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index > rms titanic > the final seconds before collision: a 12 part series - part 8 of 12


By Bruce A. Trinque

Part 8 – Leading Stoker Frederick Barrett

British Enquiry:

Q: Now can you tell me where you were or what you were doing just at the time the collision happened?
A: I was talking to the second engineer.

Q: What is his name?
A: Mr Hescott.

Q: Can you tell us where you were?
A: I was in No. 10 stokehold.

Q: … You were talking with Mr Hescott?
A: Yes.

Q: Now just tell us what happened that you noticed.
A: There is like a clock rigged up in the stokehold and a red light goes up when the ship is supposed to stop, a white light for full speed, and, I think it is a blue light for slow. This red light came up. I am the man in charge of the watch, and I called out, “Shut all dampers.”

Q: You saw this red light?
A: Yes.

Q: You knew that was an order to stop the engines?
A: It says “stop” – a red piece of glass and an electric light inside.

Q: Shutting the dampers, I suppose, would be?
A: To shut the wind off the fires.

Q: To shut the draught off the fires. And you gave an order, “Shut the dampers”?
A: Yes.

Q: Was that order obeyed?
A: Yes.

Q: What was the next thing that happened?
A: The crash came before we had them all shut.

Q: They were shutting them when the crash came?
A: Yes.

Q: Where was the crash – what was it you felt or heard or saw?
A: Water came pouring in two feet above the stokehold plate, the ship’s side was torn from the third stokehold to the foreward end.


Although Leading Stoker Barrett does not specify how many seconds elapsed between the order to stop the engines and the collision with the iceberg, it appears that only a short interval passed.

Intro, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12


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