Frederick Barrett

Frederick William "Fred" Barrett (10 January 1883 – 3 March 1931) is best known as a survivor of the 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic in Lifeboat No. 13.[1][2]

Frederick Barrett
Frederick Barrett

10 January 1883
Died3 March 1931 (aged 48)
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
ResidenceSouthampton, England, United Kingdom
Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
Other namesFrederick William Barrett
Fred Barrett
OccupationLead Stoker
Known forRMS Titanic survivor

Early life

Frederick Barrett was born in Liverpool on 10 January 1883. Barrett was a coal miner and local pit collier from Hanley, near Stoke-on-Trent, England.[3][4] Some say Barrett took up a life at sea after discovering his wife was unfaithful.[3][4] Before working on RMS Titanic he had worked on a ship called New York and lived in Southampton.[1]

Sinking of Titanic

Frederick Barrett was a lead stoker working in boiler room 6 when Titanic struck an iceberg on the night of 14 April 1912. Boiler room 6 was at the site of the impact with the iceberg.

Barrett was talking to the second engineer, Mr. Hesketh, when the red light and bells came on signalling the order to stop the engines.[5] He shouted to the men in the boiler room to shut the dampers, the doors to the furnaces and to shut off the wind for the fires. Then he felt a crash and water came pouring in on him from a large tear in the ship's starboard side.[5][2] Barrett made his way through the water tight door into boiler room 5. He was ordered to go back into boiler room 6, but there was 8 feet of water there.[2] As some of the engineers attended the pumps, the engine room rang for all the stokers to go up on deck. Barrett was ordered to stay behind by an engineer, Mr. Harvey, in boiler room 5 to get some lamps, draw fires, and lift the manhole plate until water started to rush in.[6]

Barrett went up along a hatchway to reach the starboard side of A Deck where there were only two lifeboats left.[2][7] He escaped the sinking ship on lifeboat 13, which was filled with about 65 or 70 people.[2] Lifeboat 15 nearly came down on top of their lifeboat, but they got out in time.[7] He was put in charge of the lifeboat for about an hour, until he got cold and had to let someone else take over.[2] At one point a woman put a cloak over him, and he was unable to remember anything that took place after that in the lifeboat.[7] At 4:45am Barrett and the others in the lifeboat were rescued by RMS Carpathia.[1]

After the sinking, he testified at both the British Titanic inquiry and United States Senate inquiry into the sinking of the RMS Titanic.[2][5]

Life after Titanic

On 25 May 1912, just a few weeks after the sinking, Barrett was working on Titanic's sister ship RMS Olympic where he was questioned by Senator William Alden Smith as part of an investigation.[1] Barrett died in Liverpool on 3 March 1931 due to tuberculosis.[8]

Frederick William Barrett

Barrett is not to be confused with fellow crewmember, stoker Frederick William Barrett, born in 1876 or 1879, who perished in the sinking.[9][10]



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