanks athwartships? - Yes; before and abaft the machinery space the tank is only carried to the lower part of the turn of the bilge, as is usual in most ships. The tank, owing to the ship coming in towards the end is much narrower, and it is only divided by one division on the centre line to make two tanks, and at the extreme end next the centre division there is only one tank. 20255. That is outside the machinery space? - That is outside the machinery space. 20256. Inside the machinery space it is divided into four? - Four tanks athwartships. 20257. That part of the ship is extra strengthened by being hydraulically riveted? - Yes, it was adopted as the strongest means known to us of securing it. 20258. We have heard something in the evidence about an apparent fracture of the whole ship as she foundered, which is rather why I was going a little minutely into this part of it. Do you believe that happened? - Not in the least. I have tried to make an approximate calculation, and I feel quite sure it did not happen. 20259. That is why I was asking you - of course I will not ask it more than is thought material - as to the strength of its construction. As I understand, the whole of the ship is, as you explained to us yesterday, a girder? - Yes. 20260. Is this double bottom a girder too? - Yes, but a much shallower one than the whole ship. 20261. And to a certain extent is every deck? - It is a member of the girder. The Commissioner: The evidence about this breaking of the ship in two immediately before she founders and the righting of the afterend is unsatisfactory. Mr. Rowlatt: Very well, my Lord, then I will not examine in detail upon it. The Witness: It might perhaps interest my Lord to know the rough calculation I was able to make as to the probable stress arising when the ship foundered as she got her stern out of the water. I can only do it very roughly, of course. It showed the stress in the ship was probably not greater than she would encounter in a severe Atlantic storm. The ship was made to go through an Atlantic storm, and therefore would be capable of meeting that stress. 20262. Very well. Now I will not ask you about the next part of your proof, which is as to strength generally. I see you say at the bottom of page 11 that “at the forward end the framing and plating was specially strengthened with a view to prevent “panting.” What is “panting”? - When a ship is plunging into a big head sea there is a slight tendency on the part of the sides to go like a concertina, and that is known technically as panting. 20263. As I gather, that is not desirable? - It is not desirable, and therefore you try to stop it. The Commissioner: Where is that word to be found? The Attorney-General: It is the second paragraph on “structure.” 20264. (Mr. Rowlatt - to the Witness.) And you say “and damage by meeting thin harbour ice”? - In New York, to which these ships run, it is no uncommon occurrence in winter to have to force your way out through ice 3 or 4 inches thick. 20265. It achieves a double object? - Yes. 20266. Perhaps I ought to put this general question to you. The contact with this iceberg was
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