Page 106 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
P. 106
Therefore the other bulkheads may terminate at the deck next below the upper deck, that is deck E. 23941. Now, will you look carefully at this Rule. In interpreting the above Rule in the case of vessels of the shelter deck type, the deck next below the shelter deck may be regarded as the upper deck? - Yes, it was in this case. 23942. That is deck D? - Yes, that is deck D. 23943. “And accordingly the collision bulkhead, as well as the other bulkheads, may terminate at the deck next below the shelter deck.” Now the shelter deck here is deck C? - Yes. 23944. And you are, under certain circumstances, permitted to make a variation, and that variation is that you may allow the bulkhead to terminate at the deck next below the shelter deck. In that case it would be deck D? - Yes. 23945. Now what I am putting to you is this, that in the “Titanic,” as passed by you, the bulkheads came to the height of deck E, and not to the height of D deck, as required by this variation which you are permitted to make under this Rule. I want you to explain it? - I can only explain it by pointing out what is plainly stated here. “When the loadline disc of the vessel is placed at least as low” - it is placed a little lower. I think the margin was three inches - at all events, it was almost three inches; and when it is placed “as low as is required by Table C of the freeboard tables for awning deck vessels the remaining bulkheads may terminate at the deck next below the upper deck.” The upper deck was defined as D deck, and if she has freeboard equal to table C, or slightly greater, then they may terminate one deck below. 23946. (The Commissioner.) That is at G deck? - Yes, my Lord. Mr. Edwards: Has your Lordship the Rule before you? The Commissioner: No, but I am listening to you, more or less. 23947. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) I shall have to seek the shelter deck, my Lord. (To the Witness.) So your reading of this Rule - the Court will have to interpret it by and by - is that in the case of the “Titanic” they would be complying with the conditions, if you so agree, if they brought the bulkhead to the height of deck E, and no higher? - Yes, the bulkheads abaft the collision bulkhead. The Commissioner: It has taken a long time to arrive at this point, but at all events I understand him now to say that if the bulkhead is carried up to deck G that complies with the requirements. 23948. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) That is his interpretation of this Rule, but I shall submit that the Rule does not bear that construction. But that is another point which I shall deal with at the right time. (To the Witness.) Were you ever asked to certify as to the efficiency of these bulkheads apart from the question of the relation of the strength of the ship. Do you follow me? - No. The Commissioner: It is not material, but I do not. 23949. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Were you ever asked to certify as to the watertight character of these bulkheads? - By whom? 23950. By Harland and Wolff? - The vessel was submitted to be certified as a passenger steamer. They never said anything to me about the bulkheads any more than putting the plans before me and expecting they were going to get the certificate at the end of the survey. 23951. You probably know that in the Rules as to life-saving appliances, you can make a declaration allowing a ship to go to sea with a less amount? - Yes, no application was made for that. 23952. Were you ever asked by Harland and Wolff to certify as to the bulkheads in relation to their watertight character and in relation to their efficiency to satisfy those Rules? The Attorney-General: Rule 12, do you mean? 23953. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Yes. The Witness: You mean did they apply for any reduction of life-saving appliances on board on account of the watertightness of the bulkheads? 23954. Yes? - No.
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