“Absolutely no fear is entertained for the safety of the passengers.”
P A S Franklin, Vice-President of the International Mercantile Marine, declared this morning that the Titanic was unsinkable, and that, notwithstanding the alarming reports of her collision with an iceberg, absolutely no fear was entertained for the safety of the passengers.
“While we have had no direct wireless communication from the Titanic,” said Mr Franklin, “we are satisfied that the vessel is unsinkable. Our only reports thus far are from the Associated Press. The fact that the Titanic has sent us no wireless does not cause alarm. In the first place her failure to communicate with the line may be due to atmospheric conditions; and, in the second place, she may be too busy communicating with nearby ships.
“No one need fear that the Titanic will go down. Even though all her former compartments and bulkheads were stove in by the iceberg, she would still float indefinitely. She might go down a little at the bow, but she would float. I am free to say that no matter how bad the collision with an iceberg, the Titanic would float. She is an unsinkable ship.
“From the messages we have received we estimate that the Titanic is 1,000 miles from New York, in latitude 41.46 and longitude 50.14 west. That would make her 600 miles southeast of Halifax.
“The steamship Virginian, out of Halifax, should reach Titanic at 10 o’clock this morning. The Olympic, bound east, should make to the rescue at 8 o’clock tonight, and the Baltic, which had passed the Titanic, has put about and should join the rescuing fleet at 4 o’clock.
“We feel certain that all of the passengers will be landed safely in Halifax. Their relatives and friends need entertain no fears. From our revised lists we find that there are 325 saloon passengers, 300 second cabin passengers, and 800 steerage passengers.”
There are fifteen bulkheads in the Titanic. Two of these are what is known as collision bulkheads, and the other thirteen are water tight and of the kind common to modern steamers. One collision bulkhead is in the fore part of the hull, fifty feet from the bow. It is of steel, with no inlet into the hold, and it is entered from the main deck when an examination is necessary. The other collision bulkhead is at the stern and also must be entered from the main deck.
The other thirteen bulkheads divide the hull of the Titanic into separate compartments and doors into these divisions can be closed separately or all at one time. The closing mechanism is hydraulic. It is said by marine engineers that there is no case on record in which any collision or other accident to a modern steamer has put this hydraulic mechanism out of commission.
There is, however, and element of weakness in the strongest of the water-tight bulkheads of even such a ship as the Titanic, which lies in the pressure resisting power of the bulkheads. While it is claimed that two compartments of the Titanic could be flooded with water without the vessel either sinking or losing steerageway, it is admitted that, were any of the compartments flooded with water, the pressure of water on those bulkheads might cause a leak which would admit water into the next compartment, and so on from one bulkhead to the next, until the hull was water-logged.
Builders of Titanic say she’d survive great blow
Belfast, April 15, 1912. — A representative of Harland and Wolff, the constructors of the Titanic, interviewed today, said that if the Titanic were sinking, the collision must have been of great force.
The plating of the vessel, he said, was of the heaviest caliber and even if it were pierced, any two of her compartments could be flooded without imperilling the safety of the ship.
At right: Clip from marketing brochure on Titanic and her sister ship: “As far as it is possible to do so, these two wonderful vessels are designed to be unsinkable…”