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Titanic Myth Sunk

Kathryn Quinn

Scientists claim to have sunk the myth that women and children are saved first in shipwrecks after a study of the world's worst maritime disasters.

A new report - released to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic - says crew and male passengers have always put themselves first unless they're threatened at gunpoint.

Statistics experts from Uppsala University, Sweden, studied the world's worst 18 wrecks from 1852 to 2011 and the fates of more than 15,000 passengers.

And figures show that women and children had a much lower likelihood of survival than male passengers and crew members.

Study heads Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixon say the women and children first myth was spawned by the sinking of the Titanic where male passengers were told they'd be shot if they went to the lifeboats first.

"As a result, the survival rate of women and children in this particular wreck was higher than men and because it is so well documented it has affected the way people think about all wrecks," explained Elinder.

"But the survival rates on the Titanic were the exception, not the rule," he added.

Tag cloud Erixon  Elinder  exception  passengers  children  fates  Titanic  crew  myth  lifeboats  sinking  particular  wrecks  Mikael  likelihood  survival  Sweden  worst  documented  rates

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