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May 19, 2017

Strange But True!

Q. The sister ships RMS Titanic, HMHS Britannic and RMS Olympic were bound by virtually identical designs and a similar family fate. Not so for Violet Jessop, who was in a class of her own. Explain, please.

A. You're no doubt familiar with the circumstances surrounding the sinking of the Titanic in the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage in 1912, leaving some 1,500 of the 2,200 passengers and crew dead. But only a year earlier, under the command of Captain Edward Smith (later captain of the Titanic), the Olympic crashed into a British warship and nearly capsized, reports Dan Lewis in his book “Now I Know.” Fortunately, the ship was able to return to shore with no casualties. Then, in 1916, four years after the sinking of the Titanic, the Britannic sunk in the Mediterranean Sea, though the death toll was smaller, with 1,036 of the 1,066 people on board surviving.

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