AN AMAZING FACT: Unsinkable Violet Jessop experienced and survived an almost unbelievable array of events. Violet was born in 1887 to Irish parents who had immigrated to Argentina. In 1903 she sailed to England and fell in love with the sea. At 21, Violet became a stewardess for the White Star Lines, which was building a trio of the world’s largest luxury ocean liners. The three sister ships were Olympic, Britannic, and Titanic. Violet first served on the Olympic, which she loved. But in 1911 the ship violently collided with the British warship HMS Hawke. Considering the damage, it was a miracle neither vessel sank.
The following year she joined the crew on the newest ship, Titanic. Violet was asleep when Titanic hit the iceberg. On deck, she saw passengers calmly strolling about. But soon women clung to their husbands as the crew tried to force them into lifeboats with their children. At this point, a ship’s officer handed Violet a misplaced baby and ordered her into boat 16 to show other women it was safe. From the water she witnessed all the terrors of the Titanic sinking. After being rescued by the ship Carpathia, the baby was reunited with its mother.
During the First World War, Violet served in 1916 as a nurse with the British Red Cross. Incredibly, she was aboard the Britannic, which had been converted into a hospital ship, when it struck a mine and sank in the Aegean Sea. Violet grabbed her toothbrush before rushing from her cabin; it was the one thing she remembered missing most following the sinking of the Titanic. As Britannic was quickly going down, she was forced to jump. “I leapt into the water but was sucked under the ship’s keel which struck my head.” She attributed her survival to her thick auburn hair that padded the blow. At the war’s end, Violet rejoined the White Star Line and again served aboard the Olympic. This Christian woman survived 42 years at sea, three historic shipwrecks, and two world wars. Violet retired to gardening in Suffolk, England, where she lived till age 84.
The Bible also speaks of someone who experienced three shipwrecks—the apostle Paul. Both Paul and Violet miraculously survived their ordeals, due to the grace of God. Have you put your life safely into God’s hands today?
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 2 Corinthians 11:24-25