The Jupiter Cruise Disaster – 20 years ago

Third time lucky. This is the third time I have tried to write this story and I can never get the beginning right. The two that I wrote before always started out with some jokey line but I feel I need to write this with a bit more thought and with the seriousness that it deserves. If I had never started this blog back in March I don’t think I would ever write about my survivor story but I’m hoping that it be some sort of therapy in writing about it and I can finally put it to rest. So this post is more for me than my readers.

On the 21st October, 1988 the Jupiter Cruise liner sunk just outside Athens in the port of Piraeus after being hit by the car carrier Adige in the engine room. I was one of the unfortunate ones to be on the boat and this is my story.

It was a school trip, visiting the Pyramids, Jerusalem and various Greek Islands and there was about ten of us from my school (Sanders Draper School). Including two teachers, there was six of us from the same year at school and a couple were close friends of mine. One of them I actually persuaded to come along instead of going on the school skiing trip. The guilt of that haunted me for years. The trip started in Athens at the port of Piraeus and we all boarded the Jupiter on a sunny afternoon. There was about 600 passengers/crew on board. I remember being shown our cabins, I was sharing with a friend but I now cannot remember who. I also remember my grandad, who was a tailor, had made me a couple of waistcoats for the trip. The next thing I remember is that half of the passengers (mostly school kids) where to go to the restaurant for dinner while the other half were to have an safety induction. My school was part of the safety induction and had to go down to one of the lower decks. Sitting around tables in an area that I would associate with a club/bar area nowadays, we set sail. The induction began and then bang! The whole boat rocked, like a tidal wave had just hit us. Looking across the room I could see what looked like an iceberg at the windows for all I could see was white. The white painted hull of the Adige had just hit the Jupiter. At first no one knew what it was, I don’t remember there being any alarm being raised, so we all just sat there while one of the teachers went off to see what had happened. Then, tables and empty chairs started to move on their own accord, just slightly as if it was a magic trick. Gradually the chair I was sitting in started to slide towards the windows, by this time I was terrified and at the age of 15 you still need someone to tell you what to do. This didn’t happen and then panic set in as the furniture started to slide past everyone as the boat had listed about 30 degrees. In a surreal moment is was like being at the fun fair and being trapped in the “fun house”. Everyone started to make their way to the stairs, at a 30 degree angle this is quite hard. It was actually like walking on the wall of the stairwell but your body does amazing things when it has to. I will never forgot trying to walk, actually climb up the staircase/wall at such an angle with the knowledge that the boat is sinking.

Next thing I remember is sitting on the deck handrail with the boat listing at about 45 degrees. By this time it was dark. I can’t remember how I got there from the stairs, I must have blocked that out. Sitting on this handrail about me was most of my school friends. Through a network of mostly Chinese whispers we heard that most people had got off the boat unharmed. Maybe we thought if we just sat there then it would be our turn to move along the line to get off the boat as well. After what felt like a lifetime that the boat didn’t list anymore, suddenly we could hear plates smashing from the restaurant area near us. This noise increased as did the panic in everybody that was left on this handrail. While sitting on a handrail on a listing boat not seeing anything but the black sky and lots of lights from all the other ships in the area, is one of the most terrifying things I have experienced. It’s not knowing if we would get off the boat safely without having to swim or if the boat would suddenly sink completely without having time to escape. With the noise of the plates smashing a few people had jumped off the rail in to the water – this caused a panic that everyone should get in to the water before the boat sunk. I remember sliding along the handrail and then the next thing I know I’m hanging off the rail with my hands and my feet dangling towards the water. Then I let go (must have been one of those real sink or swim moments!) but I don’t actually remember thinking this is it or I having a flash back to my childhood. So I slid down the deck and in to the dark cold water that was full of debris from the boat, bits of wood and plastic, diesel oil (the smell of diesel oil can take me back there in a flash). I remember swimming towards a piece of wood and grabbing it and there was another girl holding on to it as well. She said to me “quick swim the boat is going down and it will drag us under”. Then the two of us grabbed a life-ring that a Greek fisherman had thrown out to us. Everything else happened in slow moment from then on – getting picked up by the fisherman on his small boat with my new friend (sadly, I cannot remember her name now), the fisherman taking his trouser belt off which caused me and my friend to panic thinking he was going to assault us (I honestly don’t know what he was thinking or going to do at the time) so we started to scream really loud and we got the attention of the Greek coast guard. Then we were safely on the coast guard boat with blankets wrapped around us and being taken back to the shore. I have a vague memory of seeing the boat actually sink fully before getting out of the water but the image is really dim. Back on the shore I managed to find my other school friends and teachers and then we had go on to another cruise liner that was moored there. This just added to the scariness of everything – getting back on another boat. Not that is was going anywhere but it was the only place to put 600 people. All ten of us where placed in one cabin and I remember there was brandy being passed around to calm us down. That was a long night – speaking to my mum was really hard as I didn’t want to cause a scene as she was really upset. Lots of crying, talking and not much sleep happened that night. The next day we flew home.

From the few reports I found online (there isn’t many) it said the boat sank in 40 mins and only 25 children had to swim to safety. Also, sadly I know that two passengers and two crew died that night. I can’t really remember much about getting home and afterwards but I do remember having nightmares and the doctor wanted to put me on anti-depressants which I didn’t take. I went on an art school trip to Paris the following year by boat – I stayed outside for the whole of the crossing. I can go on boats as long as they are small and I can see outside. Unfortunately, I don’t see any of my school friends that were involved in the disaster now, either it was just because we grew apart or we didn’t want to have something like that in common with each other. So, that’s my story and most probably explains a lot of my phobias that I have now.

143 Responses to “The Jupiter Cruise Disaster – 20 years ago”

  1. 1 Cynical Scribble October 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Bloody hell! I can’t even begin to imagine what that must’ve been like. I’m not sure I’d ever be able to get on a boat again though.

  2. 3 Mike October 23, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Thanks for sharing the story. Glad you made it off the boat OK.

  3. 4 Tracy November 4, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I nearly went on that trip with TP riley school. The only reason i didnt was because i had been on the France trip the year before & my mom & dad couldnt afford to let me go again. It chills me to think if i did go would i still be here today. I know one of the passengers that died was my History Teacher (Bernard Butt, 41). He is hailed a hero as he saved many lifes on that tragic day.

  4. 5 Michelle Best November 4, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    Hi Tracy – thanks your comment. I would say that your guardian angel was on your side when it came to going on the cruise. So sorry to hear that you knew the teacher that died (and thanks for his name – a small tribute to him is now forever on the web). It is so sad that anyone had to died that day. Many thanks again.

    • 6 John Lipscombe October 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      Hi Michelle,
      I was a piano player on the MTS Pegasus at the time. We had no passengers on board so I was working out new material. I was sitting at the piano on the seventh deck, over looking the bow, straight at the stern of the jupiter. I watched all of the school children getting on board and running around the decks. At the time I had a very uneasy feeling. I watched the sailor go to the stern and take down the Greek flag before you sailed. Within an hour there were tannoy announcements asking people to go to reception. I couldn’t understand what was going on. Then I found out that everyone from The Jupiter was coming on board our ship. My wife and I found clothes from our cabin and ran down to reception. I remember a teacher asking if I had any contact lense solution, she need to take her lenses out. One lad of about 12 asked if I had a spare cigarette. I smiled at him and his excuse was, he’d given up a few weeks ago, but under the curcumstances thought he should start again. It was a terrible tragedy. I found out when I first got on the Pegasus that she had sunk off the Canadian coast, had been refloated and repaired. I was on it for about 2 years and then some years later she sank in Venice whilst moored up. I’ll never forget that night and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to live with the memories ever since. And for those four lost I’m sure they will always be remembered.
      John Lipscombe

    • 7 Abby February 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm

      Wow, reading your story has meant so much to me. I travelled on the Jupiter on a school cruise in 1987, the year before your tragic experience. I remember feeling so shocked and sad on seeing the news about the ship sinking. It was spooky, thinking about ‘our cabin’ being on the sea bed. Thank you for your story.

  5. 8 Jon November 5, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    Hi Michelle – can’t tell you how good it was to read about your experience. I too was on that boat and the event has pretty much destroyed my life. Depression, PTSD, alcohol, and drugs have been the easier things to deal with. I didn’t get off that boat and Mr Butt, also my teacher, and who also saved my life, was one of the last people i saw before it sank. Afterward I couldn’t believe he didn’t make it as I was standing right next to him when we went down. I too have tried many times to write about my experiences that evening but have never been able to complete it and so I know exactly how difficult that was to do. Well done. And thank you. Gonna stop writing now as I’m welling up! Think it’s time to let it go.

    Hope you have a happy future. J

    • 9 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Jon,

      My name is Richard, i too was on this trip- i was with The Streetly school and it pretty much did the same to my life as it did to yours PTSD drug booze the lot. I pretty much jumped off as it was about to sink as i was right in the middle of the ship – i remember grabbing onto a rope that was in fact the rigging of the ship as it was about to sink. i really thought i was going to die- i was 13. My friends sister was Vivienne Barley and i will never forget what happened

      • 10 Yvonne February 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        Hi Jon, I have just read your blog about the boat that sinked. The reason I looked this story up on the internet today is that I had heard that one of the children then died, from Streetly school, may have lived in a house I used to own. Do you know if one of the children live on the Chester Road near to the Hardwick Arms pub? Regards Yvonne

  6. 11 Michelle Best November 6, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    Hi Jon, thank you so much for your comment. It takes a lot to write especially on something so difficult. It is nice to hear from other survivors (because that is what we are) so we don’t have to feel like we are the only ones still dealing with this. I hope one day you will get to write down your story.

    Have a wonderful future too. Michelle

  7. 12 istara December 8, 2008 at 7:54 pm

    I sailed on the Jupiter in the Easter of 1988. When I heard about the sinking I was amazed that the casualty rate was so low. If it had happened at night, when most people were far far below in those narrow, winding corridors and tiny rooms deep in the hull, it would have been an absolute catastrophe.

  8. 13 Roxy January 20, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you for your story. My cossin was on that boat with T.P Riley school, ive been trying to find information about it for a while. my cossin recently told me that i remind him too much of that night because i was born litterally a couple of days before he went and a few details of what happened that night. Now you have helped me to really understand. If some people dont know there is a small plaque and a tree in the t.p riley school (now Bloxwich Academy) in memory of Mr Butt who passed away that night.

    • 14 Michelle Best January 21, 2009 at 8:56 pm

      Hi Roxy – I’m glad that my story has helped you to understand what you cousin went through. Hopefully this will help with your relationship with him. Thank you for letting me know about the plaque.

  9. 15 john paul jones January 31, 2009 at 12:11 am

    hi, god im sending you this on a night that for god knows why im really thinking about it. think its cos i have been talkin to loads of my old school friends on facebook. not about the cruise but by just talking to them i have been thinking about it. im 34 now and im still not over it. i cant go on boats or swim or even look at the sea. it normaly takes a week before i can even put my legs in the water of the pool when i go on my holidays. i live in manchester and still remember it like it was yesterday. i turned down any help when i was a kid to help me get over it, not sure if that was the best idea now im 34 and still feel like crap about it. i wish people could understand how bad it can make you feel, i put on a brave face when i talk about it and even make jokes about it. but its hard. i think that we were so hard done by, and that im so not the person i used to be. i remember once my mum saying that since i came off the boat i was not her son. i found it so hard to deal with.i would love to see photos of it or news footage of it now, anything to help me get over it . anyway its nice to talk to someone who was there, take care. feel free to get intouch with us x

    • 16 Michelle Best January 31, 2009 at 2:37 pm

      Hi John, thanks for the comment. It is always nice to hear from fellow survivors – it is a shame that you are still not over it. Well, I don’t think anyone can get over it but we have to get on with life. It is just harder to do that then I think it would have been if the disaster had never happened. These things happen to test us so keep trying to make it in to a positive thing. One of my good friends is always telling me this “Be here now” – it is easy to forget but can it help out with everyday life.

      For pictures and news about the cruise that is proving impossible to find anything decent – it all happened before the internet but The Times are in the process of archiving all their newspapers between 1985-now. They only have before 1985 at the moment but hopefully the rest will be uploaded on the Times site soon.

      Take care and hope life improves for you. PS. writing about it helps a lot, maybe try that.

  10. 17 Julia King February 10, 2009 at 7:07 pm

    Hi, thank God I have found this blog, i was beginning to wonder if anyone ever remebered this disaster. I too am a surviver along with my sister. Luckily she didn’t suffer as badly as me. I did have counselling of various different types but I am still suffering. Not a day has gone passed when I don’t think about it. It has been a struggle, i am still on the anti depressants and was told by one of my shrinks that I would never be off them! I have been lucky coz my other half has been supportive and helps me with my phobias. I have tried to do some boat trips, but they terrify me and I still won’t go in the sea.

    But I am determined not to let it stop me from doing things, and I am really praying that my little boy does not go through anything like this or pick up on any of my fears. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

    I still have a couple of the newspaper reports from that time and I have five photos of the boat sinking, everyone from our school (Frances Bardsley, Romford, Essex) got a copy. Not quite sure how I can upload them, it was only by chance that I came across this link.

    Take care and good luck to all survivors

    • 18 David Wilson July 9, 2010 at 9:22 am

      Hi Julia

      My mum – Anne Wilson a teacher at the F.B, was with you on the Jupiter. Reading your entry reminded me of what she wrote and gave my brother and I to read about three weeks after the Jupiter had sunk. She had stepped off the side of the boat into the sea and was dragged under holding 40 pound coins she’d collected from you – I’m not sure what they were for, but she wouldn’t let them go because they weren’t hers. So many things went through her mind. Whether to fight or not, to swim for the surface, she said that she thinking of my brother and I was what drove her to. I don’t think I had a sense of how traumatic the experience was until I read her account – It’s upsetting now to recall reading this. Mum managed to hold onto an upturned lifeboat.

      We were rung by someone from the shipping company who said that mum had been in an accident but was okay. Her parents were staying with us then so I went to let them know what might be on the news – too late there was the Jupiter in flames outside the harbour. Reading the comments and recollections of yourself and others 20 years on was triggered by fining one of those pound coins wrapped in paper with the words ‘Jupiter 1988’.

      She left teaching as a result of the Jupiter; it had a lifelong impact on her and my brother and I.

      The ripples of that night have affected many of us.

      Take care

      David Wilson

      • 19 Gaye Palmer October 18, 2013 at 12:34 pm


        I was also on the ship, and was also one of your mum’s pupils. I still have one of the pound coins that she hung on to – she gave us each one back when we were safely ashore. It’s taped to the envelope that holds the 5 photos that we were given. It was an awful night that will never be forgotten by all those it affected.But the experience has also chaped me into the person I am today – never willing to give up. I can’t believe it’s been almost 25 years.

        Take care


    • 20 Dee August 13, 2016 at 5:32 am

      Julia, I just cannot imagine what you and everyone else went through that fateful night and I’m sure you would be still suffering very much. I’m very drawn to researching about this and yet I’m really not sure why. I’ve read probably everything I could find on it, including the book Jupiter’s Children. I’ve always been interested in passenger ships and the sea but have a fear of them too! I have been on about 4 short cruises and have stood on deck and tried to imagine the ship listing and it is a very difficult thing to believe it could even happen but of course we know that it can. My heart goes out to all of you with unbelievable love and empathy. I hope that it might help in some small way to know that across the miles, in Australia, someone is thinking of you all and caring deeply for how you are all faring. My husband has suffered PTSD after many years as a paramedic so I know how devastating it can be. I wish that none of you that night, ever had to go through such a terrible experience – that your trip could have been a normal, exciting childhood adventure. I’m so sorry that someone thought to send you all on board the Pegasus for the night too, I don’t know if that would happen these days! I’m not sure I could have gotten on board another ship feeling so traumatised. I guess as students, you did what you were told. I can’t imagine anyone, either students or teachers/parents wanting to be on anything but solid land that night! I hope that all of the survivors can reach out to each other for help and support. I hope that life has brought and will continue to bring you all, some wonderfully happy moments. Dee

    • 21 Alastair October 21, 2018 at 11:06 pm

      Hi Im Alastair, Vivienne’s brother. Ive just read some of your accounts of what happened 30 yrs ago. I speak with Richard Morris who has posted on here who has helped me in very recent years understand to some degree how you all feel. This forum is a gem. Its early days for me but I would like to take part in this dialogue if that is ok.

  11. 22 Julia King February 15, 2009 at 5:01 am

    hi guys would be really good to talk you on facebook, what are ypur ID’s. To bring closure i think i need to go there and say good bye. do you think this is possible4

  12. 23 Julia King February 15, 2009 at 5:28 am

    I have added a group on facebook, – jupiter disaster survivors

    • 24 Michelle Best February 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm

      Hi Julia – I don’t really use FB very much but I’ll join your group. Thanks for all the comments and hope the suffering gets easier for you. I think we all have dealt with it in our own ways but at least we all can relate to the disaster, which in it’s own way is helpful. Take care and see you on the FB group.

    • 25 wendy August 16, 2010 at 9:53 pm

      Hi, I too am a jupiter survivour. Something got me down tonight and I ended up googling ‘jupiter disaster 21st october 1988’. Is the facebook page still active as I couldn’t find it. It happended so many years ago but from time to time pops up again as if it were yesterday. Am not a dweller at all, but right now feel comforted to hear from others x

  13. 27 David Kinchin February 20, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Very many thanks for this personal story – i am a writer and trainer working in the field of PTSD and would very much like to use your story within the training environment. Would you be happy for me to do this?
    Perhaps you could contact me on my email address so that you can approve or disaprove of my using this information – it is a very useful personal story and after 20 years i feel you are extremely brave to publish it.

    Do please contact me – you can check me out at Jessica Kingsley Publishers if you so wish.

  14. 28 David Kinchin February 20, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    this was an excellent piece of writing.

  15. 29 sarah-jane britton March 3, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    Hi, it was so good to find this page and comments from others. i was 12 when the jupiter sank, i have never really dealt with it, i have shut it out for 20 years! but the last few days i started thinking about it, and haven’t been sleeping well. still awake at 3am and woundering why after 20 years it has finally come back to haunt me? i never attended reunions at my school and didn’t want to think about it. My school published a book called jupiters children, it has all our accounts and photos in it. there are only 200 copies left in print. I went to cator park girls school, beckenham, london. best wishes sarah-janex

    • 30 Michelle Best March 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm

      Hi Sarah-Jane, thanks for leaving a comment. It is really nice to hear from others who know what we all went through. Thanks for mentioning that book Jupiter’s Children which I found a scanned copy of on Google Book Search – one of these days I will sit down to read it. Many thanks and take care. Michelle –,M1

      • 31 Victoria Franklin June 1, 2009 at 4:25 pm

        I am so moved and full of admiration for you all ,your stories and glad to hear that you are ok. I worked as a Ground Hostess and checked you and your school friends onto the flight out of Gatwick, and waited anxiously along with distraught parents for news of you all. I was not much older than many of you myself at the time, and have never forgotten.
        I am sorry, but not surprised, given that I have never forgotten the disaster you encountered, that some of you appear to still be suffering the effects. I am now a psycotherapist specialising in truama. I really and truly hope that you can draw strength from each other and continue to move forward with your lives. I have enormous respect for the courage and strength you have all shown and feel honoured to read your experiences. I wish you all peace.
        Victoria x

      • 32 david cook September 12, 2009 at 2:36 pm

        Hi Michelle
        Thanks for sharing your story,writing about it helps to kill off some of those demons,as did the children in Mary Campion’s book “Jupiter’s Children”.
        There seems to be a mass of Psychological investigation work on the web ref. this tragedy, but not so much detail of what actually happened.
        I am looking for whatever details I can glean on behalf of the widow of one of the Greek seamen who saved many passengers but unfortunately suffered a head injury and was drowned.
        Mrs Golematis is a dear friend who like many of the other victims is having to come to terms with the trauma of the situation and the loss of a husband and father of her daughter.
        I have just secured a copy of Jupiter’s Children which I shall be sending to her in the hope she may find some solace in the reading.
        should you uncover any data I would be really pleased is you could let me know and I would pass anything I have for your perusal should you wish.

        KInd Regards

        David Cook

  16. 33 Akesh Chonkria September 3, 2009 at 7:47 pm

    I was supposed to go on the Jupiter cruise but because it sank a month before we were scheduled to go we were allocated a repalcement ship – The World Rennasisance cruise liner, i heard about the Jupiter incident and watched the story on the news, my family were planning to cancel my trip but i convinced them that these things don’t normally happen and was very unfortunate for all on board especially the the families of the four that lost their lives. My school Churchfields High in West Bromwich had a few cancellations our group went on the cruise in november on the replacement Cruise liner and we had a very good time and returned safley. The thought of wat happened to all those on the jupiter was always with me especially as i slept in my cabin at night which was at the lowest deck.

  17. 34 David Cook September 10, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Hello lucky,brave survivors of the Jupiter incident.

    I am trying to find more of the detail of this terrible accident on behalf of the widow and daughter of Tassos Golematis friends of mine in Greece. He was one of the crew who unfortunately lost his life that night.
    I believe he was instrumental in helping many of the passengers off the sinking ship before he suffered a head wound and was unfortunately drowned.
    Any information regarding his efforts that night would be welcome so I can pass it on to Mrs Golematis.

    David Cook


  18. 35 Iain Hay October 13, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Very moving reading this, I too was onboard as part of the party from Gaynes School. For years I was relatively unaffected by this but the older I get the more it haunts me. The moment the chairs went flashes into my mind as though it is happening at the oddest moments but always when I am about to board a plane. I don’t tend to get on many ships these days so I guess it transfers. Thanks for writing this. I have a load of press cuttings off this somewhere, if I find them I’ll post back in case anyone wants a copy.

    • 36 David Cook October 15, 2009 at 2:34 pm

      Hi Iain

      I’m sorry to hear that you still have worrying flashbacks to the trauma you experienced in 1988.I wonder if your subconcious is warning you to take care. I recently purchased a used copy of Juipiter’s Children from Amazon, it is worth a read and may help.
      I think that publishing this book must have helped children and adults who were involved in this accident to discuss and report the events and their retrospective feelings about the sinking.
      I am only looking in from outside trying to gain information for a friend, therefore cannot gauge the full individual effects but can imagine that there are many demons still to be laid to rest.
      If you have any information that may assist me I should be grateful,I have posted my email address on the previous post before yours.


      David Cook

  19. 37 Becky Road (Osborne) October 17, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Hi, i too was on the Jupiter (Gaynes School)and like many others, i feel that it has been forgotten and overshadowed by other events that occurred around that time. I didn’t receive any help after and went completely off the rails for about six months. I was only told this by family and friends as i have no recollection of what happened in that period of time.

    There is a happy ending, however, as i dragged myself back to the real world and after a few retakes, passed my A levels and went to University. I am now an Osteopath running my own clinic in Clevedon, Somerset. At the clinic there is a counsellor who specialises in PTSD and even though it was 18 years after the event, it has helped me immeasurably with things i didn’t even realise were a problem. At first i felt a little stupid sitting there recounting what happened in a matter a fact kind of way, but i was really surprised that the deeper we went, how raw it all still felt and it wasn’t long before i was crying my eyes out. Afterwards i felt exhausted but weirdly like i had let something go and it has made me more confident and positive.

    I would strongly urge anyone who is still having problems to find a specialist in PTSD and have a few sessions, you’ve got nothing to lose. Good luck to all.

    • 38 Vikki October 22, 2015 at 10:53 am

      Becky, I often wondered how you got on. I still live in Upminster although did move away for a bit. I went off to Uni when you were still doing retakes so well done on your perseverance in retaking and succeeding, good to hear that despite that night (which no one else will understand how destroying it was to our young minds) it somehow seems like we were the lucky ones when you read these blogs and how badly affected people were. Hardly surprising as they were children. I think PTSD should be redefined, like anorexia, it never really goes away, it just subsides, changes shape. Glad you are in a good place though. I’m meeting Jane for a cuppa in a few weeks. My married name is Kavanagh – you can find me on FB as Vikki Kavanagh. Take care. viks x

  20. 39 Richard Morris October 21, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    I was on this ship, it is now 21 years passing, my friends sister died (vivienne Barley)

    I still cannot go on ships (pedalo is just about the most i could manage) It was like a film, i was unucky to be in the middle of the top deck when she sank and had to jump into the water, i thought it was the end, never forget the people that helped me onto the tug boat that saved my life, i was 13.

  21. 40 Paul Cadmore October 25, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I was working on the ship on the night in question at 18 and having gainfully been employed for about 50 minutes when there was aloud bang!
    I still feel a bit churned up when talking about it but have been incredibly lucky compared to so many of the survivors. Possibly being in a news story that only lasts the medias attention span made what could have been disasterous less important in the publics eye. We were all young and experiencing such excitment and tension was both the best and worst evening of my life.
    It is amazing to see so many people still affected, I couldn’t feel excited for years and still sometimes feel I hold back from laughing out loud or just fully letting go. My wife has helped massively and I have not had the depressed feelings I had years ago (touch wood) when the whole world seemed to collapse around me (when I was tired usually) and all I could do was shut off the outside. Strangely I found a copy of Jupiters Children and bought it more as a chronicle of what happenned so my children could understand what letters from Schools Abroad were all about and a silver armada dish given to sttaff really means.
    I remember being at the top of a flight of stairs for a long time and then waiting at the opposite end to the tug boats, thinking we would all just walk off. It didn’t happen, we waited and as the boat started to go I slid down the side with others (sorry to the person I pushed, if you are reading) and swam to the tug boats. I emember U2 wer in concert on the TV on the boat I was on, anyone else remember that ?
    Well it is 21 years and a few days and this is probably my first ever public outporing of bits.

    I wish you all well out there and hope for those with real issues stuill that you can eventually pick your way through problems and lifes road blocks with more positive feelings.



  22. 41 T November 3, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    Hi, I want to talk about this but don’t know how and don’t know who with. I think maybe I need to talk to someone professional (finally!), but don’t know really how to go about it or where to start looking for the right person. Can anyone give me any advice? x

    • 42 Michelle Best November 7, 2009 at 3:56 pm

      Sorry T, I’ve not been very good with replying to my comments lately. As Paul says I would go and see your doctor or speak to a very good friend as they might be able to help you with talking about it. Good luck.

    • 43 Paul January 27, 2010 at 4:21 pm


      Please contact Disaster Action( – they can put you in touch with Mary Campion, who was one of the survivors of the Jupiter, and who helped set up Disaster Action, which offers support and help for people like yourself.

  23. 44 Paul Cadmore November 7, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Try seeing a doctor and just be open they will be able to refer you to a trained counsellor who could help.

  24. 45 DAvid Cook November 7, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    the advice you have from Michelle and Paul is the best. Also you may take some time to write down all you can remember about the accident and share your experience with other victims or close friends/Family. You must talk this out with appropriate people. I still think a good starting point for you is a read of Jupiter’s Children, although some of the writers may still have bad thoughts to this day I would think others managed to unload many gremlins from that time
    I wish you well,in coming to terms with this problem.

  25. 46 Becky Road (Osborne) November 12, 2009 at 7:00 pm

    As i mentioned before, if your Doctor could refer you to a counsellor that specialises in PTSD, as my friend does, then that would really help. If you want to give me some details of the area you live in, i could ask if he knows or could recommend someone in your area. Best wishes.

  26. 47 Tracey November 13, 2009 at 10:57 am

    I was also from T P Riley like some many of the other comments you have received and on this trip, I have tried on so many occasions to write about this and I haven’t been able too. Thank you for sharing your experiance, it is almost identical to mine.

    Mr Butt was an amazing teacher, I can say I owe that man my life and for many many years I have felt guilt that I survived and he didn’t, I remember seeing him helping other people as I was swimming off the liner.

    I’m exactly like you now, I can go on smaller boats as long as I can see outside or travel outside, I also work out escape route as soon as I get on them.

    Thank you for sharing your story, it’s moved me to tears.

    • 48 Michelle Best November 13, 2009 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Tracey – thank you for leaving a comment and I hope all is OK with you now. I’m still surprised on how many survivors read and leave comments on here – it’s nice to know that most of us feel the same about this experience. Thanks.

  27. 49 lauren sibbons November 14, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Hi everyone

    I was there too an not a day goes by when i don’t struggle with it. Things were very different all those years ago with therapy and what was available to us. I have had episodes that have been troublesome, but that said however hard it is you just have to try. I recently spoke to Prof Yule at the Maudsley and all those that went there after the accident have transformed the way in which PTSD treatment is now administered. IF ANYONE IS STRUGGLING I HAVE THE NAME the proffessor who now runs the unit. I also understand that it may be possible to be referred back there.

    Best wishes to everyone x

    • 50 Paul January 27, 2010 at 4:04 pm

      The book Jupiters Children was written by, Mary Campion one of the teachers in charge of one of the school parties on the Jupiter. It was co-written by the children in her party, and helped them tremendously in coming to terms with what happened, particularly in the years after dealing with the Post Traumatic Stress.

      After her experiences (and those of her children and their relatives, and friends at the school) with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Mary Campion went on to help set up Disaster Action, an organisation that offers support and advice to anyone who has survived or been bereaved by a disaster. I would urge anyone still having problems from the Jupiter to have a look at the website as it is there to help people like yourselves.

  28. 51 Liz King March 11, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I thought i was reading my own story when i came across this blog.

    I too jumped in the sea, when i heard the sound of the water rising up inside the boat and swirling around my ankles. At first i tried to climb up out of the way, but then i realised i would have to get far away, before the boat sank and dragged me down with it.

    I was one of the unlucky ones who had to swim for it. I can still remember looking around to see one end of the boat up in the air with people still clinging on, just before it sank beneath the waves. How so many of us made it off is a miracle.

    I still have phobias – strangely about fire rather than water. Over the last few years, i have made steps to face my fears. A couple of years ago i got my PADI scuba diving certificate, which was a huge challenge. I have also managed to sleep overnight on a Ferryboat, although i prefer like you to be outside on any boats and near the lifejackets.

    • 52 roger November 29, 2010 at 10:35 pm

      hi liz

      my other half was one of those who was still clinging onto the handrail as it went down and jumped into the bubbles of forced out air from the hull as it sank. everything i am reading is what she has discussed with me over many difficult years.

      at one point i contacted Mary campion through disaster action as things were not going well. she was fantastic and discussed similar stories which helped immensely.

      i wasn’t their but i certainly have felt the pain passed on many years later.

      i am happy to say that in the face of adversity i have managed to maintain a long term relationship with a victim of the disaster and regardless of the arduous journey – its been worth it. just try to live for the life you have got and not for the one you nearly lost. i too had a near death experience and was revived during teen years. it think this has helped my understanding and forged our long term relationship.

      good luck to you all, you are all unfairly and conveniently forgotten.

      lloyds list indecently see the disaster as a great success story.

  29. 53 Kelli Bryan June 10, 2010 at 2:15 pm


    I was there that night – 13 years old & from Frances Bardsley School.

    Will look for your page on Facebook & join up.

    Love to all,

    Kelli x

  30. 55 Andrew Willetts June 28, 2010 at 8:42 am


    Just read your account of the sinking of the Jupiter in October 1988. At the time of this terrible event I was a 14 year old pupil at Streetly Comprehensive in the same year as Vivienne Barley (but not in the same form group). I decided not to go on the cruise probably because it was quite expensive, but some of my other friends in my form did. I knew Vivienne from primary school days and my mum knew her mother, so it was with utter shock when we watched events unfold on the news and learnt that Vivienne had probably drowned. I don’t think that she was ever found…truly terrible. I can’t imagine the suffering her parents are going through. I knew her younger brother was also at Streetly but I don’t know how he (or his parents) coped afterwards. The school had a special assembly where the headmaster unvailed a memorial plaque in the hall for Vivienne, I assume it is still there.

    I can’t imagine the trauma the survivor’s have suffered over the years since this tragedy but for my part whenever I remember my school days I always think of Vivienne.

    Best wishes to everyone

    • 56 Luan Amon October 21, 2011 at 6:10 pm

      Hi Andrew, it’s Luan here who was with you on the Jupiter from streetly comp – hope your ok – been thinking about you all – especially Viv today xxxxx

  31. 57 Rupert Elmore July 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    I was on this ship on a school cruise in 1987, it was in my opinion at the age of 13 a fairly ropey old boat our cabin was right at the bottom of the ship,there were four of us in a very small airless cabin. We had force 9 gales in Athens when we arrived and the heaviest landing in a clapped out British Airtours Tristar I have ever encountered! We were very late sailing out of Athens the boat was pitching quite wildly most of the night. I remember seeing the captain the next morning with his worry beads spinning quite rapidly in his hand, which at the time I thought was not a good omen. Thankfully my trip on Jupiter with it’s stormy start was okay. But I regularly think about that ship and it’s sinking which still sends a shiver down my spine. To think about that horrid cabin I was in 230 feet under the sea and trying to get out in that situation, It was amazing there was not more loss of life. My regards go to the people who endured and lived through the sinking of Jupiter. R

  32. 58 sarah astley/marks July 22, 2010 at 1:25 am

    hi, was sat talking to my nephew about some rough times he is going through and started talking about our experience, he suggested google to find out if any one out there was still going through the hard times i am but sometimes i find it hard to cope with life, i seem to worry about things that havent happened, or might never happen,is that just me?.I came across ur blogg and i cant believe it stil effects so many people, thought it was just me x x i went to Two Trees High school, Denton, Tameside n wud love to hear from anyone who went there,on the jupitor or not b cos i no it effected the whole school, x x x gonna join ur FB group through my sons account, my name then was sarah astley now sarah marks. there is so much i would like to talk about with people that experienced the same as me, not all bad so dont b shy, my husband n family have been great, dont get me wrong, but its not the same as someone who was there x x x i wish everyone a long and happy life in thier journey xxx would also love to hear from my headmaster at the time Mr Hampson, he is and always will be my hero! if not for him i wouldnt be hear typing this xxxx you saved my life x forever in my heart thank you xxxxxx

  33. 59 angela edmonds July 25, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    hi i too am a survivor off the ‘jupiter’. i was from ‘two trees school’ denton,manchester. like a few others have been on a anti-depressants and councellor sesions since, and feel i am a different person because of the sinking. the only boats i have travelled on since is the ‘mersey ferry’ planned by the psychiatrist at the time – might i add the 2nd time was the worse than the first! i have no need or wish to ever go on water again. i was terrified of even dangling my foot in a pool..until of recent i have gone to the swimming baths with my young son to encoursge him and not to have my fear of water!! cant believe i went in myself!..the jupiter is something i will never forget! i remember arriving at the harbour looking at the ship before we went aboard! something didnt look right?? i didnt know what but i could sense something was going to happen!! crazy some might think..obviously i didnt know it was to sink-hence wouldnt of gone on..but i could definatley sense bad!…i was in the kitchen when we were hit and i remember seeng a huge black hole..the outside sky i later realised! chairs and tables knocked over. we ran through following kitchen greek staff shouting in their language upstairs to a lounge/function area. i remember sitting on a chair and shortly after feeling it sliding down the room. suddenly everything was sliding and tippping down the dance floor where i was sitting! i rememebr having to climb up the floor on my knees sliding with chairs and tables pouring down and people. i remebr grabbing hold of a support pole in the middle before diving for the doorway up to deck!…again like others had to walk up stairs on a angle and hold on for dear life on the hand rail on the deck looking at the underneath of the boat as it was on a 90degree angle. i remember then having to hold on the rail to stop from slipping as we had to walk down a staircase at an angle to the lower deck, my form teacher slapped my face, and said come on angie wake was surreal!…then slipping all the way to the bottom rail past the ships swimming pool. the bottom rail that was in the sea! my head master grabbed me up onto a tug boat before i went into the water, and pulled me over onto it, of which i recall falling ontop of him and hurtng my ankle on an anchor. i was rushed inside the tug to other children crying and screaming. people sharing clothes to those that had little or were wet. shortly the jupiter sank! only 35minutes in total from start to end!!. it was a miracle with the force of gravity how the tug wasnt pulled down with it??…..we sailed round the area for a little longer looking for survivors. we then went back to shore, had to jump across onto dry land where the crowds was overwelming. a police woman took me and lead me through a path between the crowd to a coach. when they took us to the ‘pegasus’ the sister ship to stay over night on i couldnt believe it! the pegasus had just come back from a cruise that night. i remember them giving us toothbrushes to share between a group and then a cabin, with no bed sheets. all night i could here announcements. until i heard our school. i rushed out with the other school girl to the lounge. apparently they had organised us to fly bck to london only and then coach to manchester!! luckily are teachers and head spoke up-how could children face that journey! we just wanted to get home! mums n dads didnt know who was alive or not as the lists of children had gone down with the boat!…at last they sent an empty plane for us that diverted to manchester after dropping half off in london first!..getting back to school was overwelming! camera, reporters people everywhere on the streets and at school. i remember falling down the coach step to get off. i walked into the school hall , saw a teacher and smiled…then saw my parents. my mum had aparently said i bet she walks in with a smile..!my dad who then worked in tv, knew alot of the media there, whom thought he was working on it! when he said his daughter was on it..i wasn’t left alone…news at ten, front cover of the papers the lot!…i will never forget this experience. although life goes on, if they brought the ship up tomorrow ‘i would have to be there’ and see it! just something ive always felt strongly about! saying goodbye if you like!…a year n half after the jupiter sinking, i remember reading in the newspaper that ‘pegasus’ the sister ship we stayed overnight on..had set on fire and sank in italy!!!! O M G …never a boat or ship again..the only two i have been on have both sank..jinksed or what!! hope this story of my experience will help others. i will never forget and it has affected my life and view on things. very paranoid and jinksed it wouldnt have sank if i hadnt been on it! dont like closed spaces or crowds. even at concerts, the moving lights, people, noise and movement of the circle jumping – sudden movement. i survived like others and believe somone loved us that night. i hope no-one ever has to live through similar events again.

  34. 60 Shivaughn Mordey August 2, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    What can I say – I don’t know where to start, I’m sitting here having read all the above comments with tears streaming down my face. I don’t think I will ever stop feeling guilty for the loss of the teacher (Bernard Butt as I know now he was called) and the school-girl Vivienne, I was one of Michelle’s school mates from Sanders Drapers and was on the “Voyage of a lifetime” that changed our lives for ever.

    I had been one of the first out on deck when I realised there were several hundred children still trapped inside I stood pulling people out up onto the deck, there was a boy inside holding them up so I can reach their arms, with a woman holding my waist so I could lean in to get them. We thought we had got everyone out and I pulled the boy out and we closed the door…there was no way out for the couple of people we now know must have been left inside. There were tugs coming in taking people away and as we started making our way along the deck a tug came in and went away empty, we then felt the boat start to move again really rapidly the boat was already listing at about a 45 deg angle and we were standing out the outside of the railings as it was the highest point, the boy asked me if we could jump together so we took off our shoes climbed the railings and plunged together hand in hand into the dark oily water. After a succession of being squashed between tugs, having bundles of barge rope thrown over my head and around my neck and as if I hadn’t been through enough I was then left next to a dead crew member on the outer deck of a tug, I managed to convince a women that was giving up in the water to carry on fighting until she got close enough for me to pull her out of the water only to find it was one of my teachers Miss Jan Mallinder. At that point we didn’t know if we were the only survivors from our school…finally and after I had put up a fight we were put on the Pegasus (and yes it does freak me out that that ship has also now sunk!) and found the rest of our school group. For sure that’s when most of us lost our inhibitions 11 boys and girls aged 14 – 16, a male and female teacher all in a 4-berth cabin and those of us that had been in the water were stripped to our underwear…being supplied endless amounts of brandy and cigarettes…until the early hours when the local Greek shop-keepers were kind enough to bring us whatever clothing and shoes they had.

    I remember being awake all night telling stories and jokes with Tracey Shakesby and Tony Harrison while most of the others got some sleep. Finally in the early hours someone convinced me to ring home and talk to my parents, I was convinced due to our schools emergency phone system that they would know I was ok – little did I know that the reports on the TV were that we had all died. I don’t know about everyone else but for me the feeling the next morning was overwhelming as each plane load of passengers left the Pegasus, everyone out of deck waving off people like long lost friends that 24 hrs earlier had been complete strangers. I also remember the emergency flight home going over the harbour looking down on the dark shadow of the Jupiter and the ring of ships surrounding it is still such a vivid memory for me.

    I can relate to so much of what people are saying – you think you are “over it” until you smell the oily diesel smell of boats and in an instant – I’m straight back in the water of Pireaus Harbour. I recently went on the river taxi at night up the Thames with a group of work colleagues and had to really dig deep to hold it together as most of them have no idea of my background with boats!…and having got back to my hotel room found the Poseidon Adventure was on TV – how apt! Having said that despite all the advice of the Dr’s and PTSD specialists to avoid water I made myself go swimming and now am so happy and content in the water – it’s really the one place I find total peace.

    Like Michelle I also found comfort in writing about my experience and in fact submitted it as one of my personal essays for my Englisg GCSE….hey what examiner was going to give that a bad mark?!! I do occassionally re-read my essay but always know what’s coming next!

    I do remember the whole incident as if it happened yesterday and now in just over 2 months we’ll be “celebrating” our 22nd anniversary – unbelievable. The only way I have learned to deal with things is to think that we are the lucky ones, we did survive and should make sure we make the most of the life we fought so hard to keep.

    I look forward to reading everyone else’s comments/stories on here, memories are very powerful things we just need to learn to make them work for us. Someone was for sure looking after us on the night of the 21st October 1988, I do believe it has made me the person I am today – but still wouldn’t wish that experience on my worst enemy, I hope nobody has to go through what we did, specially at such a young age.

    • 61 Michelle Best August 3, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      Hello Shivaughn – nice to hear from you and thanks for the comment. Even though we have shared the same experience, you can remember much more than I could when writing this. I’m glad that this post has managed to connect so many people who were there or know someone who was on the Jupiter and in a positive way. Thanks again for writing!

  35. 62 lupernikes August 8, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I remember Mr Butt, he inspired my love of history with his mimed cricket strokes and just plain craziness during class!! I remember him as a hero and he was such an influence in my life that I have even found a way to mention him and honour his memory in the novel I am in the process of writing!

    Bernard was a hero in the true sense of the word, his physical limitations, caused by his childhood polio, made his own chance of swimming to safety impossible so, I believe, he chose to save as many of the children as he could before the ship went down by throwing them out into the sea and safety! I just wish they’d have let us buy him the gift he’d have loved, the Grimsby Town shirt we wanted to get him, rather than the usual tree people get…….

    I’m so glad we’re keeping his memory alive, thank you MJ and everyone for the memories!

  36. 63 lupernikes August 8, 2010 at 9:15 am

    I wasn’t on the ship but I would love to help any of those who were in anyway I can, in Mr Butt’s memory……….I was going to go but at the last minute my parents decided against it and I was so angry they’d denied the chance of a lifetime to me……now I suppose I’m lucky in a huge way not to carry the scars so many here unfortunately do, I hope you all find peace and get over that horrible night!

  37. 64 Nicola August 27, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    Another ‘survivor’ here from Havering, hello to everyone.

    It is weird reading some of the other comments, thinking you were the only person to experience certain things after the event, but that others did too.

    My impossible request would be for everyone still with us to be questioned on their related experiences since, to find out the common long term effects.

    My experience:
    At the time the boat was struck, I was on the stairs on my way to the lounge with my friends (and fell down some).
    Wondering what was going on, we made our way to the lounge to find our teachers already there, who told us not to worry, so we sat down.

    The boat started to list. My eyes fixed on the lights of the harbour in the horizon, I noticed they were moving upwards. We all sat still.
    Announcements were made over the tannoy to staff of airtight doors closing, but still we sat still (brains refusing to accept and deal with what was going on). The listing got worse and glasses started to slide off the nearby bar.
    A girl nearby started having an epileptic fit (I have always wondered if she was one of those who died). Some chairs started to move.

    I decided it was time to get out of the lounge, people had aleady started leaving. My teachers told me to stay, but I didn’t. I then have a minute of so were I cannot recal (and could not recal even straight after), maybe that was the brain going into survival mode.

    I was now outside holding onto the railings, the boat continued to list and the lights flickered on and off, there was also a strong smell of fuel. I had no idea where my friends were, but there were other people holding on around me.

    Small tug boats started making there way over to the boat. A speedboat came over and I could see flashes from a camera. Someone was taking pictures of us and I just wanted them to help us.
    I looked at the lifeboats and could see that it was impossible to launch them (due to the angle of the cruise ship). None of us were wearing lifejackets and there were no crew about (had some jumped off early?), but surprisingly everyone was calm. I had got in my head that we were going to be taken off the boat and that it would be put upright and we would get back on and have our holiday.

    The tugs were arriving and people were making there way across to where they were (at the nose of the boat), arms wrapped around the railings most of the time, apart from when you had to get across to a different section. It was at these times when some people would just slide into the sea, as the angle of the listing boat was so steep. I ws grateful for my cheap rubber soled shoes. I made my way past the swimming pool that was now empty. Through all of this I kept hold of a notebook and pen (so I had something to do while the ship was corrected…strange thought) I held them in my waist band as I couldn’t actually hold them.

    Eventually I got to the tugs and had a big jump to get across to it. I landed on it, but horizontally. Badly bruising my legs, but pleased to be off the boat. I wished I knew how to say thank you in greek, I could only say it in english, I am sure I must have looked grateful.

    We (me and some others off the ship) were them told to go downstairs (realising after that the tug people sent us down so we missed the ship sink). We were then transfered to another tug to take us back to harbour, while swapping boats I looked for the ship but couldn’t see it. Someone said we were too far away to spot it.

    I got back to the harbour and everyone was being put in a warehouse. I started making a list (thanks to keeping my pad) of friends I was spotting and gradually we all grouped together, but not everyone was there. We found out that some people were taken straight to hospital.
    My list was given to an official person, I think it may have been forwarded to the British embassy. One of my teachers thanked me for being organised.

    The next bit was told to me by my mum. Back in the UK wile this was going on, tv programmes were interrupted with a news flash, informing them that the cruise ship Jupiter containing British schoolchildren had sunk in Greece and it was not known if there were survivors. I will never know exactly how my parents felt at this moment apart from panic.
    They along with others made their way to my school were they waited for information.

    In the meantime those of us of the cruise ship were put onto another cruise ship that was moored in the Harbour, although we were not keen and actually still didn’t know at this time that our boat had gone. More friends arrived, some soaked from where thay had been rescued from the water.

    Then we found out that we were allowed to call home. I got made a brief call to my very relieved parents.
    We sat together all sharing experiences and we eventually found out that our boat had gone. We spent the night talking and in the morning we were given some snacks and a blanket.

    We then got off the moored boat onto coaches, we were now going ot the airport to go home. As we went past news stands etc. the front pages of all of the papers has pictures of our boat on it.

    The coaches arrived at the airport and we were driven straight to the planes (Britannia). We flew home (and do remember the stewardesses being really nice to us, looking back, I realise that they knew what we had been through).

    We arrived at Stansted and coaches were waiting for us. For the first time in my life I wanted to kiss the tarmac. I was so grateful to be back in the UK.

    The coach took us back to school, we had to keep the blinds closed on the bus because of the paparrazi following and driving alongside trying to take pictures of us.
    We arrived at school (past more press at the gates) and the headmaster stepped on our coach, he was crying and said he was so happy that we were home. We were then allowed into the school hall and into the arms of our parents, cue lots of tears.

    When I got home, I took my curtains down in my bedroom as I felt trapped (it was years before they went back up). I struggled to get in the bath as I was afraid.
    I struggled for months after that being on buses (as they leaned to go around corners I would panic and have to get off). The smell of diesel would give me flashbacks. There was lots of other odd things that would set me off.
    Eventually I settled down. I later found out that a few other children didn’t, not being able to cope with the ‘post traumatic stress disorder’ they killed themselves.

    One of my teachers had her legs amputed (due to staying in the lounge too long and being crushed by the chairs.
    I think that if the boat passengers were all adult, then many more would have died, due to realisation and panicking. We were mostly obedient and kept calm (I guess because we couldn’t fully comprehend what was going on).

    I still hate boats, only using them if I really have to and I will never do an overnight trip on one.

  38. 65 claire September 11, 2010 at 2:04 am

    Hi to you all,

    I was 11 when my sister went on this school trip, a pupil from chase cross school.

    I can only imagine the fear you must have all felt on that day and would like to give an insight into what it was like for those of us that had family onboard.

    My parents had gone to the cinema that evening and i was staying at a friends house.

    My friends mum called her downstairs suddenly and they were whispering, trying not to alert me to the situation that had just been announced in a news flash on the tv but i could hear the panic in there voices. I don’t remember them telling me what had happened, only the walk back to my house with them sometime later.

    My parents were in the cinema watching a film when my grandad and uncle entered looking for them. My dad knew there was something very wrong immediately and after hearing the news totally lost control of himself and started lashing out…he disappeared for quite sometime without a trace unable to cope with what he had heard.

    I remember so clearly that night sitting around my kitchen table surrounded by family members waiting to find out if my big sister was dead or alive….there were no details being given out at all at this point, only the occasional news flash.

    The following hours were so hard for my parents and the whole family and this i’m sure was the same for all of the families of everyone onboard that cruise ship.

    The next memory i have is that i was at my school waiting for my sister to arrive home. I have no recollection of finding out she was alive and well, just of being at the school the day she arrived home.

    The coach drew up outside the school and one by one the children wrapped in blankets began to appear from the coach doors. I remember my sister looking so scarded and helpless and ending up being in the centre of my whole family fighting to give her the biggest hugs she has probably encountered in her life. I realised that day just how much I loved my sister and how lucky we were that she was home safe and well.

    That was the fear and upset we as family felt that day and again i say, i cannot comprehend how those that were actually there must have felt.

    Best wishes to you all and your families

  39. 66 Kelli October 21, 2010 at 8:46 am

    22 years ago today – still feels like yesterday.

    Am sitting in work trying to distract myself & think “happy thoughts”!

    Love to all on this anniversary – am thinking of you.

    Kelli x

    • 67 angela edmonds October 21, 2010 at 7:42 pm

      I agree kelli, everyone is still aware of the anniversary, always will be, but we were all ‘lucky’ and ‘survivors’ that night although i often feel i was jinksed and it wouldn’t of happened if i hadn’t of been on it!,(crazy i know,but what i truly believe!)…
      we have to smile and carry on as best we can, i am still finding out today through my councillor, reasons why my life has problems,all because of the jupiter!!…
      best wishes to ‘all of us’ on this 22nd anniversary,
      angie x-x

  40. 68 Clare October 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm


    22 Yrs today…it only seems like yesterday.

    I was also on the boat and was from Brownhills Comp. I do remember Mr Butt from TP Riley School as he organised the trip for his school, ours and Streetly.

    Alot of friends who were with me on that trip have been on Facebook today chatting about it.

    21st October is always a strange day and I feel extremely lucky.


  41. 69 Shivaughn Mordey October 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm


    I know exactly what you mean, I also felt like I was the one that was jinxed, along with the horrendous guilty feelings of being one of the “lucky” survivors unlike the few unfortunate souls that didn’t make it.

    We do have to carry on and make the most of our lives, we fought hard to save it that night the last thing we want to do it waste it. Take advantage of every opportunity life throws at you to be happy and stay positive, at least that’s what I’m trying to do! Our Jupiter experience had made us the people we are, the roots of the Jupiter run so deep that I’m sure most of us have problems related to that night and I doubt we will ever forget it.

    I’m thinking of everyone today in particular Vivienne’s parents, the school girl that never made it home. No matter how bad I am feeling I can’t imagine how they feel on our Anniversary wondering what could have been for their daughter.

    Love to you all xxx

  42. 70 Carolyn Hunter October 21, 2010 at 10:52 pm


    I was also on the SS Jupiter the night it sank and was part of a school from Hounsdown in Hampshire. I like many of you have relived that night and suffered since the incident. I always feel guilty for surviving especially as i was stood next to someone that died and i feel bad that it was me who survived. for some reason i have searched the net for information and others that survived and am amazed how little there is, maybe it wasn’t a big enough story all those years ago but it still seems huge to me 22 years later. – my husband found this blog for me tonight and its been great reading others stories.
    I still have a box with items i brought home a bag we were all given and badges with schools abroad on this held the sheet together that became my dress to cover me after i lost my clothes,a bar of soap from the ship those plonkers put us on – fancy putting shipwrecked kids back on a boat !!!! so many of us had to be forced on – then we huddled 30 to a cabin whilst they tried to fed us very sweet coffee and sausages with 2 inches of skin that looked like a christmas cracker. This may sound weird but the events of the night are still so vivid even now, the smells the sounds etc the smell of fuel sends me bcak there as it was leaking out the boat and covered us all.
    I am still not keen to go on boats and if i have to i have to keep my love ones close and near an exit i spend the trip planning my escape and how to get them off safely too.
    As time’s gone on it has got easier but never gone away.
    THe one thing this experience had taught me is how amazing life is i appreciate everyday and am always positive i have a fabulous family who also suffered but remained strong.
    i was picked up by a boat with survivers from a religious school they were lucky and all together, they sat praying and thanking god as we watched the boat go down. I just couldn’t make sense of that and had to go outside it was surreal watching such a magnificant boat dissappear and the water calm in such a short time.
    We should have worried about this trip after a strike in the airport on the way in to athens, our inital trip cancelled and then the safety meeting going wrong – but hey we are here to tell our tales.
    My deepest thanks goes to the sailors who remained in the boat to keep the lights working and so giving up their lives to save ours, their families should be so proud.
    My love and thoughts also go to the families of Vivienne and Mr Butt. RIP
    My story of the whole sinking should be written too at some point but on the anniversary of the night that changed our lives it is not the time. Lets just appreciate that we are here with or without problems we did survive.
    Lots of love to everyone
    Kind regard

    • 71 Charles Freeman January 19, 2012 at 12:43 am

      Hi Carolyn

      I was your teacher with you when the Jupiter sank. I have lots of memories of that night and quite a good record of it. Please reply if you want to get in touch and we’ll find a way to do it.

      Charles Freeman

  43. 72 Tony Harrison October 22, 2010 at 2:24 am

    I was on the Jupiter as part of the Sanders Draper group. I’m in work reading all the posts trying to hold back tears (maybe wasn’t the best place to read this in hindsight!!) But it feels comforting to read the posts even now 22 years later.

    Reading some of the accounts from other people, but in particular my friend Shivaughn Maudy’s it hits home how we all experienced guilt among the many other feelings! It also hit me that we never really told our stories to each other. I remember having a group meeting at school, but don’t really recall talking too much about it at the time.

    This whole expeience changed me in so many ways, I try and take the positives from it, but its always with me and always will be. I live in Australia now and live close to the beach, like Shivaughn I had to overcome a fear of the water and with a 3 year old boy i didn’t want him to adopt my fears, so made a point of taking him in the ocean, but never past the waiste. Still I hate the ocean at night it instantly brings back the memory of being back on the Jupiter.

    At this time of year my thoughts are always with everyone I directly experienced this with, to everyone else that was on the ship and especially to Bernard Butt, Vivienne and the two crew and their families.

    Always part of us and always in our thoughts!

  44. 73 Paul Cadmore October 22, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    It is amazing that 20 years and so much has happenned since that night. When I see MJ’s Blog on my email my pulse still quickens and I know that I have been one of the lucky ones in terms of my recovery etc.. If any of you were working for schools abroad I’d love to hear from you, I had been employed for about 24 hours when it happenned and often wonder what happenned to the others who like me expected this to be a gap year job of glamour etc.. and one to last slightly more than 2 days!

    All the best Paul

  45. 74 Captain Anthony Greedy November 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Some of you may remember me. I was working for Epirotiki Lines at the time of the disater and I was in charge of the rescue and relief/repatriation operation. The disaster still haunts me and I feel for each and everyone of you. If I can help in any way please get in touch, I will join the Facebook site and hopefully get to speak to many of you soon.

  46. 75 DS December 5, 2010 at 1:57 am

    I am a survivor of the Jupiter disaster and even though I don’t like writing on forums or facebook or blogs was wondering if news footage of the night of the disaster would help or hinder peoples progress. I have footage of the night on video, it has not been viewed for over 20 years so can’t be sure of the quality, also broadcasting it on the web may distress people more, especially for the families who have lost loved ones. Not sure if footage already exists out there on the web

    • 76 carolyn Hunter December 7, 2010 at 9:46 am

      I’d love to see the footage, as at the time my parents thought best i didn’t watch it and relive it, and i haven’t found any on web.. I have a scrap book of news paper clippings and a bag that we were given after the incident filled with odd bits i collected a sick bag on plane, can of coke we were given, soap, the sheet i came home in after loosing my clothes etc everytime i open the bag it takes me back with the smell. if you decide to add the footage people have chice to view or not.
      kind regards

    • 77 angela edmonds December 7, 2010 at 7:13 pm


  47. 78 DS December 7, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Giving it more thought I think I will try at some point to put it up on the web (youtube). I’m sure the footage is still acceptable. I don’t have the software or hardware at the moment to convert to a format for the web but I know I will in the future. I have footage of the night and the 2nd and 3rd day after, when they discuss the people missing/presumed dead, not sure if that is a good idea to put up since it shows footage of Vivienne Barley’s parents, photo of Vivienne and Mr Butt, but I will definitely put up the ITN 10 o’clock news of the night of the accident. (Don’t have the BBC 9 o’clock news since this is when my parents first heard about the accident)

  48. 79 david cook December 7, 2010 at 5:09 pm


    I have been following comment on this blog over the last year as I have an interest in any information for relatives of deceased seaman from the Jupiter in Greece. If it is helpful to anyone there is a website with ITN news pictures “” with survivors and family interviews and other surrounding news stories.

    Regards to all

    David Cook

  49. 80 Kelli April 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Hello all,

    I came across this on the internet –

    Click to access jupiter-cruise-ship-disaster-the-immediate-and-long-term-effect-on-children-and-staff.pdf

    No doubt some of you have already seen it.

    A couple of things I found interesting were –

    1. The comment about consumer goods no longer being desirable (True for myself, since that night I’m not that bothered about having “stuff” – my family say I’m a nightmare to buy for as I never want anything). Perhaps that night triggered a realisation for many of us that some things are just more important.

    2. There is a comment about a letter re: compensation, a “£2,000, take it or leave it comment” – well, that was the compensation I got. I know there were some who received around £30k – good luck to them, but for me, it was more important for my parents (who could ill-afford to send me on the cruise in the first place, but who wanted me to have a holiday to remember – don’t I just) to get their money back. Probably to do with “accelerated maturity” brought on by that night!

    On another note – re-reading some of the accounts reminds me of something…….

    While I was in the water, I pulled a girl of about my age to a tugboat (I think she went to Sacred Heart, but I can’t be sure). Some time later, we had a service at St Andrews church in Hornchurch & afterwards, this girl (who had v.curly hair) came over to me & said “thank you for saving my life”. I was gobsmacked – I didn’t think of it in that way at all – we ALL pulled eachother through that night & hopefully through this site, we will continue to do so for many years to come!.

    Love to all,

    Kelli x

    • 81 verity June 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm


      I am pretty sure I am the Sacred Heart Girl with curly hair! It is all such a long time ago. I remember a girl pulled me up out of the water from under something I was holding onto in the water and I had completely forgotten until I read this that I did see her again and thanked her – it must have been you.

      I remember speaking to the girl before we went into the water and she told me she had done a life saver course. then afterwards I remember thinking I wouldn’t have made it back to the surface if she hadn’t pulled me up.

      Do you think we are talking about the same people. I think we must be. I can’t remember another girl with curly hair from my school who went into the water.

      Best wishes to you and thank you again.

  50. 83 Jo May 24, 2011 at 9:42 pm

    Hi everyone

    I too was on the Jupiter in 1988. I guess you could say that on the whole I am fine although do have some hangups about boats and the sea and always get ridiculously stressed before I go on holiday.

    It all happened such a long time ago, in some respects it feels like another lifetime ago and in others as if it happened only yesterday. I feel stupid for still letting it impact on my life so i have really valued reading your stories and know that i am not alone in how I am feeling.

    I have just finished reading Jupiter’s Children, and found it really useful and it filled in some on the blanks in my mind and in some respects has put some ghosts to rest.

    I was one of the lucky ones i guess, i didn’t jump in the sea, i couldn’t swim and i couldn’t jump my fear was so great, i can remember thinking if i don’t get off the ship will drag me down it, but just couldn’t do it.

    I am going to Greece next week and feel worse than i normally do before a holiday. I will be with my partner and son and loads of people have recommended a boat trip to some beach with a ship wreck. what do i do. i don’t want to go at all, but they’d like to, and i know that there would be no pressure for me to go, but I would feel bad for stopping them from doing something they want to do, but if they go on it i will have to as well. I cant risk the same thing happening.

    Anyway sorry i am rambling now about something that doesnt really matter in the great scheme of things. My son can swim and i can now swim as long as i can touch the bottom. i keep telling myself that progress is good, no matter how slowly i get there!

    I hope you are all well and getting on with life as best as you can.


    • 84 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 3:31 pm

      There are a few references in the book, to a child in an Iron Maiden T-shirt shouting smash the windows- that was me x

      • 85 Carole Seddon January 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

        Hi Richard I found this blog yesterday and have no idea why I never found it before because I often search for information about our disaster I have now joined the facebook group too. I wrote about you in Jupiter’s Children (I was once Carole Gardner) I hope you don’t mind but you are part of many of my dreams and thoughts and of course my retell of that night. We must of entered the water at similar points and, in reference to your post futher down, I tried really hard to grab a piece of giant polystyrene but couldn’t get hold and ended up with a small odd shaped piece of wood that sank every time I put any weight on it and I spent a long time keeping afloat before I finally had to let go and swim towards the tug and Greek sailor that pulled me out of the water. It was so hard to let go of that piece of wood as it helped me through my time in the water in another way than keeping me afloat! My very very best wishes to you. x

  51. 86 Paul May 25, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    By going you will, after initial anxiety, possibly start laying demons to rest. As long as people you travel with know about your “relationship” with the sea, they can help. Learning to swim etc.. is great. Being open about what happenned and how you still feel is the best way to be. The boat you wil be on in Greece would be so much smaller, it would feel completely different. For a start you are likely to be sat outside and not in some dining room downstairs or in the large lounge up stairs.
    For me, I went back to work on Schools Abroad ship Betsy Ross in the March after the Jupiter…I was scared and anxious at first but I always checked muster station directions – still do, and over time as you say, small steps make a staircase!

    Good luck, have a great holiday

    • 87 Tim October 15, 2012 at 11:07 am

      My school had booked to be on the Schools Abroad cruise on the Jupiter that March but as you say was actually on the Betsy Ross. I remember being in London at the time in a hotel and seeing the newsflash pop up re the Jupiter and was instantly scared and none to keen about going on the March cruise. However our school went ahead with the March trip and I remember being apprehensive pretty much the whole 10? days knowing what had only just recently happened with the Jupiter. I remember the safety drill didn’t occur until the day after we left port, our actual cabin was deep in the bowels of the ship which only unnerved me further. I really feel for the survivors of the Jupiter disaster, my connection to it is only very slight in that I was to go on the Jupiter a few months later with my school but my experience on the decrepid ship that was the Betsy Ross did nothing to allay my fear and anxiety of what had only recently happened.

      • 88 Charles October 15, 2012 at 9:11 pm

        Sorry to correct you Tim but I think your memory of the timing of the safety drill on the Betsy Ross is wrong.

        I was the leader of a party of 21 pupils from Southampton on the Jupiter when it sank on 21st October 1988. Thankfully all were rescued. I know that this will be upsetting to some of the bloggers here but the major trauma for a significant number of the pupils was that they had lost their cruise when the Jupiter sank. Accordingly we booked nine pupils on the March 1989 cruise of the Betsy Ross along with another pupils from the school.

        One of the major criticisms of the sinking of the Jupiter was that safety drills had been due to be held on the second day of the cruise. Schools Abroad, the company that hired the Jupiter, decreed that all further school cruises should have the safety briefing before the ship left port. This was indeed the case for the March Betsy Ross cruise – I remember it well.

        I know that the sinking of the Jupiter was traumatic for so many people on board that night but different people had different experiences and coped with it in different ways. I believe that a key feature was how the staff helped and coped with the pupils in the immediate hours and days after the event. We supported the pupils involved extensively for months after the event. Different pupils reacted in different ways. However for the nine pupils going on the Betsy Ross five months after the Jupiter sank was a key part of their healing process.

        Personally I was one of the last to leave the Jupiter having made sure that as many pupils as possible had left the ship before we as staff felt free to make our own bid for safety.

        As part of my own healing process I wrote a detailed account of the night of the sinking just five weeks after the event so the record is not clouded by the years that have passed. I will post it on the Jupiter Disaster page on Facebook.

        I fully understand the traumatic memories of so many people that have written on this blog, it was a horrendous event. There are however many that have been able to overcome the trauma and are able to go on planes or even ships on holiday without a problem. Neither experience is “right” they are just different as people are different.

  52. 89 Tania Duffy September 28, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    Hi michelle,
    I was also on the cruise, I was the girl in the water with you I could not believe it when read your story. I hope you are well i would love to hear back from you.
    From tania xx

    • 90 Michelle Best September 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      Hi Tania

      Oh my, how nice to hear from you. The amazing thing about technology is that you have found me when I would never of thought that we would *meet* again. I’m good, thanks. I hope everything is going well for you.

      Thanks for the nice surprise.
      Michelle xx

  53. 91 Tania Duffy October 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

    Hi michelle when I read your blogg about cruise I was in floods of tears I kept thinking this girl is talking about it . I still remembered your name. I am ok thanks have 3 lovely daughters , I still get panicj attacks so that gets to me I am seeing a homapath so that helps . Take care xxx

  54. 92 Tania Duffy October 8, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Sorry I was meant to say talking about

  55. 93 Debbie Eames (nee Butler) October 16, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    Hi there

    I was also on the Jupiter that night. I was part of the streetly school onboard.
    Unfortunately I was one of the children who had to swim to safety and was not picked up for several hours. I remember floating about in the darkness not sure if I was going to be rescued. The worst of it is, I was holding Vivian Barley afloat but tragically she had an attack in the water, panicked, let go of me and they never found her body.
    I cannot describe the guilt I still feel to this day that I couldn’t save her.
    I was taken to a small cottage hospital and wasn’t found by my teachers until the early hours of the next morning.
    The feeling of having to get onboard jupiters sister ship the next day, still gives me chills. I can remember my best friend screaming as I came on board, as she thought I was dead. Luckily I remained best friends with her and we are still close today.
    Every year, the 21st October fills me with a strange dread. It is so good to know all of the survivors of this terrible tragedy are still being supportive to each other.
    God bless Vivien, I am so sorry for not saving you. RIP you’re a little angel. Xx

    • 94 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      Debbie, Hi its Richard Morris, i too was on this from Streetly school i remember you were missing and had your leg was broken, its not you fault you know, i can fellin my eyes welling up as i type this. I had to jump off as it was going down as i was in the middle of the ship and had no way of gettin to either end. How are you now?

  56. 95 Luan Amon October 21, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I was on the boat too – my friend Viv was one of those that lost her life. Your account is exactly as I remember it word for word, especially the hanging from the bars. Thank you for writing this, said with tears in my eyes on this the 23rd anniversary.

    • 96 Shivaughn Mordey October 21, 2011 at 10:39 pm

      For anyone leaving comments on here, do you know there is a Facebook group: Jupiter Survivors Group, one of the girls is thinking we should organise a 25th year get together in 2013.

      • 97 vitoria wilson April 20, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        wow im joining, thank you. I’m only just trying to connect with people after all these years and this will finally help me to come to terms with what happened. vicky xxx

  57. 98 Brenda Eggett October 28, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Hi I was the cruises director on the Jupiter for a year before it sunk. We had disembarked with our passengers just a few hours before you all got on. It was terrible for us as well as the crew was like family to us and the ship was home. I spoke to many of the crew after and they were in shock and never went to sea again. I often wondered how all the “kids” were as we were told if our passengers had been on board (they were older)there would of been many more deatlh

  58. 99 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Reading all of these comments has made me realise how much i am not over what happened that day. It is not something that any child should ever have to go through, i have never been able to talk to anyone really about this and i am no longer in contact with anyone that i knew that was on the trip with me from Streetly School. but in a strange way it is comforting to know that there are people that feel like i do and i am not and have not been alone in these thoughts for alll these years. i cant help but think and imagine how different my life would have been had this not happened, especially in my late teens (iwas 13 when it happened) the things i did to block it out and the bad choices i made didnt matter to me then- i am jibbering on as this is the first tie i have really said these things to people who have experienced what i have- ~God speed to you all xxx

    • 100 David Kinchin December 21, 2011 at 3:30 pm

      There is a good book – “Supporting children with posttraumatic stress disorder” which really examins the effects of trauma on young people, and how it goes on to affect them as adults. You are perfectly normal in what you are currently feeling.
      I counsell a number of people who are traumatised by different events. They all have very similar symptoms about the way the memory affects them.
      “Post traumatic stress disorder – the invisible injury” is also a useful read.

      • 101 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 3:43 pm

        Had i known then what i know now – and the things i did to escape, things could have been so different

      • 102 Michelle Best December 21, 2011 at 11:10 pm

        Hi Richard – many thanks for all the comments. I hope you are OK? It sounds like you need to see someone who you can talk to about the cruise. It will really help you out, I think.

        Take care

  59. 103 Richard Morris December 21, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    by the way did anybody else grab hold of a huge piece of Polystyrene that was floating around- that saved my life

  60. 104 Dave January 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Thanks so much for that story Michelle. My wife and I were on that ship in 1985. (A two week Carribean cruise that started in the Dominican Republic). I am so glad that you made it off the ship safely. I still remember every room on that ship and the layout which brought back memories as you were describing things. I have lots of slides of that ship inside and out. I also did hear that the crew were not very much help as they were too busy looking after themselves.

    • 105 Paul January 16, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      The crew – of which there was a mortality and several injuries, were involved in a lot of actions that saved life. Yes those who were in the depths of the ship did get out fast but considering they would have probably died if they had not it seems a sensible thing to do. Schools Abroad Staff also did several things to help – either on board or coordinating / communicating with people to account for each and every person involved on that night. Because people did not see crew or Schools Abroad Staff in obvious uniform does not mean they did not help and deserted the public. I for one only left the ship when a swim was my only option and we had made sure all people had got out of the lounge area and then as many people got off our areas as safely and as calmly as possible. We did not make a song and dance of it and as such are not actually mentioned. Whilst not wanting recognition, comments as the above still Jar me, I was an 18 year old at the time – a couple of months older than some of those on their holiday – we were all affected by that night, it was petrifying and we felt we had an obligation to stay on the boat to help…we were not trained and had only been working for the company for 50 minutes or so when the bang occurred!

      • 106 Dave January 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

        So sorry to strike a nerve there Paul. I now understand more clearly about how you and others stuck around to help others off the ship. I was just going by some of the reports that I had read. Obviously, you can’t beleive everything that you read. Once again, I am sorry Paul. Speaking of ships, how about this for timing as we are all watching what is happening with the Costa Concordia?

      • 107 Paul January 17, 2012 at 10:30 pm

        No worries. Despite the tragic loss for the individual families, itis again amiracle that it happenned so close to land so so many were saved.

    • 108 Emma Mills October 21, 2018 at 9:40 pm

      Hi Dave

      I am a Jupiter survivor.. do you still have the images of the ship inside and out?

      Look forward to hearing from you.

      Best regards

  61. 109 Bill January 15, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    The Jupiter was a disaster waiting to happen. Having taken a trip on it, I can tell you that it was poorly maintained. Not only that, the food was mediocre, at best. On a cruise, where you expect to have a great assortment of delicious foods available, there was an inadequate supply of not very good food. I read with delight that it had sank! Epirotiki Lines, shame on you.

  62. 111 J Hewitt January 16, 2012 at 4:26 pm


    I was on the cruise and i’m not sure if you’re aware but there is a group of us on Facebook, under Jupiter Disaster.

    It might help to join it, if you are not already aware.

  63. 112 Diz January 17, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Hi, I was on that ship 6 months before it sank, I still remember that night so clearly. It broke my heart. I was so shaken and upset at the trauma everyone was going through.

    I’ve been hesitant about leaving a reply here, as I wasn’t with you all in body, but I really was in spirit. I was 11, and I was so worried about everyone on that ship, both on that night and the trauma afterwards.

    The recent news events have upset me, and brought back that concern and caring for you all, I came and found this blog, kind of my way of checking on you and sending virtual hugs and support. I know it’s not much, but I have been through PTSD and resulting mental health problems from my own trauma (probably the reason why I got so worried about everyone in the first place – I hate to think of people being traumatised and upset – probably why I work in the emergency services). I got through the PTSD, with help, a lot of help, but I got there. I really hope those of you still struggling find a way through.

    I am thinking of you all, as well as the people involved with the Concordia, Stay well and safe. xx

  64. 113 Martin February 20, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    I’m with Diz on this one. I’ve hesitated to reply to any of the few posts out there dedicated to the disaster, feeling as if I have no right to as I wasn’t there.

    I sailed on the Jupiter in February 1988 (in fact, 24 years ago today we were in Kuşadası).

    As I approach 40 I find myself thinking every February and October of those who didn’t make it, especially poor Vivienne, who never got to become an adult like we have.

    I cannot possibly understand what it felt like to go through what you all did, but I feel linked with you through that ship.

    Peace to you all. xx

  65. 114 Gehanne Erian February 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    I too went on the ship with my school, before it sank, at Easter. I had the holiday of a lifetime. I was 11 and it was the happiest time of my life. I remember watching the news that Autumn and being extremely upset. I couldn’t undertsand why at the time as I knew I was safe at home. I have never forgotten it and I feel deeply for all those of you actually on that ship. I do know that you can find comfort in speaking to those who were with you on that day in October 1988.

  66. 115 pjnorris April 1, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    I was with Langtree School in March 1988 and we did the 8 day cruise. I remember October 1988 very well when I heard and saw the shocking pictures on television, finding it hard to believe something this large could sink.

    24 years later, I’m clearing out a cupboard at home and found a box full of photographs, some of the cruise itself. I was telling my wife the story and she couldn’t believe it.

    My thoughts are with the survivors who are still suffering today from the disaster and to the families who lost loved ones.

  67. 116 Karen April 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    I too am a survivor, although my experience was very different from yours – I was on deck when we were struck. I was a 16 year old from The Folkestone School for Girls, and my cousin was also on board.To this day I still have issues, events will bring it all flooding back, and the Titanic centenary is doing that at the moment. I still sometimes wake in a sweat from a vivid nightmare about the sinking.

    Recently someone on Twitter suggested I blog about my experience, partly as it could be cathartic for me but also to help others understand what we went through, what these events are really like.

    Having read your blog I think that’s what I’m going to do. Thank you for sharing your experience, and to all other survivors who’ve found this blog & commented. Sometimes I feel I’m supposed to be over this by now… but clearly I’m not alone.

  68. 117 yellowdwarfband August 27, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    How sad it is to read how this disaster scarred so many.

    I, too, got off that ship a few hours before the sinking. The cruise staff who narrowly missed being killed were also scarred, but it is unimaginable what the survivors must have gone through that day.

  69. 118 Claire RO September 21, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    So sorry to hear all your stories. I remember this disaster well as I sailed the Jupiter in February 1987 as part of the same school cruise. I was 14 then and remember so much about the boat, so was utterly shocked and upset when the disaster happened. Can’t imagine how it must have felt for those involved.

    Really hope you can all find comfort in sharing your experiences.


  70. 119 Billy January 25, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I am the current Headteacher of The Streetly School (Now The Streetly Academy) Today at lunch a student came to me to say his mum had asked if we still had Vivienne Barley’s plaque on the wall in the school hall. I’m so glad he came to me as it led me here to this blog and thread as I tried to find out more about what happened on that fateful day. I’ve since, in the last hour, spoken to a number of staff here, and yes, we do have the plaque, and although it is not up, it certainly will be. Also, we shall definitely be doing something in school to commemorate and celebrate the life of Vivienne on the 25th anniversary of the disaster. Ironically, just today I have had a meeting with the Headteacher of Brownhills and I will make her aware, if she is not already, of the importance of this year.

    One of the teaching staff who led the trip for Streetly, Mr Gilliland, retired last year, and in his leaving sppech he emotionally, yet eloquently talked of how the events of that day changed his life and his outlook. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have lived through such a disaster, yet as a parent myself, I can only imagine the pain, for some, and relief for many as the news filtered through. This is not to mention the ongoing truama so evident in so many of these posts.

    As I sit here in my office typing this, I have Vivienne’s school records in front of me, with her photo gracing the front of it. Her reports are exemplary. A model student. She was clearly an outstanding young lady and an indescribable loss not only to her family and friends, but the whole community. I agree that no guilt should be felt by anyone regarding what happen that day. No-one can pre-empt how they would act in such a situation.

    If anyone from Streetly would wish to share any ideas regarding an event in October this year, please contact the school (

    If anyone is still in touch with Vivienne’s family, I would be more than happy to hand over her school record if requested.

    Best wishes to you all

  71. 120 Lynda February 17, 2013 at 6:14 am

    I was on the Jupiter in August 1987. When I read about the disaster it deeply touched me. I can only imagine what a traumatic experience it was for you to have gone through. I am very thankful that more lives were not lost than just the few.
    Wishing you well

  72. 121 travelangels March 18, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    I just read all the post about the event back then, I was a hostess on the Pegasus where all of you were put on that night, I will never forget the events and all of you, checking the names of the survivors on the list the teachers had given us, handing out blankets and trying to comfort you, after the nightmare you had been through at such a young age, my husband back then was one of the officers getting a rescue boat from the Pegasus out there to the Jupiter and bringing back the kids onto the Pegasus, both of us remember the night very vividly and send our best wishes to all of you!

  73. 122 Billy June 12, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Dear all,

    We have added a commemorative floral arrangement at the front of the school to mark the 25th anniversary of the SS Jupiter disaster and the sad loss of one of our students, Vivienne Barley. It can be seen on our school facebook page. Access to our facebook page can be made from the school website –

    Kind regards,

    Billy Downie

  74. 123 Jean Sinton June 30, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I never had heard of this disaster,I was lying in bed listening to the radio and they were interviewing a girl who was on the ship and talking about a girl who couldn’t swim and this girl being interview had saved her. so google annd found your story

  75. 124 Shivaughn October 12, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Hey Michelle,

    I’m not sure if you (or any of your blog readers) are aware that there are plans for a memorial service to be held on the evening of Tues 22nd October at St Andrew’s Church, Hornchurch, where we had a thanksgiving service 25years ago. It would be great to have a nice group of us all together.

    Shivaughn x

    • 125 Martin October 21, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Thinking of all of you who were there 25 years ago today, as I do every year. Hope it’s as OK as it can be.

      • 126 Paul Cadmore October 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

        Yes, Hope all of you are OK, and any services / remembrances or personal moments of reflection have gone well. 25 years, long time, but still can go in a flash in moments of thinking about it.

  76. 127 suewalsgrove October 21, 2013 at 10:06 pm

    Date never forgotten. Thinking of you all.

  77. 128 emilija October 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    was there eny streetly people who died

  78. 129 Ian Howell April 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Hi, I was not on the ship but was due to be on the same cruise with my school 2 weeks later so I do remember my mum and dad shouting for me to come and watch the news when this happened, so a close shave for me! My heart however does go out to those affected. The questions I have is did they recover the 4 bodies (especially the school pupil who I think was a 14yr old disabled girl) and did they re-float the ship and if so was it put back in to service, scrapped or does it still lie at the bottom of the sea?

    Regards Ian.

    + The ship we got in the Jupiter’s replacement was called the “Betsey Rose” and it was just awful compared to the Jupiter, but it did get us there and back which is the main point.

    • 130 Martin April 24, 2014 at 9:44 am

      To my knowledge, the bodies of Vivienne Barley and Bernard Butt (teacher) were never recovered.

      The ship is still down there, apparently in good condition, although the fuel tanks started to leak in the late ’90s and had to be drained in 1999.

  79. 131 vitoria wilson April 20, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Hi, Ive just read the first few replies and feel like im back on the jupiter. This is very hard for me as im 39 now and was 13 when i had to literally walk of the end that went down first. Im actually lost for words right now as this is the first time ive looked to sharing my experience with other survivors.
    Ive this horrific memory to the back of my mind for all these years. Im finally having counselling after a life of confusion, drink and drugs to block out the memory of that terrible night. My name is Victoria Wilson and my friends verity o’conner and Mellisa were on the front page of all the newspapers.
    Im going to read some more of your stories as i feel this will help me to finally put this horrible story to rest.
    Im glad ive found you all and will be back very soon.

    Best wishes to all the havering people that were on that dreaded ship.

    vicky xxx

  80. 132 leo r June 22, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    my friends mum was on that ship and i think she was the friend the girl met on the derbies.

  81. 133 fred t June 27, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    i am wondering if this ship was ever in new york…i have in my possession what looks like a big cabin door key. it is a large 3 inch key attached to a plexiglass (home plate, as in baseball) shaped hanger of sorts. it has the markings “MTS JUPITER, epirotiki lines, piraeus, P2, postage guaranteed.” i believe we got this as we explored the Jupiter while it was docked in NY. at any rate i was shocked to hear of this tragedy and story, not realizing what i have here. if anyone is interested in owning this key. please let me know and i will make arrangements to send it to you….i would prefer someone have this, that really wants it……contact Fred at….thanks

  82. 134 Su August 22, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    I was on the Jupiter that night too. I was with about 30 others from my school – Folkestone School For Girls.
    All from my school survived, and although it was 26 years ago, images of that night are still very clear in my memory.

  83. 135 tinas October 25, 2014 at 1:35 am

    The Greek Naval Chief Manolis Peloponisios involved in the Jupiter rescue operation passed away yesterday. His memorial service will be held at the Athens Anglican Church, 25 Oct 2014, 11 a.m.

  84. 136 Donna February 20, 2016 at 2:43 am

    I remember this so well. I was on the Juliter 7-14 March 1988 and was so shocked to hear later that year what had happened. I remember it like yesterday. I too was on a school trip boarding the ship in Istanbul then traveling to Egypt and Rhodes. I have a photo of me steering the Jupiter.

  85. 137 James coleman March 20, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    My wife was also on the same ship in October 1988, along with other children from Brownhills community school. We are planning a visit to Piraeus harbour in 2018. This will be the first time she has returned to the place she boarded the Jupiter 30 years ago. My wife didnt really talk much about what happened on that night for many years, but as the years pass she now explains how things evolved for her and the friends she was with at the time.

  86. 138 Joanna Glenn-Wellings August 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I have a very similar memory of this. And I am wondering if I am the girl who said swim… my name is Jo. Joanna Glenn Wellings from ;rownhills school. I have many phobias now as an adult which i try to keep under control. I do hope you are well.

  87. 139 Tracey Jones November 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    Hi, I was also on the Jupiter and your story is very very similar to mine as I was also having my safety briefing & had to swim off, I wasn’t aware only 25 of us had to do that. it seems surreal that it will be 30 years next year and there are still certain smells that transport me back to that night.

    I was on a trip from TP Riley and it was my teacher that passed away, on investigation is seems I was one of the last from my school to see him alive as he was helping people off the ship to safety. He was a remarkable man and much loved teacher. Ironically he also helped organize the trip for the other schools in the area which Vivien attended.

    They still hold a memorial for him every year at The Walsall Academy (this is what TP Riley became) that his family travel down for.

  88. 140 Marc Ladouceur August 17, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    Thank you for sharing your blog. I was on the Jupiter in May that same year.
    I had heard of the sinking through my boss at the time. The ship had been leased to a Canadian Tour Company for their summer season. If memory serves me correctly, yours was the first sailing after this Tour Operator had completed their runs for the season.

  89. 141 Alastair October 21, 2018 at 11:19 pm

    Hi Alastair Barley here. Can i please be part of this dialogue because I need to talk about this. Thanks.

  90. 142 Sarah Milligan October 22, 2018 at 5:56 pm

    I was one of the 25 that went in the water, I didn’t realise so few didn’t get off the boat directly. I remember someone telling me to grab anything that was floating near by. Eventually I was rescued by a local fishing boat

  1. 1 10 things… #5 « Mj's Blog Trackback on July 17, 2010 at 9:58 pm

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