Page 51 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 19 - 22
P. 51
20731. You have said that you have estimated that the aggregate area of aperture was probably 12 feet square? - No, pardon me, not 12 feet square, 12 square feet. That is another proposition. 20732. Again, I stand humbled on my arithmetic. Has it occurred to you that there was anything which might have been done by the ship’s carpenter or any other person to repair it or to prevent the inflow of water? - We know the hole must have been spread over a length of 200 feet. With a hole of only 12 square feet area, which you can localise actually within a few feet, something might have been done, but when it is spread in unknown positions, over a length of 200 feet, I am afraid nothing could be done. 20733. That is to say, one area could be dealt with by one man? - No, it would require 50 or 60 men, at any rate, to handle a collision mat. 20734. That is to say, the difficulty, where there is a number of apertures, is having the requisite number of people to go? - No, it is a difficulty to locate where they are. 20735. I know, but the question of locating them rather depends, does it not, upon a sufficient number of persons being sent? - I do not think the number of people has much to do with it. Let me put it in this way. The only way you can locate them is this; you cannot get down inside because the water and the cargo is there; you can only get at them by trial and error - by putting something in the nature of a collision mat outside the ship, and in the case of trial and error it is a slow process. 20736. It is a process which might be expedited if a number of persons are working on it? - I do not think, beyond a very moderate number, it would have much effect. Fifty or 60 would probably do it as fast as 500 or 600. 20737. We have had evidence that there was a certain aperture in Section 6, and there was a very tiny one in section 5? - Comparatively small. 20738. With your experience do you see any mechanical difficulty in the way of that aperture in Section 5 having been dealt with? - I am afraid that an aperture in Section 5 involves in itself that the bulkhead was damaged though he did not see any water coming through the damage. As you have put it, there are connections at that point. The bulkhead runs out and is in contact with the shell and to rupture the shell, you must at the same time rupture the bulkhead, though the water in No. 6 boiler room may not have been high enough to flow through the rupture shown. 20739. If that particular damage was a distinct and separate damage, do you see any reason why that might not have been dealt with? - No, but I do not think it would have had any influence under the circumstances. 20740. With regard to No. 6, where Barrett was, where water was coming in in fair volume, do you see any mechanical difficulty in having stemmed the wound there? - Something might perhaps be done in the way of a collision mat; but let me point out that the water got into No. 6 so very quickly (we have had in evidence how fast it came in) that it would have risen to a fatal height if I may use the word long before anything could be got outside over the skin of the ship, to check the inflow. 20741. But the collision mat could have been got there - the fatal height anyhow wherever it was was not reached until twenty minutes past two, the time of the sinking, that is the test of the fatal high water? - The fatal time, that is, the time when nothing that human ingenuity could do could prevent the ship sinking, is found at a much earlier time than the actual sinking of the ship. 20742. Supposing a long time before that collision mats could have been got out? - I do not think so. My experience with rigging them shows that it must have been practically up to the fatal time before it could be done. 20743. It has been suggested that there is a better method than that by the collision mat of dealing with apertures in an iron ship, and that is some sort of arrangement utilised from the inside (I am using quite a simple illustration) in the form of an umbrella, which is pushed out, made of suitable material, suddenly opened, and the pressure of the water suddenly drives it back
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