British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry

Day 2


Examined by Mr. DUNLOP.

648. Were you a third engineer on the "Lusitania”?
- I was.

649. Were you one of the engineers on duty at the time she was torpedoed?
- I was.

650. When did you go on watch?
- At noon.

651. At 2 o'clock did you read the revolutions of the engines on the counter?
- I did.

652. Did you ascertain how many revolutions per minute the engines had been making between 12 and 2?
- I did.

653. How many revolutions were they making per minute during that watch?
- 121 and a fraction.

654. And what speed would 121 and a fraction give her?
- I understand approximately about 18 knots.

655. How was your telegraph standing at noon?
- At full speed.

656. Did you get any order between noon and 2 o'clock?
- I had an order sent down by the chief engineer that in the event of emergency the telephone would be rung and on that occurring we were to give her all we knew.

657. You were to give her what speed you could?
- All the speed we had available and also to keep the steam pressure very high in case of emergency.

658. Did you carry out those orders?
- We did.

659. Were your engines kept running at full speed between 12 and 2 with the same number of revolutions?
- The same number of revolutions.

660. That is to say, 18 knots?
- That is so.

661. After 2 o'clock where were you?
- After making up the revolutions I asked Mr. Smith to stand by, and I commenced to go round the engine room, of which I was in charge.

662. Mr. Smith being the second engineer?
- The second engineer of the watch. I had got the length of the starboard high-pressure engine room, having visited the port high-pressure room, and I was coming out of the starboard high-pressure room when we were struck.

663. At what time were you struck?
- I could not say decisively. It would be, I should imagine, about a quarter past two. From reports I have heard since, I should say it was exactly quarter past two.

664. Are you able to say exactly where you were s truck?
- No.

665. What did you do when you were struck?
- After a glance round I went to the platform as quickly as possible to try and obtain information as to what had occurred.

666. Did you go into the port engine room?
- No.

667. Where did you go?
- I went directly in the low- pressure room, and from there up to the platform.

668. Did you get any report about steam pressure?
- When I got to the platform the second engineer asked me what had occurred.

The Commissioner:
Will you tell me, Mr. Dunlop, what is the value of this evidence?

Mr. Dunlop:
He is going to explain, I believe, that the steam pressure at once went back to 50 lbs. owing to something that happened in the boiler-room.

The Commissioner:
What does that matter.

Mr. Dunlop:
I do not think it matters at all, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
Then why on earth do you ask him the question.

669. Mr. Dunlop ( To the witness ): How did you eventually save yourself?
- By jumping over the side or walking off the side.

Examined by Mr. WICKHAM.

670. Is it not a fact that the "Lusitania” was going slower when she was struck than at any other period of the voyage?
- No, she had been reduced previously for thick weather, I understand.

671. Were you on her on the previous voyage, New York to England?
- Yes.

672. Was the same course followed then?
- I could say absolutely nothing as to what course was followed.

673. But when the vessel was struck you knew where you were, did you not?
- No, I had no idea.

The Commissioner:
He was down in the engine room.

Examined by Mr. CLEM EDWARDS.

674. You were in the engine room were you when the torpedo struck you?
- That is so.

675. Can you say anything as to whether the watertight doors worked all right?
- Well, all the doors that I was able to get to were closed.

676. Then what watertight doors were there between you, when the torpedo struck, and the point at which you assumed the torpedo struck.

677. The Attorney-General: He says he did not know where they were struck?
- I really could not say where we were struck. I have no evidence to enable me to form a definite judgment on that point.

678. Mr. Clem Edwards: Accepting for the moment the evidence which has been already given, that the torpedo struck the ship between funnels 2 and 3, where were you in relations to funnels 2 and 3?
- Between funnels 2 and 3 there are two bulkheads. There were at least two bulkheads between my position and that position.

679. Therefore assuming that the torpedo struck the ship between funnels 2 and 3 from that point to where you were in the engine room there would be two bulkheads and two watertight doors. Is that right?
- That is correct.

680. Would you be abaft or forward of those watertight doors?
- Aft.

681. Can you say whether either or both those watertight doors worked and were intact immediately after the explosion?
- The doors in the stokehold I really could not say anything about. The door into the engine room as I understand closed.

682. It did close. Did you get any water through while you were there?
- No, there was no water to be seen.

683. From the position where you stood to the bows of the ship how many watertight compartments were there. First of all, how many watertight compartments were there altogether?
- I really could not answer that question off-hand.

684. Forward of where you were, how many watertight doors would there be?
- Forward from where I was there would be, I should say, a little over 50.

685. And aft from where you were how many would there be?
- Well, there was 61 doors altogether.

686. So that would give 11 aft and 50 forward?
- I refer to screw-down and hydraulic operated doors.

687. Of those watertight doors, how many would be perpendicular doors on the level of the engine room floor?
- The engine room doors would vary.

The Commissioner:
Do you know this, or are you guessing? Do you know definitely, because if you do not know, is it not very much better for you to take the plans of the ship, which, I suppose, you think are accurate?

Mr. Clem Edwards:
Quite, my Lord.

The Commissioner:
And it will give you all this information.

Mr. Clem Edwards:
It is no good, unless this witness does know, my basing questions on the plan of the ship.

The Commissioner:
What I mean is this. You can get the information you are asking this witness to give you from the plan of the ship, which, I suppose, you accept as accurate.

Mr. Clem Edwards:
That is so. With great respect, my Lord, the particular information I am now seeking to get I can get from the plans; but I, first of all, want to see if he knows, because I am only seeking this information for the purpose of basing certain other questions which will go to his personal knowledge, as to precisely what transpired after the torpedo struck the ship. (To the witness) May I repeat my question: How many of the 50 watertight doors forward of where you were would be perpendicular doors. That is the first question?
- It is really a question which is very difficult for me to answer off hand. I would require to consult the plan.

The Commissioner:
Can he answer the question?

Mr. Clem Edwards:
If he cannot answer this he cannot answer my remaining questions, and the point is whom are we to get who will tell us.

The Commissioner:
I am sure I do not know, but you can get a deal of this information, I should think all of it, from the plans.

689. Mr. Clem Edwards: Which of the doors which you saw closed were perpendicular doors?
- They were all perpendicular doors.

690. And of those doors which you saw closed, how many were forward from where you were?
- They were just about abeam.

691. Are there any watertight doors running down the centre of the ship at either end of the engine room?
- Yes.

692. Were both those watertight doors abaft and forward of the engine room closed?
- I can speak to the forward door. I had a report from one of the juniors that the after one was closed, and I can speak definitely for the forward one. I saw it myself.

693. Are those doors which, after they have been automatically closed from the bridge, can be opened by hand?
- All the hydraulic doors can be opened by hand provided the pressure on the hydraulic system is available, after being closed from the bridge.

694. Was either of them open to your knowledge?
- Not to my knowledge.

695. Can you say how many of the watertight compartments of this ship would have to be filled before she would sink?
- No.

696. The Commissioner: What are you?
- One of the third engineers.

697. Mr. Clem Edwards: Is there a watertight deck on this ship?
- Yes, within certain limits, there is.

698. We will get the limits if you do not mind. Is it a watertight deck in the sense that it is tight against water from above or below; in other words, supposing water comes in from one of these watertight compartments and rises to the height of that compartment, is the deck above it so watertight that the water would not go through from below. Is that so?
- Yes.

699. And does that run the whole length of the ship?
- I understand it does.

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