Meet the Miss Unsinkable – Violet Jessop , a woman who lived through the sinking of the Titanic, the Britannic, and the Olympic
Violet Jessop was a remarkable survivor, as she was able to avoid death despite being on board the Titanic, the Britannic, and the Olympic, all of which went down in catastrophic disasters.
Violet Jessop’s early life
Jessop was infected with tuberculosis at a young age and was only expected to live for a few months after being diagnosed. She was born in Argentina in 1887 to Irish immigrants. She made a miraculous recovery and went on to live a long and happy life despite her ordeal.
After Jessop’s father passed away, her mother uprooted the family and moved them to England, where she found work as a stewardess on a ship. Violet, who had been attending a school for girls in a convent, left her studies to take over as the ship’s stewardess when her friend fell ill.
Violet, who was only 21 years old, had a hard time finding work as a stewardess because potential employers were concerned that her youth and attractive appearance would “cause problems” with the crew and passengers. (During the course of her career, she was actually approached with at least three marriage proposals, one of which came from a wealthy passenger in first class.)
Violet made the decision to make herself appear dumpy by dressing in old clothes and not wearing any makeup. As a result of this decision, she was hired by the White Star Line in 1908 to serve aboard the Majestic after a brief stint on the Orinoco, a steamer operated by the Royal Mail Line.
Miss Unsinkable and the Olympic
The year 1910 marked the beginning of her employment aboard the Olympic. After another year had passed, the Olympic was involved in a collision with the ship HMS Hawke, which was specifically designed to sink ships by ramming them. The ship did not sink, despite the fact that it and the other ship both sustained significant damage, and it made it back to port. Violet was able to disembark without suffering any injuries. Thus earning her first recognition as Miss Unsinkable.
A couple of years later, the White Star Line was searching for crew members to serve as butlers aboard the Titanic for the important passengers. Violet decided to pursue a career on board the supposedly unsinkable ship. She was one of the lucky ones who made it off the ship in lifeboat number 16.
“You are to report to the bridge immediately. Passengers moved about the terminal in a relaxed manner. At the same time as the other stewardesses, I stood at the bulkhead and observed the women as they clung to their husbands just prior to being loaded into the boats along with their children. She wrote about this experience in her memoir, “Sometime after that, a ship’s officer ordered us into the boat first to show some women that it was safe.”
While they were in the lifeboat, Violet was given a child to look after. During the time that they were being rescued by the Carpathia, the baby’s mother managed to pull the infant from Violet’s arms and then ran off.
As a result of her miraculous escape from that catastrophe, Violet made the decision to work as a nurse on the ship Britannic, which at the time was sailing in the Aegean Sea just prior to World War I. After colliding with a mine that had been laid by a German U-boat, the vessel sustained damage and began to sink as a result of the collision.
Jessop – the Miss Unsinkable was unable to reach a lifeboat, so he decided to leap overboard.
“I attempted to swim away, but I was pulled under the ship’s keel, and it struck me on the head.” I was able to get away, but many years later when I went to my primary care physician because I was experiencing a lot of headaches, he found out that I had once suffered a fracture of the skull!” she explained.
Following the conclusion of the war, Miss Unsinkable accepted a position with the rival company, the Red Star Line, and spent the next few years sailing the world in that capacity. She was able to avoid any further ship disasters and retired at the age of 61, which was a fortunate turn of events. She was 84 years old when she passed away in 1971 from congestive heart failure.
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