Bright Side

How a Nurse Who Was Aboard 3 Sinking Ships, Including the Titanic, Survived Them All

In the 1900s, luxurious cruise ships had become extremely popular, with passengers paying good money to board one. So, becoming a part of this new way of travel must have been very appealing. For Violet Jessop, a life journey as a stewardess began when she was only 21. Never could she have predicted that she was about to experience 3 historical shipwrecks that would later be included in history books.

Bright Side took a deep dive into Violet’s life and would like to shed some light on the hardships this very courageous woman experienced.

Violet was born a survivor, beating tuberculosis at a very young age.

Born in 1887 in Argentina, she was one of 6 surviving kids. When she was 16, she experienced the death of her dear father, an event that prompted her family’s move to England. It was just a few years later, when she was 23, that she decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps and become a stewardess. Her sailing journey would begin on the famous White Star Line, and more specifically, the RMS Olympic.

On her first trip, the RMS Olympic collided with the RMS Hawke.

Violet was a bit apprehensive about joining the Olympic at first, mainly because of the bad weather conditions, a fear that she managed to overcome. On September 20, 1910, the 2 vessels collided with each other, but fortunately, there were no casualties. As a matter of fact, both of the ships managed to return to their ports safely. However, the damage caused to the Olympic in the crash was much bigger than reported, with the repair cost reaching a whopping $75,000.

Violet was lying in bed when the Titanic hit an iceberg.

After the Olympic’s crash, Violet was not excited to join this new vessel but was persuaded by her friends who thought that she would miss out on a great opportunity. Just 5 days after sailing on April 10, 1912, the Titanic crashed. Violet got out of her cabin bed and immediately ran up to the deck where she helped many women and children get into lifeboats. When her turn came, she boarded Lifeboat 16, taking a lost baby with her.

Along with the rest of the survivors, she was saved the next morning by Carpathia after 8 hours of waiting in the middle of the ocean. She kept hold of the baby for all that time. It wasn’t until after they were saved that a woman approached her and grabbed the baby out of her hands without saying a word.

She suffered a skull fracture from her effort to escape the sinking Britannic.

4 years after the Titanic’s tragedy, Violet found herself working as a nurse for the British Red Cross. The HMHS Britannic, which was initially a passenger vessel, was turned into a hospital and roamed the Aegean Sea when a sudden explosion occurred. Violet jumped into the water but was sucked under the ship’s keel, hitting her head quite hard.

Out of the 1,066 passengers, 30 of them didn’t make it safely out of the rapidly sinking vessel. Decades later, Violet visited a doctor complaining about severe headaches. She was informed that a skull fracture she suffered during her escape was responsible.

A bizarre phone call from the baby she saved.

Despite all her hardships and near-death experiences, Violet wasn’t discouraged and kept boarding large ships until she retired at the age of 63. In the years following, she received a mysterious call from an unknown person, asking if she was the woman who saved a baby during the Titanic’s sinking. When she said she was, the caller replied, “I was that baby,” and hung up. The most bizarre part is that Violet had never told the story about the baby to anyone up until that point.

Would you keep boarding large ships if you had already experienced 3 major shipwrecks? Has anything this shockingly coincidental happened to you or someone you know?

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