The Gangway Door on D-Deck

Cam Houseman

Cam Houseman

Member
I watched James Cameron's Titanic: The Final Word once again a few days ago. In it they seemed to assume that the port side gangway door on D-deck is open on the wreck because it was opened and left open by Nichols and his crew (although I cannot recall Nichols' name being mentioned) on Lightoller's orders. Let us assume for one moment that the first part of that assumption is true, I want to ask something related.

Before I go on, a message to Ionnis G. This is only an assumption to clear some things up and I am NOT claiming it as a fact. So, please don't blow your top!

Let us assume that Lightoller ordered Nichols at around 01:05 hours to take 6 men and go down to E-deck and open the gangway door there. It would have been about 01:10 by the time the boatswain gathered his men and reached the gangway door. If they opened it, they are likely to have seen that they water level was almost at the door's threshold, and so Lightoller's plan to load boats from there would not have been practical. In that case, the men would likely have closed it again and went back, by which time it would have been close to 01:15 hours. Lifeboat #6, launched a few minutes earlier by Lightoller, likely passed that point just after Nichols and his men re-closed the E-deck door, which explains why no one on Lifeboat #6 saw an open gangway door.

If we assume that Nichols and his men then opened the aforementioned D-deck gangway door on the port side for the same purpose and left it open, that might explain why it is so on the wreck.

What I really want to know is, at approximately what time during the sinking did the (never opened or opened and re-closed) Gangway door area on E-deck start to submerge?

Also, at what point did the (assumed to have been) left open D-deck gangway door start to flood? Am I right in thinking that this door was not only a deck higher than the E-deck gangway door but also further aft? That would mean a time lag between submerging of the closed port E-deck gangway door and the open port D-deck door. What could have been that time difference?
Hi Arun, hope you're well!
I think there is no doubt the D-Deck gangway door was open. Titanic had a list to Starboard for the first hour right? and she began to return to an even keel, about the time the Yellow Sheer line was touching the water on the forecastle. But what caused her to began to List to Port??

It couldn't have only been Scotland Road, as Mr. David G. Brown said in another thread:
"Water moving aft in Scotland Road was of no consequence in righting the starboard list. The volume of the passageway was not equal to the amount of water already “piled up” on the starboard side from boiler room #6 forward. So, this was not the cause of the port roll even though it was suggested by naval architect Edward Wilding."
There was also another hallway parallel to Scotland Road, that led from that open area to the E-Deck Grand Staircase landing. There was even some stairs down to F and G-Deck that lay next to this hallway, and even led up to the D-Deck first Class areas, forward of the Reception Room.

So, I propose, that Scotland Road flooded, and there was probably a small list to Port. No big problem. That hallway across from SC also flooded, and eventually, reached the top of the stairs to D-Deck. The First Class cabins flooded.
Later, perhaps about 1:50-1:55, as the Well Deck began to flood, the water reached the Reception Room, and with that Open gangway door, and the list to Port, the water began to surge over the Baseboard. That instantly worsened Titanic's Port list, and Sinking rate, I bet you
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Not that it adds anything to the present line of thinking but while going through Lowe's testimony again last night, I saw something that is related to this thread.

Excerpt from Lowe's testimony at the British Inquiry:

15910. Did you hear any instructions given for these gangways to be opened?
- Had I any instructions?


15911. Did you hear any instructions given?
- No; but as I say, I overheard a conversation somewhere referring to the gangway doors being opened, and that the boatswain and a crowd of men had been sent down there.


I wonder when and where Lowe overheard that, consideing that he was working only on the starboard side of the ship till Lifeboat #1 was launched at around 01:05 am? Theoretically, it might have been as he was crossing over to the port side afterwards, but AFAIK, he did not mention running into Lightoller at that time or vice versa. The only explanation could be that Lightoller told him that when he arrived to the port side aft boats and took charge of the latter part of loading of Lifeboat #12, but within the next 10 minutes Lowe had left the ship on board Lifeboat #14.

In any case, Lowe would not have known about it while he was still assisiting Murdoch on the starboard side and so it would have had no effect on anyone's decisions about howthe starboard forward lifeboats were loaded.
 
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern

Member
In any case, Lowe would not have known about it while he was still assisiting Murdoch on the starboard side
Nice find Arun. Boatswain Nichols was on the starboard side loading and launching boats there. According to Lightoller, he told Nichols to take some men and go down and get the doors opened. Lightoller was a little shaky as to exactly when he gave that order. In any case, Lowe might have heard that from Nichols.
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
In any case, Lowe might have heard that from Nichols.
That's what I thought but was a bit surprised by Lowe's choice of words at the testimony - I meant the past tense.
I overheard a conversation somewhere referring to the gangway doors being opened, and that the boatswain and a crowd of men had been sent down there.
It might be Lowe's way of putting it, but to me that sounded like by the time he learned about it Nichols and his men had already left the boat deck. Interesting.
 
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