Color painting of the R.M.S. Titanic at sea.
Man Vs.Nature...Nature Wins

"unsinkable" article

Daily Mail, London, England, April 16, 1912



Mr. Franklin, vice-president of the International Mecantile Marine, which controls the White Star Line, issued in New York yesterday the following statement:--

“We are perfectly satisfied that the Titanic is unsinkable. We are absolutely certain that she is able to withstand any damage. She may be down by the head, but would float indefinitely in that condition.”

The Titanic is described as unsinkable owing to the strength with which she is constructed and to the fact that she is fitted with fifteen transverse water-tight bulkheads. This means that the vessel is divided into fifteen separate compartments, each of which can be rendered water-tight at a moment’s notice by the closing of the water-tight doors.

Any two of three compartments can be simultaneously flooded without in any way imperiling the safety of the ship.

The largest watertight compartments are those containing the reciprocating and turbino engines, which are 69 feet and 57 feet long respectively. The foremost compartments, which would be the first to be flooded in the event of a collision are smaller.

These transverse bulkheads extend from the ship’s double bottom to the upper deck in the fore part of the ship, so even were the bow to sink to the level of the upper deck (beneath the promenade decks) there would be no danger of the after compartments being flooded. The only real danger is that the bulkheads should collapse owing to the pressure of the water or that serious leakage should be caused all over the ship owing to the shock of the collision having displaced numerous bolts and rivets.

The Titanic is especially strongly built owing to her size and great length. The doors in the foremost bulkhead would in the natural course be kept closed when at sea. Each door is held in the open position by a friction clutch, which can be instantly released by means of a powerful electric magnet controlled from the captain’s bridge, so that the captain can instantly close all the doors by simply moving an electric switch.

As a further precaution floats are provided beneath the floor level, which, the in the event of water entering the compartments, automatically lift and thereby close the doors.