Morgan was sleeping in her cabin when the SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm off the coast of Massachusetts. The Stockholm’s bow sliced through the Andrew Doria and somehow sent Morgan flying — onto the Stockholm, where she broke an arm but was otherwise unharmed.
The Andrea Doria sunk and 52 of its passengers would die, including Morgan’s stepfather and half-sister (her mother suffered serious injuries). Five Stockholm passengers were killed in the collision.
Newspapers called Morgan the “Miracle Girl,” but she never understood the fuss. “I was once given a life-saving award, but I didn’t save any lives,” she told the Baltimore Sun in 1997. “I just survived. I couldn’t take credit for anything.”