107 #50: If the bulkheads of Titanic’s watertight compartments had been higher, she wouldn’t have sunk

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FALSE. Six of her forward watertight compartments were flooded, all the way back to her No. 4 boiler room; with this amount of underwater damage, Titanic would have sunk even if her bulkheads had gone all the way up to the top of the ship, as Edward Wilding, one of Titanic’s designers, confirmed at the British Inquiry:

20953: ‘If No. 6 boiler room and the compartments forward of it are flooded, am I right that the vessel, as she is designed, is lost—she must sink?’

‘If No. 6 boiler room and the three holds forward of it, and the forepeak are flooded, the ship is undoubtedly lost as built.’

20954: ‘If No. 5 boiler room is flooded in addition, supposing the bulkheads had been carried up to D, would that have saved her?’

‘It would not.’

‘And the last question is: With No. 4 section added on, no possible arrangement could save the ship?’

‘No possible vertical extension of the existing bulkheads.’

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One comment

  1. The hull surrounding Boiler Room 5, wasn’t damaged to any great extent, indeed the breech was restricted to the coal bunker of that room, and the rate of water influx was described as equal to a ‘fire hose’. Also the pumps in that boiler room 5 were said to be easily coping with that small breech, so it can’t be included in the analysis. That is Boiler room 5 should be treated as intact. The degree the bulkheads needed to be raised is shown in this animation.


    Stopping the frame when boiler room 6 in blue floods, shows how high that bulkhead had to be raised if these pumps are brought into the calculation. Only once the water flowed from the forward compartments into boiler room 5 could the amount of water overcome the pumps, it wasn’t flooding enough by itself. In fact the author of the animation makes the same mistake, by assuming the initial flooding in boiler room 5 was significantly contributing to the sinking!

    Hence raising the bulkhead between Boiler room 4 and 5 by one deck, around 2-3 metres, should have saved the ship. Other calculations such as the diminishing rate of water influx before the overflow into boiler room 5 tends to confirm this.

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