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The Final Seconds before Collision: Part 9 of 12
By Bruce A. Trinque

Part 9 – Fireman George Beauchamp

British Enquiry:

Q: Were you down below in the stokehold?
A: Yes.

Q: Which stokehold was it?
A: No. 10.

Q: Did you notice the shock when the ship struck?
A: Yes, Sir, I noticed the shock.

Q: Was it a severe shock?
A: Just like the thunder, the roar of thunder.

Q: And immediately after the shock was any order given?
A: Yes.

Q: What order?
A: To stand by, to stop. – The telegraph went “Stop.”

Q: You got that order from the bridge, “Stop”?
A: Yes.

Q: And were the engines stopped at once or not?
A: The telegraph rung off “Stop,” so I suppose they were.

Q: Did the engineer in your section give you any order?
A: Yes; the engineer and the leading stoker shouted together – they said, “Shut the dampers.”

Q: Did you shut the dampers?
A: Yes, immediately; “shut everything up.”


Discussion:

Although Fireman Beauchamp reverses the order of events (the collision becoming before the “stop” order) compared with what Barrett had testified, again the sense is conveyed that these were nearly simultaneous occurrences, not events separated by more than half a minute.

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