Page 48 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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should not be, provided there is no need to close them. 20689. I will put it in this way. What point in the filling of the fore compartments do you suggest would represent a need for the closing of the watertight doors between Sections 4 and 3, 3 and 2, and 2 and 1? - Whenever water began to come into No. 4 boiler room in a serious volume. 20690. Not until then? - Not until then. It would be of no value until then; and the reason for that is that it is not necessary till then, because it is not until water begins to come in, and in a serious volume, that it is necessary to take steps to check its flow. 20691. It would not be necessary to close those watertight doors until such a time as might represent the ship being in a state where the whole thing was hopeless? - Quite. 20692. I will ask you, if that is your view, what view you take as to the advantage or otherwise of having, at all events for a certain part, solid bulkheads, that is to say, bulkheads with watertight doors? - Bulkheads without watertight doors are ideal. Every watertight door is a little more liable to go wrong than a riveted and caulked plate. If the door is well taken care of, not much more liable, but one must be able to work as an engineering proposition in the bottom of the ships; one must therefore have watertight doors. The best is to have the smallest possible number of them, and take care they are in positions where they will be well kept. 20693. Not only the smallest possible number, but I suppose the fewer watertight doors there are in the lower regions, from the point of view of safety, the better? - Absolutely. That is one of the objections I made this morning to the “Mauretania” design. There are a very large number in the bottom of it, on the tank top. 20694. I was going to ask you one question about that. I understood your objection to the “Mauretania’s” design was also an objection to the longitudinal bulkheads? - Well, there is some objection to them; yes. 20695. I understood you to put the objections to the longitudinal bulkheads, as in the “Mauretania,” upon first of all the commercial ground, greater cost? - No. As a matter of fact, I do not think there is much difference in the cost. 20696. A diminution in the effective space of the ship? - No; I am sure I never said that. 20697. It was not your phrase, but I understood you in your evidence last night to indicate that? - I beg your pardon, you said longitudinal watertight bulkheads, not the double skin; you are mixing up two things. 20698. I may be under a misapprehension, but if you get a double bottom continued some distance up the side above the bilges that will bring you to the construction which is usually described as a longitudinal bulkhead? - No. That is carrying the inner bottom up the ship’s side. That is quite another proposition. 20699. Is not that precisely what has happened in the case of the “Mauretania” - at all events running the length of the engine room? - Pardon me I do not think so. 20700. You will correct me if I am wrong? - I am not absolutely familiar with the “Mauretania,” but I do not think there is anything of that sort. 20701. Is not the position then, that in the “Titanic” you have the double bottom? - Quite right. 20702. Which runs out to the bilges? - Yes. 20703. And that in the “Mauretania” the double bottom means that in the bottom of the ship there is an outer and inner skin? - It is so in both ships. 20704. But that in the “Mauretania,” at all events, running the whole length of the engine room, this inner skin runs right up the side to the height of the engine room? - I do not think so. I am not sufficiently familiar with the “Mauretania” to be sure, but I do not think so. The Commissioner: I am told that is quite a misconception. I do not know whether it will assist you if I give you the transverse section of the “Mauretania.” (The same was handed to the learned counsel.)
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