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Phuket: The Big List: World's luckiest people

Phuket: The Big List: World's luckiest people

These people clearly carry around a lucky rabbit's foot. Wherever they go, they escape trouble. Here, true stories of incredible escapes from the worst incidents in history.

By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Thursday 10 October 2013, 10:56AM

Violet Jessop

Few people could claim to have survived the Titanic – even fewer could claim to have survived a shipping mishap twice. But three times? Before working on the Titanic, Jessop was a stewardess on its sister ship, the Olympic, which collided with a British warship in 1911. One year later, she was part of the “unsinkable” Titanic – the rest is history. If that weren't enough, Jessop went straight back to work and, in 1916, she served as a nurse aboard the Britannic – which also sunk. She jumped into the water and headed to dry land. Jessop would die in 1971 of congestive heart failure.

Robert Todd Lincoln

The son of legendary former US President Abraham Lincoln, Robert Todd Lincoln was 21 when his father was gunned down while at the theatre. In 1881, just four months after being elected president, James Garfield invited Lincoln to travel with him but was gunned down on the platform himself. Just 20 years later, death would track Lincoln down again as he was invited to a speaking engagement conducted by newly elected president William McKinley, who was shot twice that day and died. Lincoln would never again accept a presidential invitation, saying “There is a certain fatality about presidential functions when I am present.”

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Only two cities have been destroyed by atomic bombs, and Tsutomu Yamaguchi was there both times. Yamaguchi was on a business trip to Hiroshima when the first atom bomb was dropped on August 6, 1945. He survived as he was three kilometres away stepping off a train platform when it happened. He was left temporarily blind with destroyed eardrums. So he went home – to Nagasaki. While at his office, which was also three kilometres away from ground zero, another atom bomb was dropped. Yamaguchi survived that ordeal as well and lived until his death in 2010 at the age of 93.


Roy Sullivan

The chance of someone getting struck by lighting is 3,000 to one. Roy Sullivan got struck not once, not twice, but seven different times. As a Park Ranger in Virginia, Sullivan was first struck in 1942 while on a lookout tower when the bolt entered his leg. He was also struck while fishing, driving down a mountain, and inside a ranger station. Even his wife joined him once as they were both struck while they were drying clothes on a steel wire. Still, lightning could not kill Sullivan – as he did that himself with a shotgun at the age of 71. 

Jason & Jenny Cairns-Lawrence

English couple Jason and Jenny Cairns-Lawrence were in New York City the day of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks, as tourists caught in a once-in-a-lifetime event. Except it happened again, this time four years later on July 7, 2005 when a series of bombs exploded across London's transit system. The couple were at the scene, but unharmed. Luck reared its ugly head once again three years later when the couple were on vacation in Mumbai during their terrorist attack, as bombs and men with guns killed scores of people.


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