Traditionally, sea captains considered it bad luck to have a woman on board when they weighed anchor. Women were said to make the sea angry. On the flip side, the superstition said, if the woman was naked, it would calm the sea. If only Violet Jessop had gone around showing off her hoo-ha, perhaps the Titanic would never have hit the iceberg.
Jessop's story doesn't start on the Titanic, however. It starts on board Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic. In 1911, Jessop was a stewardess aboard the luxury liner, getting her bottom pinched by mustachioed men in long coats who added a "harroomph" to the end of every sentence. Or so we assume.
On September 20, 1911, the Olympic collided with a British warship. No one was hurt in that mishap but Violet Jessop decided to move on, to serve on a much bigger, unsinkable ship: the Titanic.
There she brought not only the same bad fortune but also the captain of the Olympic, one Edward J. Smith. Then there was an iceberg and, well, you've seen that movie. Now, I know what you're thinking. It's hardly bad luck that she was on two boat accidents when it was the same captain both times. Clearly he was the problem, right?
I'm not done.
You see, Jessop made it to one of Titanic's lifeboats and could only watch as the world's largest metaphor slipped under the waves, setting the stage for James Cameron's disappointing follow up to True Lies.
Then in 1916, after a short time away from the sea, Jessop signed up to serve as a nurse aboard the Britannic. Sure enough, it floated into a mine and quickly sunk. This time, Jessop's lifeboat didn't get far enough away from the sinking boat, forcing her to jump into the water. Her head klunked in to the keel of the boat but she survived and, for the third time, made it back onto dry land.
Violet Jessop died of congestive heart failure in 1971. She was buried at sea.