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!”