Manners Killed Titanic's Brits as Yanks Fled: Study

British were more likely to line up for lifeboats, researcher contends
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Jan 21, 2009 4:12 PM CST
British passengers aboard the Titanic were the most likely to die, partly due to their impeccable manners.   (Paramount Pictures)
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(Newser) – British passengers aboard the Titanic were most likely to die because their sense of propriety inclined them to line up for lifeboats while Americans elbowed past to save themselves, claims an Australian researcher who is studying how people react in life-threatening disasters. Americans were 8.5% more likely than other nationalities to survive, while Brits were 7% less likely to live, reports the Independent.

Most passengers were altruistic, and there’s no proof that Americans were exceptionally Darwinian. Yankees were mostly in first class and closest to lifeboats, perhaps a reason why more lived. Still, there’s proof aplenty that doomed Britons remembered their manners amid disaster—including the captain’s reminder as the linker sank to “Be British, boys, be British!”