During the sinking, he tried to flee to a higher deck as the ship began to sink. On his way when the water was already there, he accidentally came across a desperate Rose DeWitt Bukater and Jack Dawson, who were trapped behind a metal gate as the water rose to dangerous levels.
The steward almost abandoned them but felt sorry and decided to unlock the gate. However, he dropped the keys in a hurry. Unable to find them, he fled before the water rose too high, abandoning Jack & Rose who had to find the keys themselves.
It was already 2:10 AM when he reached the Boat Deck. Only 2 lifeboats were left: Collapsible A & B. With another steward, he tried to get Collapsible B off the Officer's Quarters, but the boat tumbled upside-down, and he fell into the crowd of people. He then tried to overturn the boat, but at 2:11 the deck flooded and the lifeboat started to sink. The stairwell steward was pushed aside when passengers and crew tried to float off the lifeboat. The Stairwell steward ended up in the water but when the lifeboat floated off, he managed to crawl on it. Suddenly, the forward funnel (which was very close) collapsed and created a huge wave, soaking the steward and others on the boat. He safely made it to the Carpathia.
"I'm sorry I dropped the keys!" - To Jack and Rose when his panic drops the keys.