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The Final Seconds before Collision: Part 8 of 12
By Bruce A. Trinque

Part 8 – Leading Stoker Frederick Barrett

British Enquiry:

Q: Now can you tell me where you were or what you were doing just at the time the collision happened?
A: I was talking to the second engineer.

Q: What is his name?
A: Mr Hescott.

Q: Can you tell us where you were?
A: I was in No. 10 stokehold.

Q: … You were talking with Mr Hescott?
A: Yes.

Q: Now just tell us what happened that you noticed.
A: There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop, a white light for full speed, and, I think it is a blue light for slow. This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, “Shut all dampers.”

Q: You saw this red light?
A: Yes.

Q: You knew that was an order to stop the engines?
A: It says “stop” – a red piece of glass and an electric light inside.

Q: Shutting the dampers, I suppose, would be?
A: To shut the wind off the fires.

Q: To shut the draught off the fires. And you gave an order, “Shut the dampers”?
A: Yes.

Q: Was that order obeyed?
A: Yes.

Q: What was the next thing that happened?
A: The crash came before we had them all shut.

Q: They were shutting them when the crash came?
A: Yes.

Q: Where was the crash – what was it you felt or heard or saw?
A: Water came pouring in two feet above the stokehold plate, the ship’s side was torn from the third stokehold to the foreward end.

Discussion:

Although Leading Stoker Barrett does not specify how many seconds elapsed between the order to stop the engines and the collision with the iceberg, it appears that only a short interval passed.

Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

 



 
   
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