The bulkhead between boiler rooms #5 and #4


Harland Duzen

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Since Barrett was standing next to the hull, the gash in the hull opening roughly a meter from his face would appear massive and this could have been scarred into his memory?

It is a bit odd how both give conflicting details, but why would Barrett lie about the boiler room being flooded too high?
 

Jim Currie

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Hello David.

That man's evidence has always puzzled me. He was the only survivor from Boiler Room 6. His two bosses, Barrat and Engineer Hesketh escaped through the WT doors in to Boiler Room 5 before the doors in question closed.
Barrat and Hesketh together with overall in charge Engineer Shepherd inspected the damage in Bunker 5 then Shepherd ordered everyone to their stations.
Barratt and Hesketh returned to Boiler Room 6 via the vertical escape ladders and found the compartment to be flooded to a depth of 8 feet. Where had the crew gone? More to the point, who was it that told Beauchamp "that will do"?
 
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Just out of curiosity, why is some testimony of some survivors taken as gospel while the words of other eyewitnesses are ignored?
Hello David. I don't think the testimony of either Beauchamp or Barrett is being ignored. These were the only survivors that were in BR6 at the time of collision, and yet their accounts do not exactly match. The biggest difference, as you know, has to do with what came first, the stop order or the impact? According to Barrett, the stop order came first which prompted him and Hesketh to call out to shut the dampers. As the men were doing that, the impact came which opened a seem in the ship's starboard side about 2 feet above the plates which extended into the bunker there and the one aft of that.. It was then that he and 2nd engineer Hesketh went for the WTD into BR5. The WTD closed behind them just as they got into BR5. According Beauchamp, the impact came first, followed by the order from Barrett to shut the dampers, and a few minutes afterward an order to draw fires.

Looking more into Beauchamp's account, he was asked when the WTDs came down:
Q. How soon do you suppose after the order to "Stop" came from the bridge did the watertight doors close? - A. In less than five minutes.
That tells me that his concept of time is very questionable, because we know that Murdoch was seen (by Olliver) at the WDT switch as the ship struck ice. The written procedure was to ring the warning bell for about 10 seconds and then close the switch allowing the doors to drop. From evidence witnessed on board Olympic, the doors would drop and be closed within 30 seconds of the switch being thrown. That is consistent with Barrett's account.

His leading stoker was standing virtually next to him.
Nowhere did Beauchamp say that. We know from Barrett that he and Hesketh were on the starboard side of the ship when the stop order came down. We do not know where in stokehold 10 Beachamp was standing at the time. He could have been over on the port side for all we know.

By the way, as an aside, 2/E Hesketh was in charge of the 8-12 watch down in the engineering spaces. He was assisted by 2nd assistant engineer Shepherd. Both were in BR6 at the time of collision starting their inspection of the stokeholds from fore to aft, something required of the engineers by WSL regulations so they can report the conditions of the stokeholds in the engineer's log, as well as other things, before going off watch.

Clearly, Beauchamp and his leading stoker worked in a very slowly flooding boiler room #6.
"Very slowly" is a subjective term. There are ways to actually quantify the flooding rate without relying on someone's subjective estimate for that compartment. The way I looked at this was to see how much water was need to be in BR6 for the ship to be down by the head a certain number of degrees at a certain point in time. The latter is based on a number of observations from various survivors at different times. The details were shown in Chapter 6, which was co-authored with Capt. Charles Weeks of the MMA who you know, in: Report Into the Loss of the SS Titanic - A Centennial Reappraisal. Our estimate is that there was an aggregate of about 212 square inches of hull damage in BR6 allowing 130 tons of sea water to enter that compartment per minute initially. That alone exceeded the full capacity of the ship's pumps which was 28 tons per minute, thus sealing the ship's fate.

Why are the testimonies of these two men ignored?
They are not being ignored.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Some believe the order to go slow ahead after the collision may have increased the rate of water rushing into the ship, and when the engines finally stopped the rate of water greatly reduced.

What I find puzzling is Barrett's choice of words.


Q - Let us understand it. You said that the bunker in No. 5 had got some water coming into it?
A - Yes; but the hole was not so big in that section as it was in No. 6 section. By the time the water had got there she had stopped.
Q - So that the water was not coming into No. 5 fast enough to flood it?
A - No.

Is Barrett suggesting that the water rushed into No. 6 because the ship was moving at high speed, and when he crossed into No. 5 and saw the water enter the bunker in No. 5 the ship had by that time stopped and the water was not rushing as fast as it was previously in No. 6 ?


.
 

Harland Duzen

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Is Barrett suggesting that the water rushed into No. 6 because the ship was moving at high speed, and when he crossed into No. 5 and saw the water enter the bunker in No. 5 the ship had by that time stopped and the water was not rushing as fast as it was previously in No. 6 ?

Good Point! It is feasible that her movement though the water did force more water though the gash than when she would have stopped and it's force could have reduced to a that of water coming out of a tap.
 

Harland Duzen

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It is probable that despite the Titanic now drifting to a halt, that the Boiler Room 6 gash was still large enough to rapidly flood the compartment despite the force of water being greatly decreased. perhaps however after a while, the water pressure meant Boiler Room 6 stop flooding but the weight of the other flooded comparments dragging the ship down and water later flowing into Scotland road (and thus over the bulkhead) began to increase the water level again.

One question I just realised, is that when Boiler Room 5's bulkhead gave away / collapse / failed etc and Barrett fled the Compartment, he must have climbed unto Scotland Road and then seen water slowly filling the corridor.
 

Jim Currie

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There is no way boiler Room 5's main bulkhead gave way. The water tight transverse bulkheads between compartments were, as in all ships, designed to withstand the pressure on them caused by the adjacent compartment being filled to the top. All such main bulkheads were braced on one side by heavy vertical, closely spaced, frames and the plating would have increased in thickness from top to bottom. When the bunker door was closed, the bunker would fill up to a point where the doors themselves would fail; they were not water tight. The result would have been a temporary torrent about 3 feert deep which would have subsided quickly and the water level would have fallen then began once more to rise, slowly.
 
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I agree with Jim.

When Barrett went over to the open bunker door on the starboard side of BR5 he saw water coming in ‘the very same as an ordinary fire hose’. He then shut the bunker door and informed Asst. 2nd Engineer Shepherd who then informed Hesketh. Assuming an equivalent 3¼ inch diameter opening with a pressure head of 25ft, the initial intake rate at that point would be about 4 tons per minute. This comes about by multiplying the area of the assumed opening (0.06sq.ft) by the velocity of water intake from a pressure head of 25ft (40ft/sec), and converting to tons per minute. The 250 ton/hour ballast and bilge pump located in the pump room of No 5 boiler room should have been enough to keep this inflow in check once the drain rate out of the bunker equalised with the inflow rate coming into it.


Taking into account the capacity of the transverse bunker space and allowing for some remaining coal blocking the little drain holes near the bottom of the bunker, a build up of about 440 tons of seawater could easily have filled that space between the tank top and F deck if gone unchecked. The bunker doors on the bulkhead were not designed to be watertight, nor were they designed to hold back a large force pushing against them. If water had reached a height of just 10ft over the stokehold plate level in the bunker, it would have created a total force against each bunker door of about 3 tons. These bunker doors slid in thin channels that were only ½ inch wide. If a bunker door gave way as a result of a pressure head of about only 10ft, the velocity of water that would come bursting out of the bunker would be close to 25ft per second, easily creating ‘a wave of green foam come tearing through’ the walk space between the boilers. If it were the main watertight bulkhead between the two boiler rooms that failed, Barrett would not have had time to reach the escape, let alone hear Engineer Harvey order him up.
 

Harland Duzen

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The one thing we should remember as in Barrett's case is that he is not a engineer, he is just a fireman. He doesn't know that the bulkhead is secure or that's it built to withstand the pressure behind it. All he knows is that the Titanic's is sinking and tilting to port with a increasing list. If he sees water ''tearing between the Boilers'' he is not going to stand there and wait for it to subside. He (naturally would think something's failed and that he could drown) and therefore will try and save his life and not look back.

As in multiple cases reported upon the Titanic, people are going to adopt the idea of ''fight or flight'' and weren't going to stand around and watch everything as it's process while their lives were at risk.
 
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Aaron_2016

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As Barrett said - "I did not stop to look.....I jumped for the escape ladder."

Here is a bulkhead collapsing in a scene from the film 'The Last Voyage'.





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Harland Duzen

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Is it possible, water poured down from Scotland Road into Boiler Room 5 from the forward port door on E-Deck (maybe when the main group of boiler-men fleeing to the Boat Deck left leaving the doors open) which shocked Barrett and scarred him into leaving. this would explain Jim's statement above that the bulkhead ''didn't give away'' however, it would have been more of a fountain spill instead of what Barrett described as ''tearing between the boilers''.

My idea for this comes the 2012 Nat Geo Titanic: The Final Word where a flooding simulation suggested this route for the compartments filling.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 16.07.07.png
 

Jim Currie

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Let's look at the evidence again. This from Barratt:

1965. Let us understand it. You said that the bunker in No. 5 had got some water coming into it?
- Yes; but the hole was not so big in that section as it was in No. 6 section. By the time the water had got there she had stopped.
1966. So that the water was not coming into No. 5 fast enough to flood it?
- No.
"

From What Barratt tell us, the ship had come to a halt about 35 seconds after impact. The WT doors began descending almost at the same time as the impact. and they too about 30 seconds to fully close.
At that time the only water coming into boiler room 5 was via a hose-like jet into the side of the starboard, forward bunker in boiler room 5. This space was watertight on three sides and enclosed by a non water tight door on the side leading into boiler room 5. Barratt had closed this after he escaped from boiler room 6.
After Barratt closed
that bunker door, he made an attempt to return to his post in BR 6 but could not do so because there was 8 feet of water in there. he returned to BR 5 then sent all the men up leaving himself and 3 engineers. There was still no water in BR5.
The the lights went out and Barratt went up top, found to men and sent them for lamps. All this time, the bunker was slowly filling. At that time. all the water in the boilers of BR5 were empty... the water had been vented with the venting steam. The next thin as an order to get men back down into BR5 and kill the remaining fires by drawing the embers and wetting the furnace beds. This caused a lot of steam and took about 20 minutes. There was still no water in BR 5. The bunker continued to slowly fill.
Fifteen minutes after the furnaces were cooled. there came a rush of water between the boilers. Up to that moment, the floor plates remained dry. However, by that time, the ship was well down by the head. Since water does not flow up hill and the main bulkhead could not have failed, the only place that water could have come from was from the starboard doorway of the forward starboard bulkhead. Forgive my drawing skills:

BDF 2.png
BDF 2.png
 
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Harland Duzen

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The problem is that since Barrett was standing on the other side of the Boiler Room, his view of the bulkhead was obscured. Also we don't know how much of the the bulkhead was damaged enough for water to flow though. Was it a small cut akin to a bent corner of paper or an entire section of wall the size of a panel buckling? sadly the only way we really know is to either recreate a scale model and subject to the same conditions or a extremely detailed computer test.

Also we have a rough estimate that the water ''tearing between the boilers'' took place after 01:00 on April 15th.

One other option is that could the water just have simply flowed over the bulkhead between the boiler exhausts? or was this water tight?
Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 18.30.54.png
 

Jim Currie

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The problem is that since Barrett was standing on the other side of the Boiler Room, his view of the bulkhead was obscured. Also we don't know how much of the the bulkhead was damaged enough for water to flow though. Was it a small cut akin to a bent corner of paper or an entire section of wall the size of a panel buckling? sadly the only way we really know is to either recreate a scale model and subject to the same conditions or a extremely detailed computer test.

Also we have a rough estimate that the water ''tearing between the boilers'' took place after 01:00 on April 15th.

One other option is that could the water just have simply flowed over the bulkhead between the boiler exhausts? or was this water tight?View attachment 2535

It was not the bulkhead that failed, it would not have failed, there was nothing to make it fail.
Had the water over-topped the WT Bulkhead between BRs 5 & 6, it would not have been the sudden affair as described by Barratt . He perfectly described a sudden release of water, as though a sluice door had been opened.
As I pointed-out in my last post: the pressure of the trapped water behind the closed door in the starboard forward bunker space in BR 5 would have exceeded the strength of the door long before the water level in boiler room 6 was high enough to over-top the main WT bulkhead. In fact, I'm surprised that the door in question lasted as long as it did.
 

Harland Duzen

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So your suggesting it was the coal bunker door that failed with the high pressure behind the door causing water to shoot out like a waterfall into the room?
 
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Aaron_2016

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That is my understanding of it. Barrett described a "knocking noise" and possibly this was the bunker door bursting open. Barrett said: "It never came above the plates, until all at once I saw a wave of green foam come tearing through between the boilers and I jumped for the escape ladder." The next questioned they asked him was:

Q - Was there any indication of any explosion of a boiler?
A - There was a knocking noise, but no explosion, only when the ship was sinking a volume of smoke came up.

It is unclear if he was describing this "knocking noise" when the water came into the boiler room, or if he was describing the ship sinking.


The British Inquiry went into the subject in more detail with him:

Q - And you say it got worse. Now can you give me any idea whether the water came from over the top of the bulkhead or through it?
A - I do not see how it could come over the top.
Q - You do not think it did come over the top?
A - No.
Q - Now, when it came through this pass between the boilers, did it come with a rush?
A - Yes.
Q - I suppose he means by that as if something had given way. (The Solicitor-General.) Do you hear my Lord’s question? He is asking whether, when you said that, you got the impression that something had given way?
A - That was my idea.
Q - Something that had been holding the water back gave way?
A - That is my idea, my Lord.
Q - So it came with a rush? How fast did it fall?
A - I never stopped to look. I went up the ladder. Mr. Harvey told me to go up.


They then asked him if the bulkhead inside the bunker had given way.


Q - Could it have been a bunker bulkhead that gave way, do you think?
A - I have no idea on that, but that is the bunker that was holding the water back.
Q - It was the bunker that was holding the water back?
A - Yes.
Q - It is entirely my fault, but I have not followed the meaning of that. (The Commissioner.) It was suggested to me that it was a bunker bulkhead that gave way, and that the water rushed from the bunker. Do you think that is possible?
A - It would be possible, because there are watertight compartments inside the bunker. There is a watertight compartment going through the centre of the bunker.
Q - Was the bunker door shut?
A - I dropped the bunker door.


This certainly suggests that the bunker filled with water and the door burst open, releasing a large volume of water into No. 5.


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Harland Duzen

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This does sound 100% plausible with the door failing partly due to the fire weakening it and it being emptied of coal meaning there's was a greater mass of water pushing against than was originally planned. in the Documentry ''Inside the Titanic'' (not the best and heavily dramatised) there's a scene where Barrett slowly opens the coal bunker door and a comedic joke-flower-spray of water hits him in the face.

what type of lock would have been used to keep the bunker door watertight?
 

Jim Currie

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The fire was an internal combustion fire situated against the WT Bulkhead at the forward end of the bunker. It would have been completely covered by the coal and more than likely at the foot of the bulkhead. That's where these fires usually started. The action taken would have been to empty the bunker by using the coal all around the seat of the fire, keeping it covered and starved of oxygen until the very last moment. It would not have been anywhere near the Trimmer's door. The door woould have been made of steel plate and secured something like this:
18288133-rusty-old-iron-door-handle-to-enter-the-bunker.jpg
 

Harland Duzen

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If all that was holding back water from pouring into Boiler Room 5 and thus speeding up the sinking was just a small lever, your statement of ''I'm surprised that the door in question lasted as long as it did.'' is well valid!

The knocking sound could have the sound of metal (just the wall creeping or the lever snapping off due to the strain) and with the door being about the size of a large crate, then the mass of water would have been very noticeable.

BRF4.jpg

(Image taken from MODDB of Titanic Mafia Mod for informative purposes.

the only possible question is why the wave that Barrett describes was green, unless the lighting in the room created this effect (if it is then I sorry).
 

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