British Wreck Commissioner's Inquiry


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.