Crystal Jewel

John Rogers
2nd August 2005, 02:02
Three questions in regards to the Crystal Jewel.
1. Who owned her.?

2. Who was at fault for the collision.?

3. And was she totaled.?

2nd August 2005, 04:26
not sure about the owners John. (marsat2 may be able to tell you that) Both captains were at fault for steaming too fast in the fog. Crystal jewel had her midship section rebuilt in rotterdam i believe. in fact she could still be around somewhere under a different name. Bet someone on this site will be able to tell you more. will e-mail you a couple of pics John. Drop me your e-mail address. Meeching man also knows a bit about this incident. My father was mate on the Tug at that time, Marsat2 was deck crew.

John Rogers
3rd August 2005, 01:34
Thanks for the offer of the pictures William, I dont realy need them I was just wondering whos fault it was after looking at the horrific pictures in the Gallery,very sad for the daughter to loose her life. Thanks again for the offer.

Dave Edge
3rd August 2005, 03:04
John, This was something of a cause celebre at the time being one of the first and best known 'radar assisted collisions'. If I remember correctly each 'sighted' the other on radar and each had the other fine on the opposite bow. Given that the "Crystal Jewel" was hit on the port side I assume she had the "British Aviator" fine to port and the Aviator had her fine to starboard. Each then made a succession of small alterations to increase the passing distance, presumably the Jewel to starboard, the Aviator to port. "Crystal Jewel" was owned by Sugar Line, part of Tate & Lyle. I have posted a photo of her at Calcutta after repairs in the 'cargo ship' gallery.

4th September 2005, 18:21
Yes, you got it all just about right. When the Meeching got the call she was laying up near the Marine workshops at Newhaven and had almost completed a bit of a service on her main engines.
My father was mate on the Meeching at the time and I was a Deckhand. Paddy Pringle was skipper at that moment, she virtualy had two crews in fact,and the call came through roughly about 0930 to 1000hrs. My father had nipped home to get something, and Paddy asked me to jump on my Motorbike and go get him with great haste. This I did and broke a few road rules in the bargain.
The Meeching was underway very quickly, I remember looking in the engine room doorway to see the engineer still securing the rocker covers on one of the main engines thats how short a notice we got. We actualy took Dr. Alexander, the port doctor out with us to tend to the Capt of Crystal Jewel. you are correct in your theory of the Capt of the Jewel jumping from the bridge wing onto the main deck and breaking both of his legs. By the time we got out there they had already transfered him to the Tanker as I feel they thought that the Jewel was at risk of sinking. Thus poor old Dr. Alexander had the task of scaling the pilot ladder up the side of the Tanker, which was empty at the time so he had a fair climb.
I could go on for ages ith this story but I think you have enough to on with for now. Cheers...JIM

John Rogers
4th September 2005, 19:45
Thanks for the story Jim.

22nd July 2006, 21:19
Just joined this site.
I was an apprentice on the Jewel (my first ship almost 1 year to the date I joined)when we had the collision.
She was owned by Sugar Line which was linked to Athel Line and Tate&Lyle
She wasn't totalled and after repair was back in service.
Both skippers were blamed for the collision. A radar assisted collision was the verdict.

22nd July 2006, 21:43
What I have, on my web pages

At official investigations which were held in London on February, 19th, 1962, both captains were suspended for 12 months Owners of CRYSTAL JEWEL made a claim against the owners of BRITISH AVIATOR. The case was considered in the Admiralty Court on October 5th and 6th, 1964. Guilt was laid on both vessels, and liabilities were awarded 60% to BRITISH AVIATOR and 40% to CRYSTAL JEWEL. The appeal of the owners of BRITISH AVIATOR was considered in the Appeal court March, 1965. The Court resolved, that the responsibility should be distributed equally.

Best Wishes

22nd July 2006, 21:51
Thanks Raymond
Strange to see the Jewel whole again.

29th October 2007, 15:34
Does anyone have any pictures of the Crystal Bell. I sailed in her in Feb of 1956 when she was fairly new.


29th October 2007, 16:02
Hi Glancon, PM me you email and I will send you a picture of Crystal Bell.
All best, Raymond

PollY Anna
29th October 2007, 18:58
Hi Treeve

Just running off thread a bit but were the Crystal Jewel / Cube / Bell sister ships I see they were all built at different yards but was it all to the same design

29th October 2007, 19:32
I travelled to Liverpool to join I think the Trelyon and sat opposite a rather nice lady who it turned out was the wife of the Captain of the British Aviator, she was understandably subdued, a Polish name seems to ring a bell.
The phrase "cumulative turn" seems to stir memories and wasn't the collision the source of the notorious Rule 16 Annexe.
Yours aye,

29th October 2007, 19:57
I can only assume they were to the same design,
the appearance is just so.

All Polish women are nice ...

30th October 2007, 17:10
Got your PM - glad that you like the pictures, Glancon;
Anyone else would like pictures, just send me your email address.

30th October 2007, 18:07
Polly Anna,according to my 1963 LLoyds Register all identical together with ...Crown..Diamond.. and Gem. Colin

PollY Anna
30th October 2007, 21:23
Thanks for that mclean & treeve


23rd November 2007, 17:13
''Crystal Crown.'', Was my Worst Ship and that was well over 40 years ago., and I've been on many over the years.,

23rd November 2007, 19:08
What was the worst about Crystal Crown, Athinai?

James MacDonald
23rd November 2007, 20:33
My first trip to sea was on the British Comet as Deck boy on the 29th of May 1963 from Finnart. The Captain was Capt S Butler ,who was involved in the collision with the Crystal Jewel when master of the British Aviator. This mustve been his first command after that tragic collision in the Channel .

PollY Anna
23rd November 2007, 22:05

I bet it was the crew it's never the ship you can sail on the same ship on her next trip and it will be completely different trip.

Regards Ron

23rd November 2007, 22:41
Hi Treeve, Thanks for coming back., Yep Crystal Crown was a bit of a disaster, it was my one and only Ship where there were little ''Cliques,'' I wasn't much of a Drinker so the Code seemed to be.,'' IF YOUR FLYNN YOUR'E IN but if your '' Trout '' ( If you are Trout you're out ). I paid off the ship and left the Company, what a relief., and what a waist of 2 months and 21 days. Must say From that time on Everything was Great and most enjoyable, with Wonderful Memories., would'nt have missed it for anything.

23rd November 2007, 23:03
Thanks Athinai, always interested to hear of experiences. My father always
used to be on about "ruddy clicks" ... he served in all three forces and he
used to say that at sea it was all too concentrated in one tin can.
I always found it best to be true to yourself; no good towing the line
just to be accepted. Not easy on a ship, I have no doubt.
Best Wishes, Raymond

24th November 2007, 11:19
Polly Anna,
Sorry Should have addressed you also in my reply to Treeve, ''You got it in one.''


PollY Anna
24th November 2007, 12:45

It's OK I had the same experience on one of GSNC and for the same reasons (Drink).

So I know where you are coming from

Regards Ron

Marc Foxall
8th November 2010, 12:19
HELLO !!!!! Any of you lot still on here ?????

My name is Marcus Foxall and I live in Sydney,Australia.
My father , Alastair "Alec" Franics Foxall (6th Nov 1933- 10th Nov 2001) served on the Crystal Jewel .
Bear with me here , ok ?

SLICK - the Polish man was not the skipper of the BA , but of the CJ.

Funny thing about we British - we don't talk much about pain , do we?
That was the case in our house : my late father did not speak of the CJ.
Except once - and not to me.

Every Friday , I used to go to La Sainte Union baths in The Avenue , Southampton.
One night - I'm guessing it was 1971/72 - my father picked me up.We went to the offices of Southampton solicitors , Paris,Smith and Randall.

He was asked questions about the CJ disaster.
What ? Well , I do not fully recall - my eyes were red with chlorine and I recall dozing off !
I have no idea why he was being queried .
But- there is absolutely NO DOUBT in my 48 year-old mind about this - the questions WERE about the CJ.
So many years after not only the event but also the enquiry - why ??
I can only speculate-compensation claim ? I don't know .

Anyway , you know how age makes you more curious about the past ?
Well , a few years back I wrote to the Maritime board in Southampton(exact org name ? Dunno - but they are omewhere off London Road).
My heavens , the need for the catharsis was very , very powerful.
The lady I dealt with was quite wonderful - she sent me , promptly and free of charge , the enquiry's report . There was - to my relief - not ONE reference to my late father.
Which means , he must have been off-watch , asleep in his bunk and entirely blameless (was surprised thoiugh that such reports don't list the ship's company-why would that be??).
Such a relief - catharsis - but still puzzled why my late,eccentric old mum
told me the colloision happened in the Great Lakes (where my Dad did indeed was for a time).

I was curious to lear that this incident had a big effect on RADAR rules.

If anyone knew my father , please get in touch !

Marcus Foxall

18th January 2011, 00:21
Hey, Marc,
I remember your Dad, and your Mum, and you, even.
get in touch

2nd February 2011, 16:11
I served my time as an apprentice with Tate and Lyle on these ships and tell you they were not great feeders and had some pretty miserable runs.

Although they were all built to haul sugar to the UK they were actually bulk tramps and would crawl around the world looking to move anything that came their way.

For example I spent a whole Summer moving gypsum from the Bras D'Or lakes in Cape Breton to Montreal. Because this was considered by the Canadians to be coasting all our freezers were sealed and the supplies had to be obtained locally. Well the company felt it had already provisioned the ship so limited funds were available to buy more - i have never been able to face mutton ever since.

Of course when we finally went back deep sea the freezers were reopened and the almost 6 month old stuff was served up

2nd February 2011, 18:07
Crystal Jewel completed 9/56
69 Renamed Meltmi
74 " Natbay
77 " Jeta
Disposal BU Pusan 17/7/79
Source - Miramar Ship Index

2nd February 2011, 18:38
if memory serves me right butler was the masters name on b a brgds kev.

matthew flinders
3rd February 2011, 19:42
.... you are correct in your theory of the Capt of the Jewel jumping from the bridge wing onto the main deck and breaking both of his legs.

I believ that, sadly, the master's wife was on board and died in this collision.

3rd February 2011, 21:11
i thought it was his daughter but i could be wrong rgds kev.

3rd February 2011, 22:36
The night of the collision was VERY thick fog, We were coast hopping on a yatch off bolt head the vis was about 30 feet. Apprenticed at Silley Cox,Falmouth docks worked on the Aviator doing bow rebuild. If I recall I think the CJ`s Masters wife or daughter was thrown on to the deck of the Aviator. Long time ago so might not be correct. Gordon

3rd February 2011, 22:59
I believ that, sadly, the master's wife was on board and died in this collision.
It was the wife. She was in the Captain's cabin knitting and the tanker (unladen with very high bow) rammed the Jewell right on the midship's housing. Story was it ran right over her.

As I recall the story the fog was heavy and they did not see each other until the last moment. They were going to pass starboard to starboard but saw each other on radar and made small incremental course alterations which were not detected on either side - as said earlier the court's opinion was they would not have been able to collide without the assistance of radar.

John Gillespie
4th February 2011, 22:49
Just joined this site.
I was an apprentice on the Jewel (my first ship almost 1 year to the date I joined)when we had the collision.
She was owned by Sugar Line which was linked to Athel Line and Tate&Lyle
She wasn't totalled and after repair was back in service.
Both skippers were blamed for the collision. A radar assisted collision was the verdict.

My cousin,George Coyle, was the other apprentice.
I met him during summer,he is keeping well

5th February 2011, 00:00
The Captain of the Crystal Jewel i think was Polish. Name of Ankiskowski (spelling?)
It was his daughter of 15 years who was with him on that voyage. it was her treat as she had just finished at finishing school.
At the impact the captain jumped from the bridge breaking both legs in the process. his daughter was fataly injured and her legs were all but severed.
My late Father was mate on the tug Meeching that towed the ship into Seaford bay where she was beached. Oldest Brother went out to her with the local undertaker and oxy Acetaline gear to cut the body free. My other Brother (marsat2) was ab on the tug Meeching at that time.

5th February 2011, 00:30
I was on a radar course in L,pool and the master of the CJ at the time of the incident was also on the course. Prior to starting the course we were all informed that he was attending also and asked not to mention the CJ&BA incident, there were 10 of us on the course and we did not mention it. Having done numerous radar courses that was the only one where radar assisted collisions were never mentioned, always the CJ and BA plus the Andria Doria and Stockholm was referred to.
If my memory is correct the master of the Crystal Jewel had been a Polish submarine commander during WW2 and later entered the MN, he was a very quiet man but appeared to be a highly professional seaman. He was very friendly guy but did not converse much with the rest of us, but always greeted all of us each morning and said goodbye to us all in the evening, it was obvious he was carrying a heavy burden, I felt for him and his sad experience it must have been very difficult for him under the circumstances.

10th November 2011, 15:45
I joined the Crystal Jewel in Rotterdam during the repairs and sailed as the mate of the ship. Later becoming Master of her. I therefore have a reasonably good knowledge of the whole affair. I served on her on three different occasions and later transferred to the Trinity House Pilots (Gravesend out). I have various photos of the damage, the repair work and later shots of the ship on the great lakes where I also piloted her (on a B licence) Anybody interested or involved?

Frank P
10th November 2011, 16:00
Welcome onboard John, new photos are always interesting to see.

Cheers Frank

10th November 2011, 20:23
Attached is a plot of the collision.

13th April 2012, 19:44
Crystal Cube was built by Scotts' at Greenock, the first sugar bulk carrier.

17th July 2012, 23:04
You are correct Capt Anczykowski was the master of the Jewel and it was his Daughter that was killed. I sailed with him in the 50s and he was a gentleman.