Apr 14

USS Chester Escorts Survivors of Titanic Disaster

Thursday, April 14, 2011 1:29 AM


April, 14th 1912
RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and sank at 2:20 in the morning, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people.

USS Chester was ordered to escort the RMS Carpathia into New York following the Carpathia’s gathering up of survivors.

The following article is from Proceedings #158 1915.

Loss of the Titanic
The Titanic was a triple-screw liner of 46,300 tons gross, belonging to the White Star Line. She had 15 transverse water-tight bulkheads. Their water-tightness extended up to D deck abaft bulkhead K and forward of bulkhead B. Bulkhead A extended to C deck, but was water-tight only to D deck.

G deck in the after peak tank, and the orIop deck in the fore peak tank and abaft the turbine engine-room (bulkhead M) were water-tight. Elsewhere no decks were water-tight except over small areas. There was a structure some distance in from the ship’s side in the electric machinery compartment forming six water-tight compartments, used as fresh-water tanks. There were 111 all 29 water-tight compartments above the inner bottom.

There was an inner bottom about 5 feet from the outer skin, extending from bulkhead A to 20 feet forward of bulkhead P. For about half the length of the ship the inner bottom extended to a height of 7 feet above the keel, but at the ends of the ship it did not extend to such a height. The space between inner and outer bottoms was divided into 44 water-tight compartments. Bulkheads A, Band P were without openings. All the other bulkheads had water-tight doors. Bulkheads D to 0 inclusive each had a vertical, sliding, water-tight door at the level of the floor of the engine and boiler-rooms.

The Titanic collided with an iceberg at 11040 p. m. on April 14, 1912. The starboard side was ripped open at a height of 10 feet above the keel and for a distance of 300 feet. The fore peak, No. 1 hold, No. 2 hold, No. 3 hold and the forward boiler-room (No.6) were damaged to such an extent that the inflow of water was beyond the capacity of the pumps. The second boiler-room (No.5) was damaged so that water poured in as it would from an ordinary fire hose. The upper part of the fore peak was not flooded until the bow of the ship was submerged to deck C, when water poured down the scuttle, filling the compartment.

Since the ship was designed to keep afloat with two of her main transverse compartments flooded, it is easy to see that the injury received was a fatal one. The flooding of the five forward compartments caused the water to rise above the top of bulkhead E and to pour down into boiler-room’ No. 5 and fill it up until the water rose above the top of bulkhead F and flooded the next boiler-room, and so on until the ship sank. If the forward five compartments had been completely flooded, the ship could still have been saved had the bulkhead deck (deck E, amidships) been made effectively water-tight, as it had water-tight trunks, extending up to C deck, around all openings in the bulkhead deck.

No evidence was brought forward in the investigation to prove that the water-tight doors did not function properly or had any influence on the sinking of the ship, or that any bulkheads failed. There is some doubt, however, as to whether the bulkheads, which were only single riveted, could have stood up long enough to enable the ship to reach port in safety under her own steam.

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