A year to remember

“Andrews: “The pumps are keeping the water down in this boiler room, but the first five compartments are flooding.” Captain Smith: “Well, what’s the answer ?” Andrews: “She’s going to sink, Captain.” Captain Smith: “But.. She can’t sink. She’s unsinkable.” Andrews: “She can’t float. Look.. She could float with any three of her first five compartments flooded. She could even float with four of them gone. But she can’t float with all five full up.” Captain Smith: “Yes, but..” Andrews: [cuts him off]: “These watertight bulkheads only go as high as E Deck. The weight of the water in the bow is going to pull her down by the head. So, you’re going to get the fifth compartment overflowing into the sixth; the sixth into the seventh; and so on, as she goes lower. It’s a mathematical certainty. With that amount of underwater damage, she can’t stay afloat.. How many people are there on board ?” Captain Smith: “2,200 or more. And room in the boats for.. ? How many ?” Andrews: “1,200.” Captain Smith: “I don’t think the Board of Trade regulations visualized this situation. Do you ?” - From Eric Ambler’s screenplay for the film A Night to Remember (1958).

29 June 2020