Seeking Information about the Jupiter 1988

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Karen Bryan

Dec 16, 2004

If you've seen my intro you'll know this, but I'm trying to find out more info on the Jupiter sinking, outside Pireaus harbour in 1988. I'm one of the survivors, and I'm finally feeling it's time to find out more of how the outside world viewed the accident. And of course, I only have my point of view on things.

I've looked through the posts here, and there's some interesting information. But, the links seemed to have died now, and I'm wondering if anyone has any info they can pass on?


Mar 28, 2002
Karen hasn't logged in since December but hopefully she'll pick this up in her e-mail notifications:

From the Express and Star (Wolverhampton-based) in 1999:


In October 1988 the school cruise ship Jupiter sank off Greece with hundreds of British children on board, including parties from the West Midlands. Barry Cox recalls the horror from a father's viewpoint.

Someone else wrote it first, but it really was the worst of times and the best of times for my family.

In between leaving work and arriving home, the news broke of the sinking of the cruise ship Jupiter with almost 500 school children on board - including my 14 year old son, Stuart.

The worst of times was reading the two paragraphs on the television screen. The Jupiter went down in, astonishingly, just 40 minutes after being rammed by a massive tanker outside the Greek harbour of Piraeus. Children from 15 schools, including T P Riley at Bloxwich, and Streetly and Brownhills comprehensives, at the beginning of an eight day cruise, found themselves in everyone's worst nightmare.

A Bloxwich teacher, (Bernard Butt, 41) a 14 year old girl pupil from Streetly (Vivienne Barley) and two Greek seamen died.

Stuart was one of the lucky ones - he was not below decks when he felt the Jupiter being pushed to one side as the tanker ploughed into its side. He literally ran for his life and was near a railing when one of the many small boats which sped to the scene arrived by the side of the listing cruise ship.

Within minutes, he was back on the quayside at Piraeus.

But back home in Bloxwich, we were not to know this. Anxious minutes stretched into desperate hours as we did what we could to get information. All we knew for certain was that the Jupiter had sunk. Where exactly? Why. . . how? How many had been saved?

No-one could give the answers distraught parents up and down the country were asking.

Then six hours later, just as I had decided to fly out to Athens, the telephone rang. "Hello, dad". . . . the relief was indescribable.

Stuart, on board another liner moored in Piraeus being used to accommodate rescued children, had sneaked into an office containing the only telephone with an outside line and called home. That was the best of times.

The ordeal of many parents was far worse than ours. So was that of children who were in the water, some injured, before being saved as the Jupiter sank yards from them.

Over the years there have been many theories about why the loss of life was not in the hundreds. Would the flotilla of rescue boats have got there in time if the collision had occurred another two miles out from shore? Did the children automatically do as adults (their teachers) told them to do in the scramble to get off the Jupiter?

Whatever, the event could have been a catastrophe that does not bear thinking about and, for some, the mental scarring remains - 11 years later"


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