3. Miss Unsinkable: The Woman Who Survived The Titanic—And Two Other Shipwrecks
Violet Constance Jessop was an Irish Argentine ocean liner stewardess and nurse who is best known for surviving the disastrous sinkings of RMS Titanic in 1912 and her sister ship HMHS Britannic in 1916. So, depending on your perspective, she was either the unluckiest or luckiest women in the world.
Jessop began her career aboard the Orinoco in 1908 at age 21 as a stewardess on ocean liners. In 1911, Jessop began working on the same position for the White Star vessel RMS Olympic.
Just a year later, while she was still working aboard RMS Olympic, it collided with the British warship the HMS Hawke while the two were passing through a narrow strait. Though both vessels were damaged by the encounter, it did not completely destroy either ship and there were actually no fatalities.
While the Olympic was being repaired, Violet was employed aboard another White Star Line ship, and the sister vessel to the Olympic, the RMS Titanic. Jessop was onboard when the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, but was able to find a lifeboat and survived.
Despite these two sea accidents she experienced, Jessop was undeterred, and during World War I, she served as a Red Cross stewardess aboard the HMHS Britannic. It had been converted into a hospital ship and was transporting injured soldiers to the United Kingdom when they hit a German mine in the Aegean Sea and sank.
While escaping the sinking ship on a lifeboat, Jessop and many other passengers were almost sucked into the ship’s propeller blades, but narrowly escaped, gaining her reputation as “Miss Unsinkable.”