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FIRE IN COAL BUNKER

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Tom�s Eduardo Podest�, Aug 2, 2016.

  1. Mike Spooner

    Mike Spooner Member

    To remove the coal from coal fire bunker cannot be put back into other bunkers when at sea. As the bunkers are filled from outside above the water level with seal off doors. To open a coal bunker door from below you will only land up with tons of coal on top of you . All they can do is to wheelbarrow down to other boilers. There is talk of the ship a list to port! When looking at the layout of the bunkers one can see the bunkers are off set to port. I guest the trimmers delivering the coal to the boilers normally start on the port side first. With coal on fire on the starboard must be coursing bit of a problem to keep the bunkers level.
    Mike.
     
  2. Guys, I have to disagree about boiler room #6. It did not flood rapidly, and there was certainly no catastrophic flooding from the side opening up. Beauchamps was in stokehold #10 at the after end of that compartment. He did not see any water, but heard a "roar like thunder" (an expression he used on two occasions in testimony) upon impact. He said he heard his leading stoker and an engineer issue specific orders -- the very same orders which Barrett, who was his leading stoker, claimed to have shouted. In other words, the men confirm each other up to that point. There was a pause in the action, so to speak, and then Beauchamp was told to rake down furnaces.

    A curious thing is that Barrett disappears from this part of Beauchamp's story. In my view this is because Barrett was somewhere else, probably with Shepherd and other engineers starting to use the bilge pumping system. There is no possible doubt he went into boiler room #5 at some point that night accompanying engineer Shepherd. He was never asked (why not?) nor did he volunteer the nature of their mission. All he said was that the water in #6 was too deep and so they returned to #5.

    1956. (The Solicitor-General.) Did Mr. Shepherd come back with you to No. 5?
    - Yes.

    1957. And when you got back to No. 5, you and Mr. Shepherd, who else did you find there?
    Mr. Harvey and Mr. Wilson.

    1958. What is their rating?
    - I could not tell you; they are engineers, second assistant engineers.

    1959. Anyhow, they are engineers?
    - Yes.

    1960. Mr. Harvey, one of the engineers, and Mr. Wilson?
    - Yes.

    1961. And what were they doing?
    - Attending to the pumps.

    1962. Are there pumps in each section?
    - As far as I understand, there are.

    1963. At any rate there were pumps in No. 5?
    - Yes.

    1964. And when you got back to No. 5, how much water was there in No. 5?
    - None.

    Note the answer "none" to question 1964. It could be argued that Barrett just meant there was no water above the tank top deck. In that case he would have seen "none." However, Barrett's description of how engineer Shepherd broke his leg belies the theory of water on the tank top level.

    2022. Did you stay below?
    - Yes.

    2023. With Mr. Harvey?
    - Yes.

    2024. Then what was the next order?
    - He asked me to lift the manhole plate off.

    2025. Where was the manhole plate?
    - On the starboard side of No. 5 section.

    2026. When the plate was in position what was it - closed?
    - It is something you lift up to get at the valves. I do not know what valves it is. It is just like a hole in this table. You lift it off to get to the valves to turn on the pumps or something.

    2027. Is it in the floor?
    - Yes.

    2028. And did you do that for him?
    - Yes.

    2029. That would leave a hole in the floor?
    - Yes.

    2030. And what happened then?
    - Mr. Shepherd was walking across in a hurry to do something and then fell down the hole and broke his leg.

    2031. He did not notice the manhole plate had been lifted?
    - No.

    2032. He broke his leg?
    - Yes.

    2033. What did you do with him?
    - We lifted him up and carried him into the pump room, me and Mr. Harvey.

    2034. Is that the pump room in No. 5?
    - Yes.

    2035. At this time, in this No. 5, was it easy to see?
    - No, all the water which had been thrown on the furnaces when they were pulled out was making the stokehold thick with steam.

    2036. And then you attended to Mr. Shepherd as best you could. Did you stay there after that?
    - Just about a quarter of an hour after that.

    2037. And during that quarter of an hour did No. 5 keep free from water?
    - Yes.

    Once again, Barrett confirmed #5 was dry by saying "yes" to question 2037. Although he did not describe the conditions between the stoker plates and tank top, it is reasonable to assume that it was dry. Otherwise, working on the valves and plumbing would have been impossible in freezing water. That open manhole and Shepherds painful leg are graphic substantiation that when Barrett said boiler room #5 was dry, he meant dry.

    Going back to Beauchamp, he continued working in stokehold 10 of boiler room #6 until the fires were raked. We don't know how much water was in #6 at this point. His location at the after end of the compartment would have been least flooded because of the bow-down attitude. Note the way Beauchamps described the flooding as the men began working on the furnaces:

    673. What happened then?
    - The water was just coming above the plates then.

    673a. (Mr. Raymond Asquith.) You mean it was coming through the floor?
    - Yes, coming through the bunker door and over the plates.

    674. Through the bunker door?
    - Yes, coming through the bunker like.

    So, it would seem that if water was coming out of the bunker serving his stokehold, then it must have entered from the tank top level below and rose up to the bunker door sill. So much for the watertight bunker nonsense. The water inside any of the bunkers could not have risen faster than the surrounding water in the larger boiler room it served. Water does not run uphill.

    675. When you had drawn the fires what did you do next?
    - Waited till everything was shut down and an order was given. Someone shouted "that will do," when everything was safe, when everything was shut down.

    676. What did you do?
    - When the order was given someone shouted "that will do," and so I went to the escape ladder.

    677. Is that the ladder by which you get out of your stokehold when the watertight doors are closed?
    - Yes, the escape ladder.

    678. Can you say how long it took to draw the fires?
    - I could not say how long it took, just the usual time; I could not say for certain.

    679. What is the usual time - you have often done it, I suppose?
    - Yes, I have done it a good many times. Of course, it all depends what you have got in the fires as a Rule.

    680. Can you say whether it took a few minutes or half-an-hour?
    - It took about a quarter of an hour, I suppose.

    Summed up, Beauchamp worked for about 20 minutes in the slowly flooding boiler room #6 before being sent on deck. His exit from #6 would have been about midnight and coincided nicely with the venting of steam from funnel #1. A logical procedure for any engineer abandoning a boiler room to the sea would be to "dump" any remaining steam as a safety precaution. If the boilers in #6 were dumped, they would have vented up funnel #1. We know that the furnaces had not been raked in #5 at this point, so logic forces us to look at the steam venting as the last human action in boiler room #6.

    Curiously enough, it appears to me based on time references in Barrett's testimony that he and engineer Shephered made the ill-fated trip back into #6 at least five minutes after midnight. This explains two things in his testimony about that mission. First, he said there was nobody visible in #6 when he visited. That tallies with Beauchamp's testimony about everyone being sent on deck. And, second, it explains why there was more water in #6 when Barrett & Shepherd visited than when Beauchamps departed.

    -- David G. Brown
     
  3. He did, their were ordered to their station.

    1926. Then what did you do when you got into No. 5? - Mr. Hesketh shouted out "all hands stand by your stations." That is for the men to stand by the fires. My station was in the next boiler room, and Mr. Shepherd and I went up an escape and down to the boiler room, but we could not get in. There were 8 feet of water in it.
    1927. (The Solicitor-General.) I do not know whether your Lordship caught that. I will ask it again. It is more satisfactory than my telling you. (To the Witness.) I was asking you, and I will get you to repeat it slowly and clearly, what happened when you got through this doorway and into No. 5? You told me that Mr. Hesketh gave an order? - Yes.
    1928. What was the order he gave? - "Every man to his station."
    1929. Your station was No. 6? - Yes.
    1930. The one you had just come from? - Yes.
    1931. Then what did you do? - Me and Mr. Shepherd, that is the engineer who is in my section, go up the escape of No. 5 and down No. 6 escape.


    As the bunker door to coal bunker W was close there was no way for the water to get into BR 5 at that point.


    Who claimed water run uphill? Aside from you no one else stated it. From Barrett we know that the damage was running most over the length into BR 6 and over coal bunker Y and 2 feet into coal bunker W.
    What watertight bunker nonsense? Did you ever look at the plans? Sure not as you would have noticed already that there was no way out of the coal bunker at the tank top.
    BR6&BR5.jpg




    Did Beachaump said so? I can not find anything that he mentioned the venting of steam, so how did that "coincided nicely" as you claim?

    1935. When you came into No. 6 what water did you find in it then? - Eight feet above the plates.
    1936. That is a rise of six feet since you left it? - Yes.
    1937. (The Commissioner.) How long? - It was not a quarter of an hour, just on ten minutes.

    About 10 minutes after the collision, that would be well before midnight not after. And by the way the observation of Barrett is confirmed by Hendrickson who you always ignore. When returning with some lantern he went down the escape to BR #6.

    4903. When you got the lamps did you go back with them? - I got all the lamps I could get that were ready. I got five, and left four or five men there to get more if they could. Then I came back by the engine room, went along and down the escape to go to No. 6 section. When I got down there I found I could not get any further, the water was up too high; so I came back by the escape again and went to No. 5 section.


    And what about the time hole of Beachaump? After drawing the fires he went up to E Deck and then to the boat deck where he helped to load lifeboat No. 13 in which he left and in which also Barrett got in at the last minute before lowered about 1:15 a.m.
     
  4. Rancor

    Rancor Member

    I fear without some conclusive answers to certain design features it is difficult to know the exact sequence of events.

    It would be good to know for sure if the coal bunkers were watetight at the bottom or not. Are there any plans that could shed some light on this, or ships of a similar era that have been preserved that could be inspected?

    I also have a few questions regarding Barrett and Beauchamp. If, as Beauchamp says, he was able to work for 20 minutes drawing the fires whilst barely getting his feet wet, the water ingress must have been much less substantial than Barrett testified. I wonder if faced with only a 'minor' leak why Barrett and the engineer would rush for the exits immediately, and not stay and assist in drawing the fires in their section.

    Regarding the steam venting, it seems most likely that this was an automatic dump of steam due to release excess pressure, and would have taken place in all the boiler rooms, not only 6.
     
  5. 2343. I want to ask you about this bunker, just a question or two. When you saw the water coming into the bunker in No. 5 section, did you shut the bunker door? - Yes.

    2344. The bunker door is not a watertight door? - No.

    2345. And did you tell the engineer that you had seen water coming in? - I reported to Mr. Shepherd and he reported to Mr. Hesketh.

    2346. And as far as you know you are not able to say whether they were pumping it or not? - No.

    2347. All you know is you shut the door and left it? - Yes.

    2348. When this rush of water came from the pass, you went up and got in the alleyway? - Yes.



    Beauchamp did not mentioned a closed door.



    1868. Where was the crash - what was it you felt or heard or saw? - Water came pouring in two feet above the stokehold plate; the ship's side was torn from the third stokehold to the foreward end.

    1869. We will get this slowly, because it is important. Just let us have that again. You said something about the water coming in? - Yes.

    1870. Did it come in on you? - Yes.

    1871. Did it come into this No. 6 section No. 10 stokehold? - Yes.

    1872. Then you said something about the side of the ship being torn? - Yes.

    The Commissioner: Before you leave that will you tell me where the water came from?

    1873. (The Solicitor-General.) It is the same thing as I was upon, my Lord. (To the Witness.) Where did the water come from? - Well, out of the sea, I expect.

    1874. (The Solicitor-General.) I think your last question and mine meant the same thing, my Lord. (To the Witness.) I wanted to know where it came from - underneath or from the side or from the port side or from the starboard side? - The starboard side.

    1875. Can you tell us at all compared with where you were standing whether it came from above or below? - About two feet from where I was standing.


    And from his newspaper report:

    "when all of a sudden the starboard side of the ship came in on us. It burst in like big guns going off, and the water came pouring in. It swilled our legs, and we made a dash into the next section and slammed the watertight door to, quick."


    If he was somewhere above, how did he got into BR 5?

    And by the way Kemish was also in BR #5 and survived.


    Nonsense, Barrett was clear where he was and what he was doing.
     
  6. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    Regarding boiler room 5, what you've ignored is Barrett states that when the lights went out and lamps were fetched, he held a lamp up to the glass water level sight on a boiler in room 5 and he had this to say:

    2009. You looked at the water gauge?
    - Yes.

    2010. And there was no water in the boilers?
    - No.

    2011. Then it had been let out, had it?
    - With the ship blowing off it had blown it out.

    2012. Then after you had looked at the boilers and found they had no water in them what was the next order you got from Mr. Harvey?
    - To fetch some men down to keep the fires pulled.

    So you can see, the steam had vented from boiler room 5 (also connected to funnel 1) before the fires were raked. The drawing of fires therefore were not connected to the dumping of steam.

    Rubbish !! The Royal Navy has two damage control training units that allow sailors to practice damage control and repairs in a fully realistic environment. I have done this many times and all year round. The water used in the trainer is stored in external tanks and is not heated in any way. That's ok in the summer but in the winter its freezing.

    One of the repairs is to close a buckled hatch and put all the clips on and tighten down. The hatch is about three feet under water by the time the repair starts.

    Working on valves and plumbing in freezing cold water is NOT impossible.

    Yours Aye.

    Rob
     
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  7. Robby House

    Robby House Member

    Well, I guess in a sense how quickly a watertight compartment fills with flooding water could be something of a relative term. LOL! What I do assert is that there would have been enough ingress in Boiler Room 6 to make the determination of Coal Bunker Y and "Little b Bunker's watertight integrity difficult, if not impossible to know at least for Boiler Room 6. Hopefully you can understand my logic here. The proof of the pudding as I see it lies in how the flooding occurring in Boiler Room 5 was isolated to only that of Coal Bunker W. This we know without question...from the moment of impact with the iceberg water would have been filling Coal Bunker W unabated which was no different than ingress entering into Titanic's hull all the way up to the Peak Tank. So it is agreed that as time progressed forward Coal Bunker W was filling with more and more water. NOW, I think there is ample testimony from Barrett that indicated there was NO accumulation of water above Boiler Room 5's Tank Top below the Stokehold Plate floor but there was flooding INSIDE Coal Bunker W which was part of Boiler Room 5. From this we can assume that indeed the base of at least Coal Bunker W was waterproof otherwise water that was accumulating within this Bunker would have penetrated into the rest of Boiler Room 5 above the Tank Top.
     
  8. A few answers to questions raised by my last post. First, however, I'm overjoyed with the sharp eyes and serious research beginning to show up here. Whether or not I'm right is of far less importance than that conventional wisdom is questioned by going back to original sources.

    I'm not sure what point Ionnis is trying to make. He highlighted in bold question 2343. This question is quite obviously a leading question in which the witness is guided into what to say. I'll reprint it for examination. Note that it was the questioner who put the bunker in "No. 5 section," and not Barrett. The question is not fact. It's only significance is as evidence of how the predetermined story was forced upon the witness.

    2343. I want to ask you about this bunker, just a question or two. When you saw the water coming into the bunker in No. 5 section, did you shut the bunker door?

    Note that after telling the witness where he was, the clever questioner finishes the question asking if Barrett "shut the bunker door." Of course he shut the door. That would be true if the door were in boiler room #5, number 6, or aboard a vessel half the world away. The actual question has nothing to do with boiler room #5. It's the subtle type of misdirection used by lawyers in questioning witnesses.

    As far as the elevation of presented by Ionnis, well it proves nothing about the construction of the ship. It is a schematic drawing, not a builders plan or an iron plan. The bunker did extend below the stoker plates as shown, true. But the line indicating this placement says nothing about it's construction. The bunker could have been made of expanded metal, Swiss cheese or paper, service latrine, and it would appear the same. Schematics tell the concept, not the construction.

    Robby House points out that if bunker "W" in #5 were waterproof at the tank top level, then water could have built up inside. However, I must disagree with his assumption. The watertight nature of bunker "W" can't be assumed from the fact that boiler room #5 remained dry.

    Let me repeat what I said about the watertight or non-watertight nature of bunkers. "So, it would seem that if water was coming out of the bunker serving his (Beauchamp's) stokehold, then it must have entered from the tank top level below and rose up to the bunker door sill. So much for the watertight bunker nonsense. The water inside any of the bunkers could not have risen faster than the surrounding water in the larger boiler room it served. Water does not run uphill."

    Was there any difference in the construction of bunkers "W" (in #5) and "Y" (in #6)? Doubtful in the highest. If water could find its way into bunker "Y" behind Beauchamp, then it stands to reason that any water in bunker "W" would have leaked out into the area between the tank top and stoker plates of #5. Holes are not one-way streets.

    I've read up on bunker construction in coal-fired ships. Navy ships of the period had a pipe leading up from each bunker to carry explosive methane gas up and out the stack. To make this system work it was necessary to rig another air intake pipe which extended down into the bunker. Some cargo ships actually had open grates to supply air at the lowest level. It was also typical practice to retain a small base of coal in each bunker to encourage upward air from from the lowest levels. I have yet to read any description of bunkers being considered watertight or constructed so. Since I have not read every book ever published on the subject, these are just observations.

    Rob Lawes brought up the subject of water "blowing out" of the boilers in #5. This possibility was raised by Barrett. I must point out, however, that the blowing off of steam started before the leading stoker returned to boiler room #6 on his forlorn mission with engineer Shepherd. The water starved boilers of #5 were not discovered until some time later, after the blackout and the fetching of lamps. This time duration is necessary for steam being deliberately vented from #6 to somehow pull (venturi effect?) the water out of the boilers in #5. Thus raking of fires in #5 was intended to prevent damage to the fireboxes and not part of a planned dumping of steam. Adding water to the boilers of #5 would have been extremely dangerous due to the rapid expansion of steam (said to be at least 1,100 times the volume of the water) which could have caused an explosion.

    A mea culpa to Rob Lawes. And I tip my hat to trained damage control teams who continue to perform miracles aboard military vessels when things go to hell. Rob is correct. It is possible to work in freezing water. Bad wording on my part. My thought was that if water was flooding into bunker "W" of boiler room #5, it should have filled up the space between the tank top and stoker plates just as Beauchamp testified it did in boiler room #6. Working in freezing water is damned hard, but working in freezing water with no air to breath is harder still.

    Something really puzzles me about that open manhole and engineers needing to work on the plumbing below -- why? Bilge suction should be pretty much a turn the valve and pump the water operation. Why would anyone design a system that needed anyone to work right where any water in the compartment would collect. It's not rational. Was there something wrong with the bilge system? Or, were the engineers ill-informed as to how it worked? I don't know. I just find it odd.

    -- David G. Brown
     
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  9. coal eater

    coal eater Member

    all depends how really titanic bunker doors worked,if they were pulled by rope or chain to open position thend rop chain/rope to close them,in this case door brackets would give away and door plate would simply fell on floor leaving water fountain pouring into BR5.

    if coal bunker doors were something other sush with lever to open/close and water pressure causes lever to break off.
     
  10. Rancor

    Rancor Member

    Have wondered about the valve arrangements also. Seems tedious to have to lift a manhole cover every time you want to move water around.

    Perhaps they were trying to counter the developing port list?
     
  11. We already had the same stuff over and over again here on ET. It is you who is coming up with one made up claim after another.

    I guess you only use the parts which you like to get fit with you idea. The actual question has to do with BR#5 and it was not the questioner did not put it into No. 5 it was Barrett. You are simply don't telling the truth!

    2327. (Mr. Pringle - To the Witness.) Did you see anything done to stop the hole which you saw in No. 5 bunker? - I did not.
    2330. (The Commissioner.) You told us there was some fire in that bunker? - Yes.
    2331. Soon after you left port? - Yes.
    2338. Did you work out that bunker yourself? - I was in charge. There were between 8 and 10 men doing it.
    2339. Was it fire or only heat? - It was fire.
    2340. Did you play upon it? - The hose was going all the time.
    2341. And did they get it out by the Saturday? - Yes.
    2342. Cleared all out? - Yes.
    2343. I want to ask you about this bunker, just a question or two. When you saw the water coming into the bunker in No. 5 section, did you shut the bunker door? - Yes.
    2344. The bunker door is not a watertight door? - No.

    Wrong. The builders plan show the same. I guess the shipbuilder plans were also wrong. It is easy to put everything aside and deny which does not fit with you fantasy world.
    2017-09-11 at 22-18-06.png



    Rubbish. The damage was above the stokehole plates running all along BR#6. The coal bunker was closed between the tank top and stokehole plates it only need to rise over the swell of the door to enter the boiler room. Nothing to do with water run uphill. And by the way the ship had a list to starboard after the collision.

    Still no explanation about Beachaumps time hole, ignoring Hendrickson and Kemish as well as other stuff. Much talk about several things, evince as usual = 0.
     
  12. Rancor

    Rancor Member

    I guess there would have to be a barrier of sorts between the tank top level and the bottom of the hull in the bunker, otherwise all the coal would end up under the stokehold plates.
     
  13. Here a photograph from BR#5 of Olympic before the stokehold plates were placed (confirming the plans I have posted).
    Now how did water got from the bunker at the tank top but below the stokehold plates Mr. Brown? As I said, making false claims without known the building plans and facts!

    2018-06-02 at 11-26-22.png
     
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  14. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Here's evidence from a man who had first hand knowledge of Titanic's bunkers...Trimer George Cavell.

    4205. You got out into the stokehold there, I suppose?
    - Yes. After that I came up right up to the bunker door, and then came into the stokehold.
    4206. Is that higher up, at a higher level?
    - Yes.
    4207. And you climbed out of that, did you?
    - Yes.
    4208. And you got into the stokehold?
    - I came down the ladder and came into the stokehold.
    4209. On to the plate?
    - Yes.
     
  15. David said: "It is a schematic drawing, not a builders plan or an iron plan."
    This is from the builders plan David:
    Bunker blkhd.gif
    By the way, the bunker bulkheads were not constructed to be watertight as in the sense of watertight bulkhead. They even had very small drain holes cut in them at the bottom to allow any water buildup at the bottom of the bunker that may accumulate from whatever reason to drain out onto the tank top under the stokehold plates. You can see them in the above builder's drawing. But what Beauchamp described was water filling a bunker quite rapidly that was coming through the bunker door and spilling out over the plates near him.

    Beauchamp was very poor in estimating time durations when asked about things weeks after the events took place. For example:
    668a. (The Commissioner.) How soon do you suppose after the order to “Stop” came from the bridge did the watertight doors close? - In less than five minutes.
    But 1/O Murdoch was seen at the WTD control switch as the ship was striking the iceberg. Those doors drop closed in less than 30 seconds.
     
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  16. Robby House

    Robby House Member

    I am loving these drawings that show the ship's internal construction with a greater degree of detail. Where would one go to obtain (purchase) these technical drawings if I'm not misusing the term?
     
  17. Robby House

    Robby House Member

    With respect to this drawing of a transverse look inside Titanic, can you tell me which area of the ship this represents. I see closer to the bottom of the drawing "Bulkhead P Frame..." but I know this can't be Bulkhead P as that way down at the end of the stern.
     
  18. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Frame - 75 was situated 9 feet aft of WT Bulkhead "M" and nowhere near the coal bunkers. Frame +75 was immediately below the forward bulkhead in Boiler room 6. This bulkhead was the aft bulkhead of the coal bunkers.
     
  19. LocationBunkerBlkhd-P.gif
     
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  20. Robby House

    Robby House Member

    Thanks Sam!
     
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