Barrett's "wall of water"?

Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
You must be really loosing it these days Jim. If you look at my post (#62 above) the boat shown is coming down on a vertical line. The orange colored vertical line I show is a vertical line extending from the edge of A deck straight down to the water. The waterline is the orange colored horizontal line. The ship is listing over to port around 2-2.5°. (The original waterline is shown in blue.) The outlines of the ship are all in white. The purpose of the diagram was to show that a boat on the starboard side would NOT scrape along the side on the way down with the ship listing as much as 2° to port.

I agree. But again you missed the point here. The point of 15 coming down over 13 shows that the two boats were launched within minutes of each other. And as 15 was coming down they had to push that boat off the side at times, suggesting that the list was still shifting further over to port, perhaps 3° or more.

Apples and oranges Jim. You are mixing things up again. That question from Smith you just quotes was about when the order to fill the boats with women and children was given. It had nothing to do with when Wilde order people over to the starboard side.
Losing nothing, Sam.

Your corrected sketch in post No. 62 shows a lifeboat with its gunwhale hard-up against the ship's side. It makes no allowance for tumble-home and ignores the fact that such a situation would result in No.13 filling with water from the overboard discharge.

Cut the waffle. This lad was actually there and left in Boat 15:
"3rd Class Steward John Hart, Examined by Mr. HOLMES.
10261. At the time your boat [No.15] was lowered, was the ship badly down by the head?
- Yes.
10262. Had she a list?
- Not that I noticed. I noticed she was badly down by the head.

10263. You did not notice any list either way?
- No."
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
As Ioannis quoted from Fireman W. H. Taylor, who left in boat 15: "I could not see, because we kept the boat off the ship, to keep from rubbing down her side."
But he's only a fireman. What does he know?
Have a nice weekend,
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arun Vajpey
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
As Ioannis quoted from Fireman W. H. Taylor, who left in boat 15: "I could not see, because we kept the boat off the ship, to keep from rubbing down her side."
But he's only a fireman. What does he know?
Have a nice weekend,
Ioannis also quoted in his post No.63:
"As a note boat No. 15 was hold against the ship during loading by the crew as stated by Nichols and this might have taken place at Nos. 11 and 13 too.
"From Nichols at No. 15: "One woman stepped up to the rail against which we holding the boat, looked into it and then stepped back as though she didn’t like it."

If that was true, you only hold a boat against the side if it is danger of swing out from it. If that was the case, then at that time Titanic was listed toward the boat - to starboard, not port. Remember Lightoller's coaling wire?

Forget about Brownie-points, Sam and simply answer the following questions:
What caused Titanic to list to starboard then to come upright, then to port ... then upright and finally to port?
What would cause a list at the time 13 and 15 were being launched?

Oh, and by the way, in your post No. 62, you show the waterline half way up G Deck. In fact, it was probably much lower than that since at that time, Titanic was well tipped by the head. In addition, at a 2 degree list, the port gunwale of boat 15 would have started to contact the side, much earlier than shown. But nowhere near Deck C which Taylor was talking about.
In any case, the moment the boat was suspended by one set of falls. she would rotate around the remaining set due to the wash from the overflow. Think about it. Thwe forward fall was gone the stern gets pushed out by the discharge the bow swings back toward the hull, Barratt (who this is about) used oars to push the boat off.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Oh, and by the way, in your post No. 62, you show the waterline half way up G Deck. In fact, it was probably much lower than that since at that time
Not where 13 and 15 were. See post #28.
Have a nice weekend.
 
Jim Currie

Jim Currie

Senior Member
Not where 13 and 15 were. See post #28.
Have a nice weekend.
Nice swerve, Sam. Why not answer the questions?

By the way, this is what QM Rowe had to say about lists."She did not list, so far as I know,until the time when my boat was lowered. Then she listed to port. She listed about 5 or 6 degrees."
He obviously did not notice the initial list
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
There was no "wall" of water. I don't know where that description came from, but it was not from Barrett. He described it as "a wave of green foam." Later he referred to it as rush of water, as if something had given way that was above the height of the stokehold plates.
Sorry for rejuvenating this post after over a year but I recalled something while responding to another related thread today.

I fully agree with Sam's opinion that the rush of water from the fully flooded BR6 into BR5 that Barrett saw and mentioned at the British Inquiry was almost certainly due to the bunker door giving way rather than the entire bulkhead. If the bulkhead had given way, Barrett would have had no chance of getting to the ladder, much less climbing it to safety.

But the one thing that has confused me about Barrett's formal testimony about those events, including the last moments of Harvey and the injured Shepherd, is the sequence of his statements. Although it is often mentioned that Barrett was called in to testify at both the American and British Inquiries, AFAIK, he was not formally questioned in New York (although he might have been present). Therefore, his first mention of that "rush of water" leading to the committee's assumption that the bulkhead must have failed was during the British Investigation on 7th May 1912. His questioning by Senator Smith actually happened 18 days later on 25th May 1912 on board the Olympic where Barrett was working at the time and Smith invited to a tour of the ship by Captain Haddock (which was when Barrett said about the 'wave of green foam' but apparently made no direct allusion to the fate of Shepherd or Harvey). I understood that it was not pre-arranged but when Haddock mentioned to Smith that Barrett was working below that the Senator went to interview the Leading Fireman. Under those circumstances, would it have been considered as part of the formal American Inquiry? If so, would someone have kept a record during the questioning, which reportedly happened in the 'Fire room' (Boiler room?) of the Olympic?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Thomas Krom
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Under those circumstances, would it have been considered as part of the formal American Inquiry? If so, would someone have kept a record during the questioning, which reportedly happened in the 'Fire room' (Boiler room?) of the Olympic?
His questioning by Sen. Smith became part of the American inquiry. Do you not have a copy of that?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arun Vajpey
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
His questioning by Sen. Smith became part of the American inquiry. Do you not have a copy of that?
Thanks. I have it as part of the American Inquiry in Titanic Inquiry Project. Perhaps I did not word my query correctly; I was not asking what was asked or responded but the validity of the circumstances under which those questions were put to Barrett, others present etc. During the formal Inquiry in New York, I assume the witnesses would be under some sort of oath and there would have been clerks keeping minutes of the proceedings as well as several other attendees. But if Senator Smith was later on a tour of the Olympic by Captain Haddock's invitation and learned of Barrett's presence only after he arrived, could a 'proper' Inquiry have been set-up in the fire room of the ship? Would Smith have been able to put on his Official Inquiry hat under those impromptu conditions?
 
Last edited:
Seumas

Seumas

Member
Thanks. I have it as part of the American Inquiry in Titanic Inquiry Project. Perhaps I did not word my query correctly; I was not asking what was asked or responded but the validity of the circumstances under which those questions were put to Barrett, others present etc. During the formal Inquiry in New York, I assume the witnesses would be under some sort of oath and there would have been clerks keeping minutes of the proceedings as well as several other attendees. But if Senator Smith was later on a tour of the Olympic by Captain Haddock's invitation and learned of Barrett's presence only after he arrived, could a 'proper' Inquiry have been set-up in the fire room of the ship?
Maybe they questioned Barrett in one of the crew mess areas or a more private place such as the Chief Engineer's cabin ?

The only reason I say that is because it's a bit hard to imagine a group of politicians and lawyers in starched shirts and ties with bowler hats on standing around down in a stifling boiler room whilst they were probably in the business of coaling the Olympic's bunkers for her return voyage. A very dirty job indeed !
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tim Aldrich and Arun Vajpey
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
Thanks. I have it as part of the American Inquiry in Titanic Inquiry Project. Perhaps I did not word my query correctly; I was not asking what was asked or responded but the validity of the circumstances under which those questions were put to Barrett, others present etc. During the formal Inquiry in New York, I assume the witnesses would be under some sort of oath and there would have been clerks keeping minutes of the proceedings as well as several other attendees. But if Senator Smith was later on a tour of the Olympic by Captain Haddock's invitation and learned of Barrett's presence only after he arrived, could a 'proper' Inquiry have been set-up in the fire room of the ship? Would Smith have been able to put on his Official Inquiry hat under those impromptu conditions?
What I know is that that interview was transcribed and became part of the official inquiry record. It began with the words:
"BY SENATOR WILLIAM ALDEN SMITH, ON SATURDAY, MAY 25, IN THE FIREROOM ON BOARD S. S. "OLYMPIC," NEW YORK.
Examination of FREDERICK BARRETT."
 
  • Like
Reactions: Arun Vajpey
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
The only reason I say that is because it's a bit hard to imagine a group of politicians and lawyers in starched shirts and ties with bowler hats on standing around down in a stifling boiler room whilst they were probably in the business of coaling the Olympic's bunkers for her return voyage. A very dirty job indeed !
I agree; it does seem unlikely that a United States Senator would deign to go into the stifling and sweaty boiler room of a ship to conduct a formal questioning session...BUT..

It began with the words:
"BY SENATOR WILLIAM ALDEN SMITH, ON SATURDAY, MAY 25, IN THE FIREROOM ON BOARD S. S. "OLYMPIC," NEW YORK.
Examination of FREDERICK BARRETT."
I assume that the "Fireroom" meant the boiler room after all. Perhaps they took their ties off? ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Seumas
Top