A graphic story was told by Frederick Barrett a leading stoker.
He was in No. 6 section, and Mr Shepherd was the engineer on duty.
"There is a clock face in the stokehole and a red light goes up for 'Stop.' I was talking to Mr Hesketh when the red light came up, and I shouted, 'Shut all the dampers.' That order was obeyed, but the crash came before we had them all shut.
There was a rush of water into my stokehole. We were standing on plates about six feet above the tank tops, and the water came in about two feet above the plates.
Together with Mr Hesketh I jumped through the doorway into No. 5 section. The watertight door between the section was then open, but it shut just as we jumped through. This door is worked from the bridge.
I do not know whether any more men in my stokehole were saved. The water was coming in fast enough through the side of the ship to flood the place.
ENGINEER'S BROKEN LEG
Shortly afterwards the order came from the engine room to send all the stokers up. "Most of them went up, but I was told to remain with the engineers to do any errands. Mr Harvey, Mr Wilson, Mr Shephard and I waited in No. 5 section.
Mr Harvey told me to send some firemen for some lamps. Just as we got the lamps the electric light came on again. They must have been changing the dynamos over.
Mr Harvey told me to fetch some firemen to draw the furnaces. I fetched about 15 firemen and they drew the 30 furnaces in the section. That occupied about 20 minutes. I looked at the gauge and found there was no water in the boilers. The ship, in blowing off steam, had blown it out.
Mr Harvey told me to lift the man-hole plate, which I did, and then Mr Shephard, hurrying across to do something and not noticing the plate had been removed, fell down and broke his leg. We lifted him up and laid him in the pump-room. About a quarter of an hour after the fires were drawn there was a rush of water."
[Lord Mersey:] Did you see whether this water was coming through the bulkhead or over it'? - ["]I did not stop to look. Mr Shephard ordered me up the ladder.["] Barrett added that he thought something had given way when the rush of water came.
Related Biographies:Frederick William Barrett
John Henry Hesketh