His brother-in-law with whom he lived, Mr. Philip LeGros, found Mr. Fleet suspended from a clothes post in the garden.
Mr. Fleet's wife Eva, aged 74, died only a fortnight ago and Mr. Fleet had been very depressed since.
On April 14, 1912, Mr. Fleet was the night crow's nest lookout in the White Star liner and spotted the iceberg which sank her on her maiden voyage.
He gave the warning to the bridge: "We are in danger-iceberg right ahead."
Mr. Fleet was one of the principal witnesses at the inquiry into the disaster. He said then that it was a beautiful night and that if he had had binoculars he could have seen the iceberg sufficiently far ahead to have given his warning in time to have avoided the disaster.
Ice ripped a gash in the liner's hull and she sank in 2 hours, 40 minutes. But the liner had only 16 lifeboats and two small rafts for over 2,000 people.
Mr. Fleet was detailed as one of the crew of No. 6 lifeboat whose 40 passengers were picked up three hours later by the liner Carpathia.
The Titanic had been regarded as the "unsinkable ship."
Despite his experience, Mr. Fleet spent another 24 years at sea.
He always preserved his seaman's discharge book in which his Titanic experience is recorded in two terse sentences--"Discharged at sea. Destination intended for New York."
Mr. Fleet left the sea in the depression years of the mid-thirties. He was afterwards with Harland & Wolff, the ship repairers, and was a shore master-at-arms for the Union-Castle Line.
For a time he was a part-time street seller for the "Echo" with a pitch in Pound Tree-road.
Leave a comment
Add a new story to Encyclopedia Titanica
Link and cite this article
Please link to this page using the following URL
Or copy the link text below
If you need to cite this page please copy the following and adapt as necessary for your referencing system:
(1965) TITANIC SURVIVOR FOUND HANGEDSouthampton Echo (ref: #392, accessed 25th April 2014 12:52:12 AM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor-found-hanged.html
Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Thursday 28th August 2003, last updated Friday 25th April 2014.