VIOLET JESSOP: The woman who magically escaped the maritime disasters Titanic, Britannic and Olympic. She is considered one of the luckiest persons on earth.
Born in Argentina in 1887 to Irish immigrant parents, she had her first near death encounter as a child when she contacted tuberculosis. She was given few days to live but she beat death to the game when she survived.
At age 16, she lost her father and as a result moved to Great Britain with her family. Violet left convent school in 1908 to earn a living when her mother became sick. Taking after her mum, she joined the ocean liner business as a stewardess. Most stewardesses were middle aged while she was only 21. She had to dress in shabby clothes and no makeup during the interviews as to seem older.
Eventually she joined the Royal Mail line and subsequently after two years, moved on to White Star Line. The company was known for its luxurious cruise ships and wealthy passengers.
On September 20 1911, she was aboard the largest passenger ship at that time, the Olympic. The British warship crashed into the vessel leaving two large holes in its hull. The cruise however managed to return to its harbor safely. Once the Olympic was back, violet went back to work.
Persuaded by friends, she took a job at the Olympics’ sister ship, Titanic. The titanic hit an iceberg on April, 1912 killing about 1500 people but she was saved by getting on the rescue boat after being handed an unknown baby to look after. They were later rescued by the Carpathia. A woman in the rescue ship clutched at her, took the baby and ran away without saying a word. Violet learned the woman left her baby during the rescue. Much later she got a call from a lady claiming to be that baby and thanking her for saving her life during the disaster. Even after this near-death experience, violet still didn’t quit.
During the World War 1, Violet served in the British Red Cross and had to work on the Britannic. The Britannic transferred wounded soldiers back to Great Britain. In November 21, 1916, the ship hit a mine and sank into the Aegean Sea.
Violet survived with a fractured skull as of result of hitting her head against the Ship’s Keel when she leapt into the water.
After surviving all of these disasters, Violet continued working in the sea until her retirement in 1950 to Great Ashfield, Suffolk. She was briefly married with no children.
Violet Constance Jessop died in 1971 from heart failure at 83.