Page 142 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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deck going the whole length of the vessel - that is to say where you have the hatches with your watertight doors? - In my opinion it was not impracticable to fit a watertight deck in the “Titanic”; but I am not at all sure that watertight doors are the proper way of closing them. That is a detail. 24407. Some battening or something of that sort could be made, whether it be a door or something else. I did not use the word “door” in the ordinary sense. That is to say, that any disadvantage through the loss of cargo space which you speak of as one of the elements of impracticability, could easily be got over by a system of watertight battenings in the hatches? - No, not watertight battenings, I think. 24408. Casing or trunking, or what you will? - I am of opinion that it was practicable to fit the watertight deck on the “Titanic,” but that it would have entailed difficulty in working the cargo. 24409. Why do you say that? - Because if you are going to fit watertight shutters as you suggested, those watertight shutters would be very liable to damage when hauling cargo up and down, and they would also take a considerable time to close down watertight. Further, if, instead of fitting these watertight covers, the hatch is trunked up watertight as high as the top of the bulkhead, which would perhaps be a better plan; you would require, if you want to stow cargo, not only in the holds, but in the between decks, to have watertight doors in this trunk, and it would be difficult to pass the cargo through those watertight doors. 24410. Did not you recommend the trunking of the hatchway in the “Titanic,” as a matter of fact? - I recommended it in one case, yes. 24411. I think you recommended the trunking of No. 1 hatchway? - Yes. 24412. Would not that be open to precisely the same objection that you are now putting as to the interference with cargo of watertight decks? - No, I think not, because I think there was no cargo to be carried in the space to which the trunk went. That is my recollection of the matter. 24413. (The Commissioner.) That was in the forepart of the ship? - That was in the forepart of the ship. 24414. That went down to the engineers’ accommodation? - To the firemen’s passage. Mr. Edwards: It is shown on the plan as cargo space, is it not, Mr. Archer? I think you will find it is shown as cargo space there. 24415. (The Commissioner.) Can you find a trunk there on the plan? - No, my Lord, the trunk was not fitted. 24416. (Mr. Edwards.) He asked for it, my Lord, but it was not fitted. It is shown as a cargo space? - No. If I may say so, the trunk was to be fitted from the E deck to the D deck, and there was no cargo stowed upon E deck. 24417. You were considering the advisability of trunking the hatchway on the level of E deck? - Yes. 24418. (The Attorney-General.) E deck to D deck, I think he said? - Yes, from E deck to D deck. 24419. (Mr. Edwards.) But down there, that space which you propose to trunk, you would have had to have lowered and raised the cargo from No. 1 hold? - Yes, that is right. 24420. Now, what is the distinction between trunking a deck higher or lower where cargo is passed into a hold? What is the difference from this point of view which you are suggesting of making things impracticable? - There is no difficulty in passing the cargo down into a hold at the bottom, but if it passes through ‘tween deck spaces in which you also require to stow cargo, you must have some way of passing the cargo through the side of the trunk into those ‘tween deck spaces. 24421. That is only a question of putting protections on the side, is it not, so that they do not get worn away? - That is it; I do not say the thing is insuperable, but I say there are practical difficulties.
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