In previous posts we have already argued that the RFI assessment, that the inner lids of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul had been left open by the crew prior to the loss of the vessel, was unsound. The condition of the closing devices of the duff chute indicates that its inner cover was, in fact, closed when the tragedy struck.
We can now reveal that the split covers of the offal chute were also closed. The images below, captured from the 2002 underwater survey film footage, illustrate that the bar attached to one of the offal split covers, as their means of closure, was found in its place and deformed in a way consistent with it having undergone strong pressure from the underside.
This finding, which the RFI panel was aware of, supports the proposition that the inner lids of the duff and offal chutes on the Gaul had initially been closed by the crew, but were burst open by the force of the incoming waves, at the time of the loss.
We have also constructed a model of the offal chute and tested it against the effects of water pressure acting on the underside of its inner lids. We used this model to replicate the damage to the securing bar, as observed in the images from the wreck of the Gaul. The photo below shows the result.
More to come...