Page 125 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 27 - 31
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things escape my memory a little. What is suggested to me, Mr. Edwards, is this, that the water got into number 5 boiler room at the bottom of the strong watertight bulkhead, separating 6 and 5 - I mean of course through the ship’s side - but at the point where the watertight bulkhead separates 6 from 5. Sir Robert Finlay: A little abaft that point, my Lord. The Commissioner: A little abaft, that is to say it had not come into number 6 but it came into number 5, but just abaft of the bulkhead separating 5 and 6. Mr. Edwards: Does your Lordship mean that particular wound did not go into number 6 because your Lordship will remember that in number 6 it came with a great rush. The Commissioner: I am talking about the particular wound in number 5. Mr. Edwards: Yes, my Lord. The Commissioner: That particular wound was just abaft of the bulkhead separating 5 from 6, and it let water into a space which had a bulkhead a little further aft which was not watertight and in which there was a door which had been shut, and it is suggested that the water getting into that small space bounded by a strong watertight bulkhead on the forward side of it, and by a bulkhead which was not watertight and had a door on it on the after side of it - it is suggested that the water would break through the weakest side, that is to say, the bulkhead which was not watertight and which had a door in it. Does that agree with your view, Sir Robert? Sir Robert Finlay: Yes, my Lord. The Attorney-General: Yes, my Lord, I understood that was what the evidence was. I thought we had agreed at a certain stage that that was the effect of it after a good deal of discussion. Mr. Edwards: For present purposes it does not very much matter. I shall have to say something when I come to deal with the question of surveying; but it appears to be common ground that something gave way and caused the water to come with a rush, and alternatively that was the side of the bunker under the pressure of water which had come through the wound in number 5 about 2 feet abaft the 5 and 6 bulkhead, or the great pressure of the water in number 6 by pouring in there had caused the forward end of section 5 of the bulkhead to give way. Those are the alternatives, and so long as your Lordship and your advisers know that - Sir Robert Finlay: There is no alternative at all. The evidence is quite clear. I submit that the water did not come through owing to the bulkhead giving way, but came through the side of the vessel. Mr. Edwards: With very great respect I do not think that Sir Robert can point to a single passage which makes that clear. It may be an inference which he draws. Barrett, of course, simply says he did not stop to look; he got up out of it. There it is, my Lord, I have drawn attention to it. In either event, it will raise the question as to whether if it be the bulkhead, they should not have been stronger; if it be the side of the bunker, serving as a sort of inner skin, whether that should not be stronger. It is a matter which your Lordship will have to consider if I may say so with respect, with your assessors. Now the next question which comes is again a matter which may have to be considered both collectively and also alternatively, and that is the question as to whether, what I may call the later water mischief - I am coming to the engine room - was due in the first place, or entirely, to water coming over the bulkheads, especially 5 and 6 bulkheads; and whether, in the second place, when the water came over in that way, it did mischief and irreparable mischief in the engine room and sections 1, 2 and 3 before the automatic float for the watertight door had operated; or whether again (there is no definite evidence) the bulkhead between sections 4 and 5 gave way. The further question is whether, though the automatic float may have operated all right, the water came over the bulkhead and came across the working alleyway, and down. Very strong views were taken as to the efficacy of this automatic float which your Lordship had an opportunity of seeing upon the “Olympic.” If your Lordship will take your mind back you will remember the
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