Page 146 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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was finished they did not so extend; what was the reason for the alteration in your attitude? - I did not alter my attitude at all. The builder’s altered their attitude. They lowered the centre of the freeboard disc so as to make the freeboard a little greater than Table C. 24447. And that slight lowering of the disc? - Pardon me for a moment. When I say they lowered the disc, they lowered the position that they had intended to put it in. The disc was never marked on the vessel in the position in which they originally intended to mark it, but they agreed to lower it a few inches, so that the distance from the centre of the disc to the E deck should not be less than Table C. 24448. Did that alteration satisfy you? - Yes. 24449. Was it after that that you reported this to your Department. On the 1st June Mr. Carruthers reports: ”Since the builder’s were informed of the Board’s decision, I have had several interviews with them on the subject. They inform me that the arrangement of the vessel makes it very difficult for them to comply, and they point out” - apparently this is referring to your proposal about the trunking. There is a letter missing. Will you see if it can be obtained? It is somewhere about the 24th June. If you will kindly look you will see this report is stamped 25th June, and Mr. Carruthers’ report is the 1st of June (The document was handed to the Witness.)? - I notice Mr. Carruthers had interviews with the builder’s. I do not see any reference to a letter on the subject. It may be only verbal. 24450. Where would he get the Board’s decision from? And there is the reference there to what should be done in holds 1 and 2. What I am leading up to, and what I want to ask you about, is this. (Perhaps the letter can be found in the morning so that it can go on the Notes.) You advised that the cargo hold should be trunked, and you also advised that the spiral staircase in front of the firemen’s passage should be trunked? - Yes. 24451. Why did not you insist upon both those proposals? - Because the builder’s objected to do so, and they made a calculation which they handed to Mr. Carruthers, and which was forwarded to me, showing that even if the first compartment and the second compartment and the firemen’s passage were all filled with water simultaneously, the vessel would sink by the head only 2 feet 6 inches. 24452. If the trunking had been carried out as you suggested - you know the evidence which has been given here - and the trunking had been effective, do you think that. might have had a very important bearing on the sinking of the “Titanic”? - Not the very slightest effect. 24453. You do not think so? - Not the very slightest. 24454. In the light of the ‘Titanic” disaster, do you still think it advisable that there should be trunking of what are now open stairways, such as the spiral staircase on the “Titanic”? - On the “Titanic,” no. 24455. Then why did you suggest it? - I suggested it for this reason. It is very difficult to explain it without pointing to the plan. 24456. Well, you can go over and point to the plan? - Thank you. (The Witness went to the Plan on the wall.) The Board’s Regulations require that that bulkhead should extend up to the D deck, and that the distance of this part of the bulkhead from the stem should not be less than one- twentieth of the vessel’s length. As the builders were unwilling to carry it up like that I suggested they should carry it up like this, (Indicating.) but if it had been carried like that, and if this had been broken away by the vessel colliding with another, water might have got in here, and in order to prevent water going down that hatchway and going down that spiral stairway it would be necessary to trunk that hatch up like that and trunk this spiral stairway up watertight to the D deck. 24457. Is not that a reason that exists as much today as when you recommended it to the builders? - Yes, quite. But when the builders said: ”Supposing we do not do that; supposing this part of the bulkhead is broken away; supposing water does get over there and does go down that
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