Page 146 - British Inquiry into Loss of RMS Titanic Day 32 - 36
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iceberg, which was under water; that is plain because otherwise you would not have got the blow struck which went right through the two skins and opened up that part of the firemen’s passage through which, as your Lordship remembers, the water was coming in such great gushes. Later we have the evidence also of the blow struck between No. 6 and No. 5 boiler sections. There again we have evidence which is very plain, at least as to this, that there were external wounds which were proved in the side of the vessel. They must have been struck outside and probably between the bulkheads, or at a distance, which penetrated both, before the after bulkhead of No. 6 section, and also abaft of it, and the consequence of that would be that as the blow struck the bulkhead as the ship struck like that, of course, it would hole both No. 5 and No. 6, and there is no doubt water came through that part in No. 6 and No. 5. The only element of doubt that is left in the case as to actual penetration of the outer skin of the vessel is in No. 4 boiler section. We do not know really what happened there, and I do not think, as far as I am able to judge, anything in the evidence enables us to say, at any rate with any precision, what happened. What we do know is that water was rising there. That we have got quite clearly proved by the evidence. It is indicated on the plan that the blow was under the stokehold plates, and I think that must be plain also. The water was coming in under the stokehold plates, because your Lordship will remember it was rising there; we have very clear indications of that. The Commissioner: I am reminded that it was something like an hour and three quarters before they were driven out of that stokehold by the water. The Attorney-General: Yes. The Commissioner: It seems to support the suggestion that the water came over the top and then found its way down into the bunker, and then gradually rose from the bunker so as to rise above the plates. The Attorney-General: No doubt that is a possible view, but I think the evidence shows the water was rising above the plates. The Commissioner: Yes, but an hour and three-quarters afterwards; it was that that drove the men away. The Attorney-General: After a time, yes. The Commissioner: It is suggested that it was so long after the collision that the water was found coming up above the plates, that the probability is the water found its way from the top and went down into the bunker and filled the bunker, and then rose. The Attorney-General: That depends on the evidence of Dillon and Cavell. The Commissioner: However, I do not think you need dwell upon it. The Attorney-General: I quite appreciate it may be so; it is well to bear it in mind, because no doubt the result of the evidence shows that eventually, as the water was rising, the firemen were driven out of that particular section, and they had to get up the escape in order to get clear. I do not think that it is of very great importance, because we know certainly from Mr. Wilding’s evidence that, supposing you stop at the wound inflicted in No. 5 boiler section, and do not travel further aft than that, it is quite sufficient, apparently, to show that with the wounds that there were, the vessel was irretrievably doomed; that is quite plain. The only question is how long she would float. The Commissioner: What is your theory as to the number of sections filled with water at the time she sank? The Attorney-General: At the time she plunged down? The Commissioner: Yes, at the time of the foundering. The Attorney-General: According to Mr. Wilding’s view - I am speaking from his view - I do not profess to be able to say anything, except what is based upon his evidence to your Lordship - according to him the water must by that time have got as far aft as the reciprocating-engine
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