C-Deck Forward First Class Corridors/Cabins Flooding

Werepug

Werepug

Member
Hello Titanic Community! There is something about C-Deck flooding that I have never quite understood, first I will summarize my question and then I'll explain what I thought about it.

Question:
- How did the corridors of the forward First Class Cabins in C-Deck flood (I mean those forward of the Main Staircase and aft of the Forward Well Deck)?

Explanation of my question:
- I have been looking at plans of Titanic's decks and when looking at C-Deck, I confirmed that there were no doors leading into First Class Cabin space from the Well Deck, just some phew cabin portholes facing forward. So, ignoring those and the port and starboard portholes of the other cabins, the only way for water to come in would be from D-Deck coming up the Grand Staircase and Elevators (this is assuming most if not all the portholes were closed because of the cold and could stand the outside water pressure). I can show what I mean in the picture I uploaded.

C Deck Flooding


- Nevertheless, all sinking simulations I could find, always show flooding going from the bow backwards in every deck, so I don't know if maybe I'm missing something. Maybe the portholes would indeed break and let water in before it reached C-Deck at the Grand Staircase or maybe given that the wall between the cabins and Well Deck was not watertight, it would let enough water through to flood those corridors and cabins.

- I also know that the First Funnel's Casing went through this part of the ship and could have water inside coming from Boiler Rooms N°6 and 5°, but in the plans I didn't see any openings at C-Deck level that would explain water entering from there (unless water pressure broke some weak non watertight wall or something like that).

- I did not have this problem with B-Deck as it did have a forward facing door and much bigger windows (and easier to break I suppose). Same with A-Deck big forward-facing windows.

- So, if anyone can shed some light about this I would be very grateful, and I'm sorry beforehand if my thinking is flawed or if I missed any other important facts.
 
R

robert warren

Member
I just chalk some of this to the fact that when water starts flooding into anything there is just no stopping it, as it enters through everything. You may think that when walls meet floors, corners are nailed shut, joints caulked and sealed you are good- but no. Just ask anyone whose basement, home or place of work has flooded.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Incony and Werepug
Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
Good day to you,

So, ignoring those and the port and starboard portholes
I wouldn't ignore the port and starboard portholes of the forward C-deck section. This year I started writing an article on the stateroom occupancy of the first class staterooms, which I intend to release this summer. For this article I commissioned from my good friend @Cam Houseman ,who is one of the best wreck researchers there is in the world in my humble opinion, a list of open and closed portholes at the wreck to perhaps show occupied staterooms which were previously thought to have been unoccupied, since these portholes had to be opened with a key first which your bedroom steward would have if you were to stay in that section. On the port side Cam discovered that the portholes of C-36, C-34 and C-38 were open. The starboard side has to be re-done by Cam for as the moment, but in his most recent estimate states that four portholes of the starboard C-deck section forward were open (since this has to be redone I prefer not to give the exact stateroom portholes for as the moment to make sure I spread no false claims, so I'll provide the stateroom numbers in the future). I can tell you however that the glass of the portholes on the port and starboard in this section didn't break due to the pressure from the water during the sinking. During the descent down some portholes were damaged together with their brass frames, but this is quite noticeable.
- I also know that the First Funnel's Casing went through this part of the ship and could have water inside coming from Boiler Rooms N°6 and 5°, but in the plans I didn't see any openings at C-Deck level that would explain water entering from there (unless water pressure broke some weak non watertight wall or something like that).
As far as I am aware there is no evidence that the casing ever broke open due to the pressure as well. The wall between the casing and the in-board staterooms (behind the wooden panelling of the later that is) were steel. At the wreck these steel walls on A, B, C, D and E-deck appeared to be undamaged without any holes or visable flooding damage.



I hope this offers some insight.

Kind regards,

Thomas
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sam Brannigan, Arun Vajpey, Michael Hinz and 2 others
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
On the port side Cam discovered that the portholes of C-36, C-34 and C-38 were open. The starboard side has to be re-done by Cam for as the moment, but in his most recent estimate states that four portholes of the starboard C-deck section forward were open
That's interesting. What I would like to know is aproximately what time the most forward of those open port portholes (for the sake of disussion, assume that the corresponding forward starboard portholes were also open) reached the water level.

I have read that some of the First Class women in Lifeboat #4 (launched about 01:50 am) noticed that water was staring to pour into some of the well lit staterooms as the lifeboat was lowered past the portholes. I don't know if that was really the case.

I can tell you however that the glass of the portholes on the port and starboard in this section didn't break due to the pressure from the water during the sinking.
I don't think the glass on any porthole imploded during the actual sinking process ie before 02:21 am. The depth would not have been sufficient for the presure gradient to cause an implosion even if the cabin had been dry. Of course, once the broken parts f the ship sank below the surface, total flooding woud have negated any pressure differential.
 
Incony

Incony

Member
i dont know that any seal on the titanic was tested prior to it being in service, that means not only the water tight bulkheads, but every point , every seal.. even the hull itself.. which means what, ? prior to the collision, any leaks were manageable , or that there were none or many... its an unknown without certified testing prior to use.. and as far as i know, ( i stand to be corrected ) there was no testing by flooding to see where - if any, there were leaks.. prior to the wood installation - and no testing of the wood installations, before putting them into service.. its an assumption therefore , that every seal and way for water to penetrate was actually sealed. The titanic was a sieve.. with nearly all but not all holes sealed... Remember that the Titanic sank itself, it wasn't the water coming in,, it was its weight verses buoyancy that sank it. So.. just because its not obvious, or apparent, how water travelled from point to point - it happened because there was a way.. and to determine the way now without knowing all the possible ways... is going to be unsolvable?
 
Thomas Krom

Thomas Krom

Member
i dont know that any seal on the titanic was tested prior to it being in service, that means not only the water tight bulkheads
The watertight bulkheads of the Titanic were tested prior to entering service according to the Board of Trade Surveyor Francis Carruthers (who oversaw the construction of both the Titanic and Olympic as representative of the Board of Trade. At the British inquiry he was asked:
23963. Would you tell his Lordship precisely what you did to test whether the bulkheads were watertight?
- As these bulkheads were built I followed their construction. When they were riveted I inspected them to see how they were riveted and if they were well riveted; and when they were finished I went round and tested the caulking of the bulkheads and at the end of the survey, a few days before she was finished I went round the bulkheads to see that all the small holes that are drilled for carrying through the heating pipes and the electric light wires were all properly made fast, and the boiler pipes -

and to determine the way now without knowing all the possible ways... is going to be unsolvable?
Beyond any doubt it will involve a lot of guesswork, but based on testimonies of survivors we can make a timeline of some sort. A pal from mine from the Russian Federation has been doing some research onto it, and is planning to make a video on the flooding of the ship minute by minute, and from what I've seen it isn't exactly 100% unsolvable.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jason D. Tiller and Arun Vajpey
brionboyles

brionboyles

Professional Model Builder
Member
Might I submit a word:
Plumbing.

All of Titanic's sewage and drainage would have worked by gravity, with little or no "trap" valves or piping as we know of it today.
Water flooding D-deck areas would get into her D-Deck drainage and sewage plumbing and come gurgling up thru the toilets, deck drains, sinks etc...
Similar instances of such progressive flooding have even been reported aboard modern cruise ships.
Darn near EVERY cabin in this area has it's own bath, sink and toilet... and there is the large lavoratory, with many toilets and three baths, just forward of the funnel casing. I'd imagine all of these drain into a central system, which would be also connected to toilet facilities on lowers decks, before collecting in any sewage tanks (if not merely allowed to drain over the side).

Also, every deck on a vessel... from the top deck to the bilge plates... usually has a plethora of deck drains for water to escape downward into the bilges or collect and drain directly over the side.
Free-surface effect (ie water sloshing back and forth freely across a rolling deck or a large, enclosed tank) is a particularly dangerous thing. Once water is allowed to collect and slosh to one side of a ship, all the other liquids aboard ship do the same thing, increasing the list... often making it impossible to recover from this list.
Any standing water, be it from a ruptured firemain, rainwater or some other misfortune, is a grave threat to ship's stability, and gets more troublesome at each deck above from the bilge upwards.
Removing this water or least allowing it to drain as fast and efficiently as possible to lower parts of the ship/pumps is paramount.

Therefore, the higher up you go, deck-by-deck from the bilge, the more drains there usually are.
Simple, open deck drains... requiring zero manual intervention or operation for them to perform... is the norm.
As these drains and their exits are not expected to be submerged or subject to inundation for any lengthy period, there is often ZERO provision for water not to travel UP the drainage pipe instead of DOWN, aside from a few feet of head piping, perhaps.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Incony, Jason D. Tiller and Thomas Krom
Incony

Incony

Member
ask any builder if it is certain that a window or a wall or a roof will even after inspection be deemed waterproof, until its had water against it...? while i realise that all the fittings and fixtures were inspected, and sealed as well as the inspector could certify by visual inspection. using the methods and skill available, , it was not by flooding? it was not a flood test to ascertain waterproof, it was visual, dry inspection.., that was the point i wanted to question.. and why i said " as far as i know" i join two hose fittings together as specified, they fit perfectly, the fittings are tight.... certainly to specification.. i could even use a torque wrench to check they meet the required torque... but its not until i turn the water on, and flood the pipe, do i know it doesnt leak at the time of inspection.. ive known welded joints and soldered joints that at visual inspection with a magnifying glass, have no evidence of flaw, but when subjected to weight or pressure of water,, leak through unseen before pin holes,, thats because of the alkaline or acidic content of the water reacting with the steel, or copper etc. Obviously as ive said such leaks were manageable...The olympic didnt sink because it was full of holes, even though i bet there were many over its life... Where water can go is determined by passage means, gravity and pressure, the passage means for the hull, was less than the interior, because water in such quantity and place was never expected to happen in the interior.. it would have been an impossible task to flood a bulkhead with the titanic finished so it could not be tested to see where if any and how many leaks there could be... IF water can go from point A to point B, by passage means, gravity or pressure.. it will... because it cannot be compressed , but nearly everything inside the titanic structural components could.. a yard square of water weighs a ton... something that was never applied to the internal structures of the titanic until the water was allowed in. that means the bulkheads, the steel floors, pipes cable ways , every through passage... be it a door a roof, a floor, a " sealed" way.. imagine you made a two story structure , flood the first floor to 3 feet of water, would you want to stand underneath it ? even though someone told you they had inspected it and it met the inspection standard? ive lifted 250 tons from a crane to certify its safe working load, but i would never allow anyone to stand beneath it when its doing that.. even though ive tested and inspected every part.... why?, because even tested and certified things fail, without warning.. even now in these modern technological times not a year goes by without a tested and certified thing failing somewhere... and without warning. The idea that water could be seen entering somewhere that could not appear to have sensible reasoning, does not surprise me at all., i think it did , because it could.
 
Last edited:
B

Bill West

Member
Regarding the sanitary system, a period engineering book shows that the usual U shaped water trap was used. More importantly ships usually have a flapper "storm valve" at sanitary outlets to prevent wave surges from pushing the water up or down the U trap and to generally act as a check valve. They would not be drip tight but any back leakage would be slow.

I think the cruise ship Oceanos lost off Africa in 1991 suffered a rust through under a generator which flooded the room and backfilled an under repair sanitary vent pipe passing through the room. That's what flooded onward to the cabin areas.

Bill
 
Top