10 of History’s Most Amazing Survival Stories
I’m at least vaguely familiar with almost all of these thanks to history class and osmosis, but I don’t remember ever knowing that there was a nurse on the Titanic who wound up surviving three shipwrecks.
Ship’s nurse and stewardess Violet Jessop lived through a trifecta of major shipwrecks on the ocean liners Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic.
In 1911, while Jessop was working aboard the White Star liner RMS Olympic, the huge passenger ship collided with the HMS Hawke near the Isle of Wight. Although both ships sustained considerable damage, the Olympic made it back to port, and Jessop disembarked without injury. Two years later, she accepted a job on board White Star’s theoretically unsinkable RMS Titanic. She escaped the ship’s sinking on April 15, 1912, in Lifeboat 16.
Having survived that disaster, she served as a nurse on board the HMHS Britannic, operating in the Aegean Sea during World War I. In 1916, the ship ran into a mine planted by a German U-boat and began sinking; Jessop jumped overboard but was sucked under the ship’s keel as it went down. She sustained a skull fracture, but lived to tell about her multiple brushes with death at sea.
She’s a braver soul than I, that’s for sure. After shipwreck two I think I’d be considering a new line of work so as to avoid there being a shipwreck three.
The more time I spend thinking about this, the stronger the Mark Sokolov vibes get. Just me?
If you don’t know who that is, don’t feel bad. As best I know he isn’t particularly famous anywhere outside of my brain, which can’t forget him. To explain why, let’s go back to January, 2002.
Actually no. First, we need to go back a little further, to September 11th, 2001.
At the time of the attacks, Sokolov was on the 38th floor of the World Trade Center’s south tower. He escaped the building before it was hit.
Alright. Now we’re in 2002.
A Palestinian woman on Sunday became the first female to launch a bomb attack against Israel, killing herself and an 81-year-old Israeli man and wounding at least a dozen people on a busy Jerusalem street.
Israeli police said they were not sure if the woman intended to kill herself or if the bomb exploded prematurely as she walked along Jaffa Street, the main commercial strip in west Jerusalem.
In Lebanon, the Al-Manar television station run by the militant Hezbollah movement said the bomber was Shinaz Amuri, a female student at Al-Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus.
Mark Sokolov, a U.S. citizen from Woodmere, N.Y., who survived the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, was slightly hurt in Sunday’s explosion along with his wife and two daughters.
“I heard a loud whoosh, like a bang, and I kind of saw things flying around a little bit, and then I realized I was able to get up and walk around,” Sokolov told Israeli television.
People are just wired different from me, man. This woman and her three ship disasters, and now Mark here is not only escaping the deadliest attack in American history, but a few months later he’s on a plane headed for a family trip to…Israel! Yes it’s one of those far away bias things and I’ve read that it’s much safer there than it seems on the surface, but Israel is almost always on the news here because something either has blown up or is about to. Probably not my first choice of travel destinations.
I’m a coward, I admit it. For me, living dangerously is leaving the door unlocked at night because my buddy lost his keys. That made for a good enough story, thank you very much. And I only had to do it once. I may not know much, but I know when the world is trying to tell me something.