You ever hear that expression, so and so was born to do this or that thing?
Well, Violet Jessop was pretty much the opposite of that,
and after surviving an incredible three separate ship accidents
with two sinking in just five years,
one could say that she probably shouldn’t have ever set foot on a boat in her life.
Depending on the way you look at it, Violet either had the best, or worst luck in life.
Born in Argentina to Irish immigrants,
Violet contracted tuberculosis as a child.
This was sometime in the late 1800s,
when medical technology’s best solution to tuberculosis
was getting massaged with vinegar or huffing down a can of turpentine.
Of course this was a rather bold scientific leap forward
from the middle age’s tuberculosis treatment known as “the royal touch”,
where sufferers would line up and wait to be touched by an English or French king or queen.
Exactly how a sufferer would be touched is unknown- was it a quick atta boy pat on the head,
was it a quick atta boy pat on the head
or a sportsman-like ‘good game’ slap on the rump?
Sadly, the knowledge is lost to history.
Despite being given only months to live,
little Violet knew deep down in her heart that
she had a higher calling in life-
namely to go three rounds with Poseidon himself, the angry lord of the sea,
and beat him in each matchup.
She managed to survive her tuberculosis, though sadly her father would die and the family
was forced to move back to England.
Violet’s mother soon found work as a stewardess on Royal Mail Line ships
at a time when the British and the French were engaged in fierce competition
to see who could build the fastest, most luxurious passenger liner to cross the Atlantic.
Violet’s original plans for her life was to attend a convent
and give her life to religious service,
but when her mother’s health deteriorated
Violet became a stewardess to help support her illing mother
Soon she was working for the legendary White Star Line, putting in 17 hour days
不久后 她进了传奇的白星航运公司 每天工作17小时
and being paid the equivalent of about 230 British pounds per month.
Violet was assigned to the Olympic,
which at the time was the largest passenger linerin the world.
On September 20th, 1911, the Olympic was cruising near the British battle cruiser the HMS Hawke.
As the Olympic made a wide turn to starboard,
the width of the turn took the captain of the Hawke by surprise,
and he was unable to maneuver the Hawke out of the way
fast enough before the two ships collided.
A sturdy cruiser,
the Hawke’s bow had been designed to smash into other ships
and sink them by ramming into them,
which resulted in large tears on the Olympic’s hull
and the flooding of two of her watertight compartments.
Despite this she managed to steam back to harbor for repairs under her own power.
The Hawke meanwhile suffered so much damage that she nearly capsized on the spot,
与此同时 霍克号遭受了严重的损坏 几乎当场倾覆
and had to be towed back to a shipyard for repairs.
Clearly the Hawke, designed to sink ships by ramming them,
was not particularly good at its jobs
which is probably why it was sunk by a German U-boat two years into World War I
The Germans, unlike the British, apparently preferred to sink ships by exploding them,
rather than trying to ram into them and failing miserably.
Violet likely suffered great trauma from the collision,
and after seeing how horrible the Hawke had been at its job of sinking ships by ramming them,
she probably had serious doubts about British ship engineering.
That’s likely why when the legendary Titanic-
billed by the British as unsinkable-
came looking for crew,
she was likely extremely skeptical of that claim and reluctant to join the crew
Nonetheless, her friends persuaded her to take the job on the Titanic,
officially going down in history as the worst friends in the world.
On the fourth day out, early in the morning, Violet was awakened in her bunk
出海的第四天 一大早 维奥莱特在床上
by the terrible sound of metal screaming and buckling under great pressure.
The Titanic had encountered the fatal iceberg that would be its doom.
Violet was immediately ordered up on to the deck,
and would later tell that the passengers were strangely calm.
With the ship’s officers enforcing a strict “women and children first” policy,
at gun point sometimes,
Violet boarded a boat full of women and had a child thrust into her arms.
Incredibly the distraught mother of that child, lost in the chaos,
would be reunited eight hours later aboard the Carpathia as it took on survivors.
What might be the strangest of all though is the fact that on the night of the sinking,
just hours before as Violet was getting ready for bed,
she had been reading from a book containing a translated Hebrew prayer.
The prayer had been given to her by an old Irish woman, and was rather peculiar
as it was meant to help protect the reader from fire and water.
Violet read the prayer herself, and then made her roommate read it as well.
Whether the prayer worked or not,
Poseidon’s second attempt at murdering Violet Jessop had failed.
But he was not done trying.
Two years later, Germany decided it was time to kick off its favorite 20th century hobby
of starting, and losing terribly, world wars.
Violet volunteered to serve aboard the HMHS Brittanic,
a sister-ship to the Titanic,
albeit with serious design changes after the latter’s sinking.
The Brittanic had been an ocean liner like the Titanic,
but at the start of the war had
been pressed into British service and converted into a hospital ship.
On her sixth voyage to the Middle Eastern theater
in order to pick up wounded and bring them back to England,
the Brittanic found itself crossing the Mediterranean Sea once more
As she passed by the Greek isle of Kea, an explosion shook the ship.
Probably having an extreme case of deja vu,
Violet immediately heeded the ship captains’ call to prepare to abandon ship.
The Brittanic had accidentally wandered into a minefield laid down by a German U-boat.
While hospital ships were not legal wartime targets, mines sadly don’t discriminate,
and the Brittanic had the bad luck of running straight into one.
The explosion was small enough that those on the opposite end of the boat simply assumed
the ship had run over a smaller ship, and was not in any serious danger.
The reality was that the explosion had ruptured watertight bulkheads
and flooded one of the boiler rooms.
Luckily for the Brittanic, the sinking of the Titanic had led to the ship going back
into drydock to have her watertight bulkheads elevated to rise all the way up to B Deck.
This helped keep the ship afloat for a while,
but unfortunately nurses had opened the portholes on the lower decks
in order to ventilate the wards,
which was against standing orders.
As the ship listed to her side, the open portholes allowed the sea water to rush in,
adding to the flooding all across the ship.
The coast of the Greek island of Kea was close,
and thus despite an increasing starboard list,
the Captain of the ship turned her towards the far away beach.
His hope was to beach the massive ship, but the explosion had destroyed the steering gear
which made steering by rudder impossible.
Instead, the captain ordered the port shaft be cranked up to a higher speed than the starboard shaft,
helping steer the ship via variable power to the propellers.
Slowly the ship turned towards the island and even made headway to the distant beach.
While it had taken over an hour for the Titanic to sink though,
the Brittanic was in serious trouble just fifteen minutes into her encounter with the sea mine.
In a state of panic, a few crewmembers lowered two lifeboats into the water
despite not having been told to do so.
The Captain realized what was going on and immediately ordered the ship’s engine be stopped.
Sadly, the order was given too late.
The two lifeboats that had been lowered were sucked into the still turning propeller and
along with their passengers, chopped to pieces.
The Captain ordered no more lifeboats be launched and restarted the ship’s engines,
hoping to still be able to beach the massive ship.
As the sinking increased however, it became apparent
然而 很明显 随着下沉的加剧
that it would be impossible to reach the shore in time,
and thus the Captain ordered the engines cut for good,
and gave two long blasts on the ship’s steam whistle- the official order to abandon ship.
By then the water had already reached the bridge,
and the Captain was able to simply walk off the deck and into the water,
swimming to a nearby boat and coordinating the rescue from there.
Of 1,065 people aboard, only 30 would be lost in the accident.
Sadly, most of these were from the lifeboats that were launched without permission,
their passengers sucked into the massive propeller and sliced into mincemeat.
Despite surviving three disasters at sea,
Violet incredibly decided that she would continue her career on the ocean.
Or perhaps by this time she was pretty convinced
that there was really nothing left Poseidon could throw at her to kill her once and for all.
Violet would go on to spend 42 years at sea before retiring
and passing away in May 1971, at the ripe old age of 83.
We know you probably have a ‘sinking feeling’ that this video is over, but hey cheer up,
because you can keep the watch party going by clicking this video over here.
Or perhaps you prefer this other one over here instead.
Either way, you can’t lose, so click one now!
不管哪个 反正没坏处 点击一个吧
You ever hear that expression, so and so was born to do this or that thing?