Titanic’s crew and passengers ignored maritime superstitions

Artist impression of the sinking of the Titanic as survivors look on

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New data analysis has found that a number of maritime superstitions were ignored during the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage in 1912.

The ship, which was floated in Belfast, sunk on April 14th, 1912 during its trip to New York City.

The Independent reports that the presence of women, barbers, and priests on board all conflicted with certain superstitions held by sailors.

Debra Chatfield, historian for the website findmypast.co.uk, said, "The records indicate sailor superstitions were wholly ignored on the Titanic's doomed departure from Southampton.”

“Throughout history,” added Chatfield, “sailors have been proverbially superstitious, but I bet few ever believed the 'unsinkable' Titanic would succumb to superstition.”

Chatfield pondered if the presence of such superstitious cargo - including women, priests, dogs, barbers, flowers and red-heads - “angered the sea so much it steered her towards her ill fate."

To honor the upcoming centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, FindMyPast is showing official White Star Line documents. The fatal sinking of the ship claimed the lives of 1,500 people in the Atlantic, and the tragic event is being commemorated in Belfast and around the world next week.

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