Sounding the ship after the collision


Arun Vajpey

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Most accounts state that immediately after Boxhall returned to the bridge from his initial post-collision inspection to report that he could see no sign of damage, Captain Smith ordered him to get the ship's carpenter John Hutchinson to sound the ship. Just as Boxhall was about to comply, Hutchinson himself came up to the bridge to inform Smith that the ship was making water. Going by the sequence of events, this seems to have been around 11:55 am.

If that was the case, who gave Hutchinson the initial order? Did he do it off his own back or did another officer instruct him to do so? I was thinking of Wilde, who only minutes before had heard from Lamp Trimmer Samuel Hemming that the forepeak tank was flooding. Could Wilde have ordered Hutchinson to sound the ship and report to the bridge? Neither survived the sinking.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Hutchinson did not need any orders to do the obvious. Captain Smith started to send word to Hutchinson on the chance the man had not been awakened by the commotion of the accident. But, I'm sure Smith was not surprised to see the man show up on the bridge with his report. The only surprise was the extent of the water ingress.

-- David G. Brown
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Shortly after the collision QM Oliver was ordered to find the carpenter to sound the vessel. He found him already doing that when he got down to E deck forward, and reported that when arrived back on the bridge. Better question is why did Smith need to send Boxhall to find the carpenter to tell him to do the same as he previously told Olliver?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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Smith had no need to send Boxhall to find the carpenter. That's why he did not do so.

After his first inspection Boxhall returned back to the Bridge to report that he found no damage.

Mr. BOXHALL. I came right up to the bridge and reported that I could find no damage.
Senator SMITH. What did the captain say?
Mr. BOXHALL. He said, "Go down and find the carpenter and get him to sound the ship."
Senator SMITH. Did you do so?
Mr. BOXHALL. I was proceeding down, but I met the carpenter.
 

Arun Vajpey

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.>>>>>> Better question is why did Smith need to send Boxhall to find the carpenter to tell him to do the same as he previously told Olliver? <<<<<<<

Perhaps Capt Smith wanted further confirmation from Hutchinson following Boxhall's initial report of "no damage"? He needed to be certain before making a decision.

Hutchinson's initial report (via Olliver) might have been that the ship was making water but at that stage he might not have been able to quantify it. Therefore, when Boxhall reported back to the bridge after his first inspection forward that he could see no sign of damage, Smith would want to correlate that report with the carpenter's findings. It seems natural to me that he wanted an updated situation report from Hutchinson under the circumstances.
 

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