Page 50 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
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there is some penetration. 20720. I agree, but whether that penetration is off the spiral staircase on the starboard side or is actually on the starboard side or is even fore of the spiral staircase - ? - But let me point out the spiral staircase occupies practically the whole dimension of that trunk, consequently there must be penetration of the trunk which immediately surrounds the spiral stair. 20721. Does that follow? - How could water get through the watertight space if you do not make a hole in it? 20722. Allow me for a moment. Is it not possible that water might have come in through the floor of the ship? - Through the floor of the spiral stair, not of the ship. 20723. Hendrickson’s evidence, I think, is rather important. Hendrickson said, in reply to Question 4859: “You looked down here and saw it? - (A.) Yes, I saw the water rushing in here. (Pointing on the plan.) I saw it running out of the forepart of the pipe tunnel right down at the bottom of the stairs”? - Now it is not quite clear, but, of course, it is reasonable that he should call the trunk which surrounds the spiral stair part of the pipe tunnel, and it is in practice. I am only putting to you what I think is the probable explanation. The Commissioner: Can you tell me what point you are on at present? What is it you are trying to establish? 20724. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) In regard to this particular point, I am leading up to the question of the bulkheads, and also I am seeking to test the value of Mr. Wilding’s evidence as to the disadvantage of the longitudinal bulkhead by his citing in the case of the “Titanic” on a certain assumption that an inner skin in the nature of a longitudinal protection was penetrated by ice. If it is not quite clear that that inner skin - take what I call the spiral staircase area - was not penetrated by the ice it becomes a very important factor with regard to the question of the value of longitudinal bulkheads. That is the point, my Lord. I do not want to pursue it unnecessarily. (To the Witness.) Supposing your assumption is not correct that this inner skin on the starboard side of the spiral staircase was penetrated, then there is not very much of a point to be made? - There is this point to be made, that whether the bottom or side or one end is penetrated the ice must have got well inside the ship to do it. 20725. That is to say it may have got well inside the outer skin? - Quite. It must have been inside the outer skin, and so far inside the outer skin that it would have penetrated the inner skin. 20726. I am just coming to that. Assume for the moment that your view about the water coming in there were right, it would be equally consistent if water came in through this skin on the starboard side of the spiral staircase; it would be equally consistent with the inner skin having been wrenched and dislocated by the force of the impact as it would be by actual penetration by the ice? - Well, we have had evidence as to the force of the impact; that is, that there was nothing in the nature of what is usually called impact, but that it was a comparatively light sliding blow. I mean that is the whole character of it. 20727. I will put it in another way. I did not use “impact” as applying to the whole area of the ship, but a sufficient strength of collision if you like, at all events, to penetrate the outside plates? - Yes. 20728. This inner skin on the side of the spiral staircase, I presume, is connected with the outside frame? - Yes, the floor is, not the side. 20729. So that a blow, an impact, what you will, sufficient to rip the outside plate, if made at a point where there is a connection between the outside skin and the inner skin, might be sufficient to rip the inside skin and make an aperture? - Not if the connections are properly arranged, because it is part of the regular practice, Lloyd’s Rules, or other, that your boundaries are stronger than your connections. It would be a bad design if it was not so. 20730. I suppose it is because you could not bring yourself to take that view that you have taken the other one? - Naturally.
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