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Were Six Compartments Really Damaged?

Discussion in 'Collision / Sinking Theories' started by Aaron_2016, Sep 10, 2017.

  1. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Reading the survivor accounts I can't find proof that six compartments were actually damaged. Can anyone show me the accounts that witnessed damage in the first 6 compartments? There is discrepancy in the timing of the watertight doors closing. Would this allow water to spill into some of the compartments quite significantly before the doors had closed and create the false impression that more compartments were damaged owing to the presence of water and expulsion of air? Upon their first inspection did they assume the worst which led to Thomas Andrews stating that the ship only had an hour and half left, but then they made another inspection and realized the water in several compartments was not rising and realized it had just come in before the doors had closed?

    Did it create the opposite effect? i.e. Did they see the water in several compartments and assume the water had spilt in before the doors from the damage compartments had closed, and they believed they were not seriously damaged, when they really were, and this created the false impression that the Titanic would float for a much longer time? Captain Smith ordered several lifeboats to row towards the lights of another ship, off load the passengers, and return to the Titanic for more and Lightoller ordered the forward gangway door to be open and possibly in preparation for the transfer of passengers to the other ship. It sounds like the crew did not believe the Titanic was going to sink any time soon.

    Did they carry out several inspections and reach different conclusions during the evacuation?

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
    Ajmal Dar likes this.
  2. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    You certainly can come up with controversial questions, Aaron. However, there is no controversy here.

    Six compartments:
    (1)..Forepeak Tank....air was felt coming out of the tank swan neck vent by the Lamptrimmer and the Carpenter.
    (2(..No. 1 Hold:.....Harchcovers seen billowing upward... sure sign of a breached hold. ((AB Poingdestre...UK 2821-2)
    (3)..No.2 Hold.....Water seen swirling round the bottom of the firemen's tunnel after WT doors closed. No.2 hold flooding. (Fireman Hendrickson, ..UK: 4859)
    (4)..Water seen rising in the mail room....Reserve bunker space flooding. (Boxhall and Annie Robertson.)
    (5)..Water inundates Boiler Room No.6....(Leading Fireman Barrett).
    (6)..Water coming through ship's starboard side in the forward, starboard bunker space in Boiler Room 5. ( Leading Fireman Barrett)
  3. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Just imagine if the Hard-a-Port order had been done just seconds earlier. Then only 5 would have breached (at least for a while) which might have prolonged the sinking. Then again, this might have made Titanic capsized.

  4. The iceberg might have also do a puncture at BR No. 4 which means that 7 compartments were damaged. Even with less (say 5 compartments) it was more than the pumps could handle.

    There are multiple survivors who did saw water in the different compartments, actually there are at minimum 2 survivors per compartment mentioning the water flooding that space.
  5. Cap’n Jim has done a good job of presenting the conventional view of damage and flooding. I have a few disagreements, however, with the standard view. To keep in context with Jim’s post, I’ll use his numbering system.

    (1.) Forepeak Tank was flooded and air heard escaping from vent. It must be noted however, that the peak tank was a roughly triangular-shaped compartment sealed off from the much larger forepeak above. Flooding was not observed in the larger compartment which was used for stores.

    (2.) Agreed

    (3.) Agreed

    (4.) I believe the rate of flooding in this compartment, which contained the mail room and post office, is usually understated and unappreciated. It was in way of this compatrment that the greatest contact with the berg should have taken place, as indicated by the knocking loose of ice into the well deck.

    (5) Boiler room #6 was anything but innundated per the combined testimonies of both leading stoker Barrett and stoker Beauchamp. The rate of flooding was much slower. It took about 20 minutes for fooding to rise above the stoker plates at the after end of the compartment (stokehold #10). Both Barrett and Beauchamp describe the work of closing dampers and making the boiler room safe before leaving at about midnight – which not coincidentally is when steam began venting from the first funnel. I do agree, however, that at one point in his testimony Barrett said the side of boiler room #6 gave out and water poured into the compartment. What I am saying is that taken on a whole and put into context with what the man did that night, he was wrong about the initial flooding.

    (6.) Boiler room #5 - once again, Barrett totally contradicted himself. He claimed he saw water coming into an empty bunker there, but later describes events such as lifting a manhole to get to plumbing beneath the stoker plates which would only have been done in a DRY compartment. My view is that, once again, when Barrett’s testimony is taken in context with the work he performed, his statement about water entering the bunker of boiler room #5 is completely false.

    Here ends Jim’s description of the flooding. No matter whether you take his as Gospel, or use my adjustments, Titanic was in a bad way. But, it was really worse. Jim needs a #7 in his list, which with his permission, I’ll add...

    (7.) Boiler room #4 – this is the overlooked flooding. Remember, boiler room #4 took a hard enough “thump” to cause a minor avalanche of coal around trimmer Cavelle. Later, water was discovered rising in this compartment from somewhere beneath the stoker plates. That’s about all we know for certain, but it’s enough to suggest beyond doubt that there was additional hull damage not accounted for in the conventional descriptions.

    So, if you take the conventional flooding and ajust it by adding the known ingress in boiler room #4, then not five or six compartments were breached, but seven – an absolutely fatal amount of damage (discounting crew damage control efforts.) Or, if you accept my adjustments based on Barretts full testimony, the ship had five breached compartments – reasonably a fatal amount of damage (discounting crew damage control efforts).

    – David G. Brown
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  6. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Hold on a minute, sorry to go off topic, but I thought Shepard had unfortunately broken his leg by falling though one of the overhead platforms. Did he actually hurt himself by stepping into the man-hold?

    Also in Barrett's defence, they had managed to pump out some of the water and given the ship's list, it's possible he might have been able to access it depending where the manhole was.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  7. A look at the deck plans show the false claims of David G. Brown.

    The manhole Barrett lifted was at the stokehold plates. The tank top was dry. While the coal bunker was filling there was no way for the water to flood the space over the tank top and under the stokehold plates. Barrett was right (aside that Kemish confirmed that version).

  8. Harland Duzen

    Harland Duzen Member

    Thanks you for the sorting out the confusion Ioannis Georgiou.

    However "false claims" seems a bit harsh.
  9. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Thre you are now Aaron...mission accomplished! Now to "take the bait"

    First Martin: A very interesting idea.

    If you consult the profile plan on this site, you will discover that the collision bulkhead forming the rear 'wall' of the Forepeak Tank was 40 feet behind the stem bar at the waterline. You will also see that the half width of the ship at that point is a mere 9 feet. This means that since Titanic was moving at 38 feet per second; if the first helm order had been completed a few seconds earlier, the first point of contact would have been in Hold No.1. However, the volume of water in the Forepeak Tank was not critical. Nor was the volume in hold No.1. The killer was Boiler Room 6. If that boiler room had remained intact, the ship might just have survived.

    Now Ioannis:

    There has always been a problem with historians failing to take into account the reaction of the ship to hitting that iceberg. There is no way that the popular idea that she hugged that berg all the way down her starboard side is true, She disengaged at the forward end of Boiler Room 5 and then almost re-connected at the aft docking bridge. Something caused her to disengage and it was not the rudder. In fact, i suspect that you are right in that if contact had taken place farther aft, the ct tntact would have been different and she might just have holed 7 main compartments. In that instance, she would have gone down much faster but in a single piece.

    Now for David:

    I agree with you about the heaviest point of contact...the shoulder. However, as I pointed-out to Ioannis, the reaction would cause an almost recoiling motion and the hull would move away from the ice at that point. If you remember, we had a very good description of that event from QM Olliver.. I quote:
    "The sound was like she touched something; a long grinding sound, like.
    Senator BURTON.How long did that sound last? A: It did not last many seconds.
    Q: How far aft did the grinding sound go? A: The grinding sound was before I saw the iceberg. The grinding sound was not when I saw the iceberg.
    Q: Where was the iceberg when you saw it, abeam or abaft? A: Just abaft the bridge when I saw it."
    From the foregoing, we learn that contact cease when the iceberg was about abeam to port. Now, look at the profile plan on this site. The last puncture according to Leading Fireman Barrett was in the forward bunker of BR 5...just aft of WT bulkhead "E" at or near to between frames +59 and +60. That is in line with the stern of Emergency Boat No.1. Doesn't get any plainer than that, Dave.
    I didn't write the No. 5 was inundated. Wipe your glasses, Dave:p. I wrote: "(5).Water inundates Boiler Room No.6....(Leading Fireman Barrett)."
    Barrett also stated that the water coming into the empty starboard side bunker in BR 5 was entering with the force of a fire hose. Nothing to write home about. As with all coal bunkers, the bunker rear bulkhed extended below the floor plares and terminated on DB tank top. This means that any water entering the bunker had to rise above the bunker door before it could enter the Boiler Room. If the door was closed, it would continue to rise until the door gave way under the water pressure. Hence the "wave of green foam" seen by Barrett. This being the case, then until that green rushed aft between the boilers, the space beneath them was dry. In fact, Barrett actually said so.

    As for the coal? Well, it was coal in small lumps...these don't take kindly to steep piles. if out friend the Trimmer had been standing on a steeply inclined heap at the moment of impact and the ship was 'bumped' side-ways, that pile would slide and so would anyone standing on it.:eek:

    Martin again...The manhole talked about was an oval hole access to the void space below the Boiler Room deck plates. It was normally bolted in place. It was removed so that the engineers could gain access to a piping manifold located in the void space. There was probably change-ver valve or something down there.
    Harland Duzen likes this.
  10. Selective research is a wonderful thing. You just eliminate anything that contradicts your predetermined conclusion, and everything is tickety-boo.

    Sorry, but both men testified under oath they were in the same compartment (boiler room #6) and the same end of that space (stokehold #10) at impact. Beauchamp corroborates the orders that Barret said he gave and the actions which followed. No serious researcher can deny the synchronous nature of their testimonies.

    So, why is testimony of Beauchamp is simply tossed on the scrapheap and ignored. The only plausible answere is that what the stoker said doesn't fit the desired results of modern experts -- that boiler room #6 was inundated when the side opened up and that damage extended into boiler room #5. "Everyone knows" that's what happened. So throw out his eyewitness account even though it corroborates Barrett's story in every other way. Sorry, that's not research. That's simply self-deception and nothing more.

    As to the bunkers, I have not seen the construction plans for Titanic, but what I have learned is that it was conventional practice not to make them airtight at the tank top level. This was to allow a steady upward movement of fresh air through the coal to carry away the "fire damp" as methane gas was often called in those days. I might remind everyone that Beauchamp said the water was coming out of the bunker behind him (against bulkead D) when he left boiler room #6. His testimony strongly indicates that Titanic's bunkers were not watertight and, therefore, water could not have piled up inside the bunker in boiler room #5 as "everyone knows." Rather, it would have moved outward and covered the tank top on its way to filling the empty space beneath the stoker plates.

    Note that the drawing submitted by Ioannis (above) is not a builder's plan. Rather, it is a schematic drawing. It would not show any of the details of gas ventilation in the bunkers any more than it shows positions of rivets.

    Going on the published sworn testimony, if the bunker in boiler room #5 were leaking water as did the one in boiler room #6, then pulling up that manhole would have been a fool's errand. How much work can a man do holding his breath in sub-freezing seawater. But, the actions of the engineers indicate they fully expected to accomplish something in that space under the stoker plates. And, Barrett provides us with hints in his testimony that it had to do with plumbing. They weren't unclogging a toilet down there...and Titanic was taking on water...so it's reasonable to assume the engineers planned to adjust the suctions to dewater the ship.

    As to boiler room #4, Barrett was never in that comparment. The WT door between it and boiler room #5 was, according to all sworn testimony, never re-opened after Murdoch closed all of the doors at the time of the accident. This is why Barrett never mentioned it. He probably never knew about it until the governmental inquiries and maybe not then, either. So, his testimony tells us nothing one way or the other about boiler room #4.

    As far as Olliver's comments, I believe the man was most honest in what he told the American Inquiry. This is probably why Lord Mersey chose not to have the man appear at the London charade. So, I think that the grounding nature of the event ended prior to when the iceberg passed the bridge wing exactly as Jim describes above. But, that the natural bobbing movement of the berg after contact with the ship plus the ships own rotation caused a "bump" in way of boiler room #4. This is the bump or "thud" described by most passengers. Olliver may not have felt it, or more likely did not observe it as he was stepping into the wheelhouse and closing the door at the time.

    Contrary to some libelous claims, I'm not making this stuff up. It's in the record -- the published record that has been available to everyone for more than 100 years. All I doing is pointing out sworn testimony that is studiously ignored in what I believe is an effort to make true many false or predetermined erroneous conclusions.

    -- David G. Brown
  11. Rob Lawes

    Rob Lawes Member

    I think everyone agrees that Beauchamp and Barrett were in the same place at the same time but the only difference is Beauchamp's estimation of time. Barrett states that he evacuated the compartment with the second engineer as soon as he saw the water entering. Beauchamp clearly remained in boiler room 6 long enough to see the watertight doors close. It is entirely possible with the estimated rate of flooding in 6 that there would have been 3 or 4 minutes of time where the remaining stokers continued to rake the coals and pull the fires. Beauchamp's testimony states that 'someone said that will do' and they left. If that 'someone' had been Barrett or the second engineer then Beauchamp would have recognised them and stated it was there order. As it is he only knows that one of the remaining stokers called out to his mates to get out.

    There is one other person that had access to boiler room six and that is Hendrickson. In his testimony he would have arrived in there not long after midnight. He clearly states there was too much water in Boiler room 6 to access the compartment.

    So, in a time line we have Barrett leaving on impact, Beauchamp leaving a few minutes later, Barrett and the second engineer returning to 6 after being told to return to their posts approximately 7 to 10 minutes after impact and finding 8 feet of water in the compartment and then Hendrickson entering the compartment a short time after midnight (I would estimate anywhere between 20 and 30 minutes after impact) and confirming the compartment was too full of water to enter.

    Now that makes a lot more sense than a claim that the compartment was dry for 20 minutes and then suddenly, between a few minutes and 10 minutes late was too full to enter in accordance with Hendrickson's testimony. Beauchamp simply overestimated the time he remained in 6.

    Actually that's not the case. At least one person testified (I can't remember his name) that the door was opened to allow an engineer who had been injured (we must assume that was Shepard) through. So it's not according to all sworn testimony.
    Ioannis Georgiou likes this.
  12. >>Selective research is a wonderful thing. You just eliminate anything that contradicts your predetermined conclusion, and everything is tickety-boo.<<

    Exactly what Mr. Brown is doing all the time.
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  13. That was Threlfall.
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  14. Aaron_2016

    Aaron_2016 Member

    Fred Barrett was in Boiler room 6. He spoke to Senator Smith while aboard the Olympic. A number of reporters were also present. According to Barrett the order to stop was given after the collision.

    New York Times - Barrett's account from the Olympic.


    I recall a more lengthy account in which Barrett states there was a shock in the boiler room and he then turned and spoke to the engineer next to him and asked him "what was that?" and then they received the order 'Stop!" and just as he was yelling "Shut the dampers" there was a second shock and the water rushed in. I take it, these two shocks were the moment the iceberg impacted the first compartment and made contact with the ship and the second shock was the moment the iceberg had reached the boiler room? This would mean that Barrett's account on the Olympic might be true as the order to 'Stop' was received after the initial shock, but before the iceberg had reached the boiler room.

    Frank Dymond was in Boiler room 4. He told a British reporter that. 'No harmed seemed to have been done, so he went back to the stokehold again. It was not long however before water began to pour in, and it had reached his ankles when he saw that something serious must have happened. He was then about to come off duty. When he came on deck again he saw the boats being told off.'

    The water had reached his ankles when he was about to come off duty. Does that mean the water was coming in fast or slow into boiler room 4?

  15. Jim Currie

    Jim Currie Member

    Now, now lads! Let's not fall into the old habit of personalising this interesting discussion. We all have different ideas of what happened that night.

    David: Let's settle this by quoting what Lord Mersey ,The Wreck Commissioner wrote in his Final Report to the BoT:

    " Description of the Damage to the Ship and its Gradual Final Effect
    Flooding in the First Ten Minutes.

    At first it is desirable to consider what happened in the first 10 minutes.

    The forepeak was not flooded above the Orlop deck - i.e., the peak tank top, from the hole in the bottom of the peak tank.

    In No. 1 hold there was 7 ft. of water. (Poingdestre, 2821-2)

    In No. 2 hold five minutes after the collision water was seen rushing in at the bottom of the firemen's passage on the starboard side, (Hendrickson, 4859) so that the ship's side was damaged abaft of bulkhead B sufficiently to open the side of the firemen's passage, which was 3 1/2 ft. from the outer skin of the ship, thereby flooding both the hold and the passage. (4856-66, 70)

    In No. 3 hold the mail room was filled soon after the collision. The floor of the mail room is 24 ft. above the keel.

    In No. 6 boiler room, when the collision took place, water at once poured in at about 2 feet above the stokehold plates, on the starboard side, at the after end of the boiler room. (Barrett, 1868-74) Some of the firemen immediately went through the watertight door opening to No. 5 boiler room because the water was flooding the place. (1899, 1905) The watertight doors in the engine rooms were shut from the bridge almost immediately after the collision. Ten minutes later it was found that there was water to the height of 8 feet above the double bottom in No. 6 boiler room. (1937, 1926)

    No. 5 boiler room was damaged at the ship's side in the starboard forward bunker (1917) at a distance of 2 feet above the stokehold plates, (1921) at 2 feet from the watertight bulkhead between Nos. 5 and 6 boiler rooms. (2105) Water poured in at that place as it would from an ordinary fire hose. (2255) At the time of the collision this bunker had no coal in it. (2091) The bunker door was closed when water was seen to be entering the ship. (2343)

    In No. 4 boiler room there was no indication of any damage at the early stages of the sinking."

    The Commissioners had access to information including drawings and technical experts that none of us has on this forum. I see no reason for technical experts such as:
    William D. Archer...Principal Ship Surveyor to the Board of Trade.
    Alexander Montgomerie...Naval Architect.
    Leonard Pesket...Naval Architect.
    Edward Wilding...Naval Architect and part of the Titanic design team.

    I see no reason, obvious or otherwise, to doubt the assessment of evidence made by the foregoing experts. However, The Commissioner was by no means squeaky-clean and I would most certainly challenge the findings of his Navigation Experts or suggest that he twisted that particular evidence as was done previously by Senator Smith over in the States. However, that's an entirely different matter best discussed elsewhere. (like in a book I hope to finish before I eg-it.)
    Aaron_2016 likes this.
  16. Hello everyone. Sorry to start up a thread that's a few months old but I do have some questions. I'm having a hard time understanding how the fireman's tunnel could have an ingress of water on its bottom, starboard side. If the tunnel was some distance from the side of the ship, and also protected by the double bottom.
  17. From Naval Architect William Garzke (who was member of the 1996 expedition and I think also 1998 and worked on both SNAME reports): "Just inboard of the shell in cargo hold number 2 was a longitudinal bulkhead to the firemen's passage. This bulkhead was jogged outboard for the access trunk from the crew above. When the collision came the outer strakes of the transverse bulkhead were thrust inboard. The riveted connections between the longitudinal bulkhead and the main transverse bulkhead were compromised so that rivets failed and a seam was pried open, allowing water to flow in. This is what stoker Charles Hendrickson saw when he was in this access trunk after the collision."
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  18. Thank you very much Ioannis. By any chance, are there any diagrams or blue prints that show that area and that bulkhead in detail?
  19. Not everything said about Titanic 20 years ago has stood the test of time. The expedition cited also claimed it found "THE" damage that sank Titanic --even showed echosound pictures. Trouble is, in an on-line blog they admitted that the same damage was found on the port bow as the starboard, indicating it was probably the result of the second impact when the bow hit the bottom of the Atlantic. The blog site and postings were subesquently removed and no additional information released. Indeed, out late ET board member, Nate Robison, attempted to make contact with the people involved on an academic level and was rebuffed.

    Indeed, there are bulkheads (not a single blulkhead) which could have been involved in motion such as Bill Garzke described. They were bulkhead B at the head of the tunnel, Bulkhead C midway, and bulkheadd D between hold #3 and boiler room #6. So, his concept is valid. The problem is that if the tunnel were damaged during impact on the berg, it should have flooded rapidly and been pressed full of water by the crew's "midnight" change of watch some 20 minutes after the berg encounter.

    It was not. Water was just beginning to tumble into the forward end of the tunnel and fill the bottom of the starboard side of the circular stair well. That's what the men who first saw the flooding reported to stoker Hendrickson who then went to report it to an engineer.

    There are other problems with the "bulkhead bashing the tunnel" theory. One of the biggest is fitting it into the context of what survivors sleeping and living in the bow felt during impact. They did not report the hard sideways thrust and sudden stop necessary to do the damage Garzke described to the tunnel.

    Incidentally, he personally explained to me that the damage to the shell plating was of a "slip/stick" nature. This is the kind of rubbing in which the two surfaces stick for an instant, then move slightly, then stick and move, etc. It's what causes the horrible sound of fingernails on a blackboard. It's also a phenomenon that is most often accompanied by the lack of lubrication. Titanic's case had wet, old ice sliding along wet steel plate. Those were not the best conditions for slip stick.

    My point is that like so many others in those early days, Garzke was trying to have it both both ways by using different explanations the results of a single much larger event. Slip stick explained shell damage, a big whopping thump explained the tunnel flooding. This cause/effect hodge podge was a logical thing to do in 1998 and 99 when much less data was available, particularly chronological information.

    So much of what "everybody knows" about Titanic ignores the passage of time. This is particularly true of engineering approaches to the sinking. Engineers aren't historians and I've found almost to a one they discount the human side of the equation. It's simply not their area of expertise. So, the dry duration of the tunnel is ignored by simply cramming all of the flooding of everywhere in the bow into one single event.

    In the matter of the tunnel, however, we cannot igore that it was not discovered in context with the impact on the iceberg. Discovery came about 15 minutes later when water had not yet filled the tunnel. It also came when at least one engineer was on E deck which had no visible signs of damage or flooding. That's where Hendrickson made his report. It may be significant (and I think very much so) that E deck is also where valve handles controlling suction intakes for the bilge pump system were located.

    I can't unfairly pick on the engineering crowd without pointing out that my side, the humanists in the argument, have made their own mistraqkes. They tend to put far too much emphasis on the specifics of human memory without regard to the vagaries of the human brain.

    Somewhere out there....the truth may be found. Then again, you'll never get to that easily-seen point where the railroad tracks merge no matter how far you walk toward it.

    -- David G. Brown
  20. FiremanTunnelAccess.jpg