Preventing water from escaping BR#6


Eric30

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Feb 13, 2013
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Hi everybody

As I was looking at the plans, I have a small question.

We know that Titanic sustained damages in the forepeak, the cargo #1, #2, #3, the #BR6, #5 from the iceberg and may be even #4 (but most probable from stress due to the sinking).

But let's imagine a more simple scenario, only the five fore compartments are damaged : forepeak, the cargo #1, #2, #3, the #BR6.
We all know that the ship is still doomed, because the weight of the bow will make her to dive, increasing the sea level, and so water would escape from the flooded compartment to make her way to next ones.

But there is my question : is there any options to prevent water from going out BR#6. I mean, if I am not wrong, the only way for the water is to escape from BR#6 via the escape hatche, then make her way to the escape hatche of BR#5 and coming to in, and so on....
There were no lockable hatche like in a submarine for exemple? I ask this question because in the documentary "Saving the Titanic", we see a thing like that.
 
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Jim Currie

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Hello Eric.

The definitions of the english words "hatch" and "door" and the expression "water-tight" need clarification.

All of the above can be watertight.

A "hatch" on a ship is a horizontal way of closing an opening in a deck. I don't have any plans but if I remember correctly. Titanic had two types of "hatch". The ones that led down into the cargo holds and the ones which led from the exposed forecastle deck down into the forward rope store.
The cargo hatches consisted of a large number of wood hatch boards laid across portable supporting beams. These were made watertight (i.e water could not enter from above) by covering the boards with three canvas tarpaulins which were kept in place all round the edge by very many wooden wedges..
The forecastle deck rope store hatch would have been made of a single steel plate either landed on a rubber seal and bolted or dogged down.

"Doors" were the same as ordinary house doors in that they were vertical. They either were mounted on vertical slides betrween rubber seals and raised or lowered or they were on hinges allowing the door to be swung shut against rubber seals then dogged firmly shut by levers acting on a steel wedge which pushed the door firmly against the rubber seal.

In fact, all of these closing devices were water tight. But some of them.. cargo hatches were only one-way watertight. They were designed to keep water from above entering the compartment. Such hatches on the decks of cargo ships were very effective.

On Titanic, the air in the holds was displaced by the water entering from the sea below the waterline. That air was compressed upward and forced through the spaces between the hatch boards. This caused the hatch tarpaulins to be blown outward and upward much like a ballon. That's what was seen from above.

There must have been a direct communication between the upper and lower bunker spaces in the boiler rooms. As well as that, the upper escape doors would have had quick-release means for the men to escape into Scotland Road.

I don't think Titanic was like a warship where special duty men close-up and can be sealed into the tomb of a breached compartment. Perhaps someone can clear that matter up?
Modern ships must have a means of making all the compartments below a certain deck watertight. But again, they are watertight against water entering from above that deck. The watertight closing deviced are not tested from the inside-out.

Jim.
 

Eric30

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Hi Jim

Thanks for your complete answer.

A "hatch" on a ship is a horizontal way of closing an opening in a deck

This is exactly what I mean, but not like a cover for the Cargo entrance, but like a submarine hatch, something like that:

7698020_2_l.jpg



But again, they are watertight against water entering from above that deck. The watertight closing deviced are not tested from the inside-out

This kind of device could prevent water entering from Scotland Road to the next boiler room (through the escape ladder) and save the ship ?
 
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>>I don't think Titanic was like a warship where special duty men close-up and can be sealed into the tomb of a breached compartment. Perhaps someone can clear that matter up?<<

There were no watertight hatches, manual or automatic which could be closed although the watertight doors down on the same level as the engine rooms could be closed manually, by way of triggers which were rigged to floats, or remotely from the bridge.

There were some doors on the upper levels which had to be closed manually. If I recall correctly, these were in the passenger areas.
 

Jim Currie

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Hello Eric.

"This kind of device could prevent water entering from Scotland Road to the next boilder room (through the escape ladder) and save the ship ?"

If that was the only way that water gained entrance to boiler rooms aft of number 5 and the pumps could just handle what was coming in then yes, such a closing device may well have saved the ship. Many people forget or do not know that the ship was designed to stay afloat with a certain number of compartments flooded. The calculation for this was based on these flooded compartments being empty. As far as I know, there were few if any empty compartments in Titanic.
If a compartment is full of material, that material will displace water. The amount displaced was already accounted-for before the ship was holed so when it was holed, the ship did not loose any extra buoyancy because of it. If the material started absorbing water then the picture would change. If you get my meaning.

Hello Michael.

Somewhere in the transcripts of the evidence, a passenger gives a very good description of how the accommodation wt doors were closed. I think he said that a brass plate was removed and a special 'key' winder inserted into a key-piece. Thereafter, the door was wound shut by a sort of worm gear.

The floats you talk about were in the space below the boiler room floors and were activated by flood water entering that space. The doors could be de-activated from the bridge and then raised or lowered by a hand by use of a handle much like an old -time car engine starting handle
 

Jim Currie

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Thanks Sam.

Only one comment.

You use the description.. "A ladder or escape was provided in each boiler room, engine room, and similar watertight compartment".


Readers should understand that none of the above mentioned compartments were properly watertight.
As far as the ingress of water was concerned, they were simply open-topped steel boxes with watertight bottoms and sides. That was and still is, one of the main problems with ships.
Except for sealed tanks which are truly watertight, it is almost impossible to seal such compartments truly 'watertight'. The best that could and was done was to extend the WT bulkheads upward to meet the upermost continuous or weather deck and provide means of preventing ingress of down-flood water through access and ventilation openings by use of WT closure devices such as doors and portholes. The normal danger has always been down flooding by sea water due to loss of freeboard or broaching by heavy seas. Unless the compartments you mention in your article could have been properly sealed like a tank, or the pumping arrangements could handle the flooding; sea water would have eventually found it's way from compartment to compartment as the ship settled.

Jim.
 

TimTurner

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I'm pretty sure that no hatch on Scotland Road would have kept Titanic from sinking because of the boiler uptake casings. While I haven't seen the engineering blueprints, I'm pretty sure that these were widely open. There were three active funnels on Titanic, and six boiler rooms. Boiler rooms 5 & 6 shared the first funnel, 3 & 4 shared the second, 1 & 2 shared the third. The fourth "dummy" funnel vented the condenser/turbine compartment.

Again, I haven't seen the engineering specs, so I don't know the exact arrangement, but the uptake casings where each of the paired boiler rooms merge are 15-20 feet wide and go all the way up through the funnel. Those casings merge together on E deck, the same height as Scotland Road. Once the water gets to that level, it will pour across from the forward boiler room to the aft boiler room in a torrent. In fact, all of the water entering the boiler rooms from Scotland Road would have had to flow through the uptake casings first. The uptake casings are the center hub that join together the boiler rooms, funnels, and escape doors into Scotland Road

Looking at the basic schematics, both boiler rooms have their own exit from the uptake casing, so it is possible it was somewhat partitioned, but I'd be skeptical. I doubt very much that there were "hatches" in the escape ladder. Most likely it was as open as possible in case of a steam line rupture, to allow steam to safely escape from the ship. I'm pretty certain that was the purpose for the dummy funnel over the condenser/turbine compartment, and for the hidden ventilation over the engine room (Which looks like a small hut on the top deck between funnels 3 & 4 when looking at Titanic from the side, just forward of the aft grand staircase.) No one wants to be trapped in a sealed room with a broken steam pipe, which was as much a practical concern as the ship sinking.
 

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