This woman was one of the luckiest people on earth. She miraculously survived 3 maritime disasters, including the Titanic.
Violet Jessop was born in Argentina in 1887 to Irish immigrants.when she was born it was clear that she was a survivor. Of her parents nine children, only six of them survived infancy, Violet being the first. When she was a child, she contracted tuberculosis and though doctors predicted her illness would be fatal, she survived it.
When she was 16, her father died and the family moved to Great Britain. While her mother was working, Violet attended a convent school. Unfortunately, In 1908 her mother became ill, and to provide for her siblings Violet decided to follow in her mother's footsteps and become a ship stewardess herself.
She was 21, whereas most stewardesses then were middle-aged. In order to seem older, she had to wear shabby clothes and no makeup during job interviews.
She started off working at the Royal Mail line. In two years, she joined the white star line. The company was known for its spoiled passengers and luxurious cruise ships. Violet worked hard on 17-hour long shifts but her salary was $2.10 per month.
On September 20, 1911, she was aboard the Olympic, the largest passenger ship at the time. The British warship Hawke crashed into the vessel, leaving two large holes in its hull. Despite the damage, the liner managed to return to its harbor safely.
Once the Olympic was back in service in November, Violet went back to work. She liked it there, but her friends persuaded her to take a job at the Olympic’s sister ship. They thought it would be a “wonderful experience” by a twist of fate that ship was the Titanic. Violet brought a Hebrew prayer with her, expected to protect her from fire and water.
On April 14, 1912, four days after departure, the Titanic hit an iceberg. Violet helped women and children climb into lifeboats. At last, she was ordered to get into one herself and was handed a baby to look after. In eight hours, violet and the other survivors were picked by the Carpathia. Aboard the ship, a woman clutched at her, took the baby and ran away without saying a word.
Violet said”It appeared that she put it down on the deck of the Titanic while she went off to fetch something and when she came back the baby had gone. I was too frozen and numb to think it strange that this woman had not stopped to say “Thank you”.
1,503 people died that night but after yet another near-death experience, Violet didn’t quit. During World war I, she served as a nurse for the British Red Cross.
In 1916, she worked on the Britannic which transferred wounded soldiers back to Great Britain. On November 21, 1916, the ship hit a mine and sank in the Aegean sea. 30 people died “Miss Unsinkable” hit her head hard but once again survived.
“I leaped into the water but was sucked under the ship’s keel which struck my head. I escaped but years later when I went to my doctor because of a lot of headaches, he discovered I had once sustained a fracture of the skull “ Violet said
Being a lucky survivor of three major catastrophes, violet still kept on working at sea. She circled the world two times and luckily never encountered a sinking ship again.
In 1950, after 42 years of hard work, violet retired to Great Ashfield, Suffolk. Once, she received a phone call from a woman who claimed to be the baby Violet saved from the Titanic. She had never told about that child to anyone before that day.
Violet earned the nickname “Miss Unsinkable” and died in 1971, at the age of 84, due to heart failure.