The Real Life Survivor Titanic Leaves Out (Who Was In 2 Other Shipwrecks!)

Although Titanic is based on a true story and featured characters based on real passengers of the ship, James Cameron’s movie left out some of the most outstanding stories from the tragedy of the title ship, such as that of Violet Jessop, who survived not only the sinking of the Titanic but two other shipwrecks. In 1997, James Cameron brought Titanic, a disaster drama movie that became the most expensive movie ever made at the time as well as the highest-grossing one for many, many years.


Based on the real-life tragedy of the RMS Titanic in 1912, Cameron’s Titanic tells the fictional story of Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet), a first-class young woman, and Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), a third-class passenger, who over the course of four days, meet, fall in love, and defend their romance from those who look down upon them. Jack and Rose's story ends in tragedy, as Jack becomes one of the many victims of the sinking of the Titanic, while Rose is eventually rescued. Although Jack and Rose are fictional characters, it's through them that viewers meet characters based on real-life passengers and crew of the Titanic, such as Molly Brown (Kathy Bates) and J. Bruce Ismay (Jonathan Hyde).

Related: Titanic: What Happened To Ismay After The Ship Sank (& Was He Blamed?)

As the main focus of Titanic is the story of Rose and Jack, the movie doesn’t explore the stories of other, truly remarkable passengers, and the real stories of some of them were completely left out of the movie, as was the case of Violet Jessop, a survivor of the sinking of the Titanic and two other shipwrecks.

Titanic Should Have Included Violet Jessop (Why Was She Left Out?)

Titanic Violet Jessop

Violet Jessop was a maritime stewardess and nurse who was onboard the RMS Olympic on September 20, 1911, when it collided with the British warship HMS Hawke, but the ship made it back to port without sinking and there were no fatalities. In April 1912, Jessop was transferred to the Titanic, the Olympic’s sister ship. Jessop described in her memoirs that, when the Titanic hit the iceberg and started sinking, she was ordered up on deck to serve as an example to non-English speaking passengers on what to do, and she was later ordered into a lifeboat to prove to women passengers that it was safe. As the boat was being lowered, Jessop was given a baby to look after, and after spending about eight hours on the lifeboat with the baby and other passengers, they were rescued by the Carpathia.

Despite these two unfortunate incidents, Jessop continued working as a stewardess, and in the First World War, she worked for the British Red Cross. In November 1916, Jessop was aboard HMHS Britannic (the younger sister ship of Olympic and Titanic), which sank after an unexplained explosion, which has been hypothesized to have been caused by either a torpedo or a mine planted by German forces. According to Jessop, as the Britannic sank, she jumped out of her lifeboat but was sucked under the ship’s keel, resulting in her fracturing her skull, though she didn’t know that until years later when she went to the doctor as she was having a lot of headaches. Jessop continued working for White Star Line, Red Star Line, and Royal Mail Line until her retirement in 1950, and she died of congestive heart failure in 1971, at the age of 83.

Although Violet Jessop has been included in other adaptations of the tragedy of the Titanic, such as the 1979 TV movie S.O.S. Titanic, she was left out of James Cameron’s Titanic, though the scene where Thomas Andrews (Victor Garber) tells a stewardess named Lucy to wear her life jacket and serve as an example is believed to be a very subtle nod to Jessop’s story. As mentioned above, Titanic is all about Rose, Jack, and the Heart of the Ocean, so many outstanding stories from the real tragedy of the Titanic were left out, while others were subtly referenced, so with that in mind, it’s understandable Violet Jessop was left out, but that doesn’t make her story any less interesting and impressive.