Not to be confused with normal fireman Frederick William Barrett.

Frederick Barrett was a leading fireman in boiler room No. 6 of the Titanic. He survived the sinking.

Early life

When he signed-on to the Titanic on 6 April in 1912, he gave his address as 24 King St. (Southampton). His previous ship was the New York. As a leading fireman, he took home monthly wages of £6 10s.

The collision

On April 14 at 11:40 P.M., Barrett was in Boiler Room 6, talking to second engineer John Hesketh when the alarm started to sound and the red light above the watertight door leading aft went on. There was an ear-splitting cracking noise and then it looked like the entire starboard hull was pressed away. With water invading the room and the watertight doors closing, Barrett yelled to his comrades to leave as soon as possible and managed himself to escape. Now in boiler room 5, Barrett saw the damage stretched out all the way to 50 cm behind the watertight bulkhead, giving entrance to a thick stream of water that was now flooding the room.


Fred Barrett in a reconstruction of the sinking by National Geographic

He stayed in boiler room 5 until 1:00 A.M. At that moment, the watertight bulkhead between boiler rooms 5 & 6 gave away under the water pressure. Barrett and junior assistant Second Engineer Harvey were doused with 30°F water. Barrett heroically jumped away to the steel ladder up, but Harvey was sucked away in the whirling water.


He then went to A Deck, where boatswain Alfred Nichols placed him in charge of boat No. 13. Once put to sea, boat No. 15 was almost lowered on top of them. Barrett tried to cut the ropes while the other occupants of the boat attempted to keep boat 15 from landing on them.

The next day they were rescued by the Carpathia.


A few weeks later, on May 25, Frederick Barrett was working on the Olympic. When Senator Smith was given a tour of the Titanic's sister by Captain Haddock as part of his investigation, Haddock mentioned that one of his stokers had been aboard Titanic, and Smith then went down to the boiler room to talk with Barrett and get a better impression of how conditions had been aboard Titanic in the boiler rooms at the time of the collision.