Page 79 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 23 - 26
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upon all the coal being displaced by the water, and the water taking its place. Certainly the water will fill up the interstices of the coal and add considerably to the weight, but it is not going to add the full value of that compartment if it is already occupied by coal, but undoubtedly it would give it a list. 23501. (The Commissioner.) And the compartment may be not full, or anything like full of coal. If the vessel is getting near the end of her journey the bunkers will be empty, or nearly empty? - Yes. 23502. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) Can you say anything as to the point put by his Lordship that when there is not coal there she might get struck? - Yes; but even if she had two of the wing compartments filled under those circumstances it is quite likely that they would have means of running in water on the other side if she was taking a dangerous list. I do not know for certain, but I think it might be devised. It is quite within the province and within the skill of the marine naval architect to do so. 23503. (The Commissioner.) Is there any greater advantage in transverse bunkers over side bunkers? - Not that I can see. 23504. (Mr. Clement Edwards.) As I understand you are the responsible technical head of the Marine Department? - That is so. 23505. If we are rather to travel in the direction of what I will call bulkhead precautions, do you think that the present staff of the Marine Department - the local Surveyors with their particular training - are a fully competent body to decide definitely as to the safety of bulkhead construction? - Absolutely. 23506. You think they are? - Yes, absolutely. 23507. Without any further addition? - We should like some more, and we are getting some more. 23508. Some more what? - Surveyors. 23509. Of what sort? - All classes - nautical Surveyors, engineering Surveyors, and what are termed ship Surveyors, but were formerly termed Shipwright Surveyors. 23510. Is there any suggestion that there should be very special attention paid to the experience and training of those men in the efficacy of bulkheads? - We are not making any express provision with regard to that, because it comes in in the ordinary course of their duties. If they are not qualified, in the first place, to deal with the question of bulkhead structures, then we should not have them in the Board of Trade at all. 23511. I want to direct your mind for a moment from the question of bulkheads to the question of boat provision. You take the view that there ought to be an increase of boat accommodation? - Yes. 23512. You have rather put it upon the question that the increase should be made as far as practicable? - Exactly. 23513. And you have used certain expressions as to the height of decks in the construction of a ship? - Yes. 23514. Have you any definite views as to the relation of boat accommodation to the erection of such superstructure as there is on the “Titanic”? - Yes. 23515. Now, supposing there was less deck height from above the weather-line, would that in your view make any difference as to the practicability of carrying a less or larger number of boats? - Not much. 23516. It would make some difference? - If the height, or difference in height, was very marked, yes. 23517. Supposing what is now the boat deck were abolished and what is now the A deck - that is the deck immediately below it - became the boat deck, and supposing the whole of that deck were utilised for boat accommodation, what in your view would be the effect of that on the tenderness of the ship? - Very trifling. 23518. So one may say if you had a complete sacrifice of, I will use the term, the luxury of that one deck, you could then without serious detriment to the strength and weathering capacity of the ship utilise one deck entirely for boat accommodation? - If it were necessary to do so, but I do not consider it necessary there as regards the stability of the ship. The Commissioner: Would you diminish, by abolishing the boat deck, the registered tonnage of the ship?
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