Page 30 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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so. 20443. I suppose in the earlier part it is still falling with irresistible force, only retarded? - It is falling with just the same weight, but retarded. 20444. I do not think we want too much detail about it; I think that is enough subject to what my Lord may say. What is that photograph of? - Of the door. 20445. I think your model is sufficient. In the first place, you have spoken of the descending door. Supposing that water was gaining access into the compartment on one side of the door in volume, so that there was water flowing along rapidly, would that stop the door descending? - It would not; we have had proof that it would not. 20446. You have had proof? - Quite. 20447. In what way? - In the case of the “Olympic” accident. A stoker was standing by the door in O bulkhead in the tunnel in the aftermost section of the tunnel, forward of the propeller here. (Pointing on the model.) It was put in evidence at the “Olympic” trial, and can be turned up therefore, that he saw the ram come through, and as the ship drifted out he saw the water come in with a rush; the automatic release from the bridge had not yet been worked, and he took the hand lever, standing on the fore side of the door, and released that door, and it fell and closed properly, but during the time it took to do so sufficient water had come through the door to bring about 3 feet of water into the next forward section of the tunnel - some 300 or 400 tons of water had come through. The door closed, and the water was pumped out; so that it closed against the rush of water. 20448. How are these doors held in position when they are open? - When open they are held in by a clutch, that is, there is a disc clutch, a multiple disc clutch such as is frequently used now in motor cars for transmitting the drive, and the principle is that as long as there is a weight on a bell crank lever, a weight keeping the contact up between these plates, and as long as the contact exists, the door cannot overhaul and run, because the shaft outside to which the case of these friction discs is attached is locked, and the weight on the outside disc, keeps the other locked against them. The door is held simply by this friction between one set of discs which are locked and the other set of discs which are connected with the door. 20449. How is it released? - As soon as anything is done which lifts the weight on the bell crank lever and releases the pressure on the discs connected with the door, it is obvious the door will be free to fall. 20450. How is that applied? - That can be done in three ways, either by the magnetic solenoid which can be worked from the bridge, and which can pull up a lever and so lift the weight - it only needs to lift the weight by a very small amount consequently one can use multiplying gear and not a solenoid strong enough to lift the actual weight employed for the contact; or it can be worked by a float between the tank top and the floor level in the machinery space in which one walks about; or it can also be released by the hand release which is at a working height beside the door. 20451. Very well. Now the float apparatus consists in a thing of the nature of an ordinary ball cock arrangement? - Yes, only much larger. It is a cylinder about, I think, 18 inches by 12. 20452. That is below the plates? - Below the plates you walk about on, and above the watertight tank top. 20453. Above the watertight floor. Now, will that cause the clutch which you have spoken of to be released if the water rises so as to lift the float? - That is quite right. 20454. How far has it to rise to do it? - It varies a little in the different compartments, but between 18 inches and 2 feet. 20455. If the water is 2 feet above the tank top these floats will rise? - And automatically release the door, whether it is released from the bridge or anywhere else. 20456. Would the operation of those floats be affected or hindered by there being a sudden
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