RED SEA / ROTTERDAM - Two Dutch passenger ships collided in the Red Sea. It is the 'Willem Ruys' and 'Orange'. The collision occurred at the height of Port Sudan. No deaths or injuries.

The damage to both ships seem large. Willem Ruys of the Royal Rotterdam Lloyd's starboard badly damaged. There is a triangular hole two meters wide and three meters high, above the waterline. Later is still a big crack five meters long in the stern.

According to the commander of the Willem Ruys running water within two holds, but the pumps can easily keep track of which. There are six hundred passengers on board. The ship was en route from Jakarta to Rotterdam.

The Orange 'Steamship Company Netherlands' (Amsterdam) also significant damage to the nose. This ship is en route to Jakarta. It can operate independently sail.

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According to the passengers aboard the Willem Ruys was very busy on the Red Sea at the time of the accident. The two Dutch ships passed each other a few hundred meters.

It is common for ships of the same or an allied company in passing that sail toward each other, but it went wrong.

Both ships would pass each other on the port side. Then the Orange crossed to starboard, possible to deviate from a tanker. The twist was not made properly, causing both ships came down together. An avoidance maneuver Willem Ruys came too late.


Both ships began to bellow the alarm sirens. A collision could not be avoided more. Willem Ruys clashed first with the front against Orange. Then Willem Ruys made a turn around the shaft and clashed again with the back against the other ship.

The other ship, Orange, has been on fire after the collision. That also could see several people at the Willem Ruys.

At the request of the captain of the Orange, Willem Ruys remained near Fern.

The fire raged in a storeroom in the fore. The crew managed to extinguish the fire. Orange also makes his journey to Jakarta. There it is repaired.


According to passengers caused the collision for a proper blow. After the collision, the passengers were instructed to put on their lifejackets and to go to the lifeboats.

"We got to stand commissioned in lifeboats. This lasted about half an hour. When we were back to our cabins "

(Vrije Volk, 08-01-1953)

According to the same traveler there was no panic on board. Pretty soon became clear that would not sink the ships.

Willem Ruys on its own strength to Port Said, where it is inspected. Passengers can then probably another ship continue the trip to Rotterdam. Orange is on its own direction Jakarta.

Hoe ging het verder?

Eventually, the collision was found to be caused by a control error of the master of the Orange. He really wanted to bring a greeting to the Willem Ruys.

The Council for Maritime occurs late April ruling in, which is followed by great interest. The Oranje captain gets banned from sailing for a week.

The statement above shows that there is much misunderstanding. The tanker would be possible in the road was much further away than the first Orange inschatte. Then there was much speculation about what would happen to the price of the other ship, in plate from which there was overlaid.

“Regardless of the cause of this collision, the Council adds, da t a captain should not detach generally clear instructions ... which requires him when approaching a crossing vessel heading his course and speed to maintain, if the other to swerve” (pronunciation RvdS)

The twist that made the Orange was too narrow. The Ruys week off, but a collision was unavoidable. The Captain of the Ruys was completely cleared of blame.

The captain of the Orange "acted contrary to good seamanship", ruled the council. Thus, not only the big damage, but also has damaged the reputation of the Dutch shipping

According to the Council it was too far to impose a ban on greetings from other vessels, there by sailing close by.

In March, the Willem Ruys is another new direction of travel Jakarta. The ship is repaired for one million guilders. The Orange had to dock two months. That ship was May again until the end of the sea. That repair cost three million guilders.


Telegraph – 07-01-1953 – Willem Ruys and Orange quite badly damaged by collision in Red Sea

Het Vrije Volk – 07-01-1953 – ‘Ruys’ badly damaged

Het Vrije Volk – 08-01-1953 – Clash with the Oranje’ firmly arrived

Algemeen Handelsblad – 13-01-1953 – writes a passenger in the Willem Ruys: Orange Willem Ruys struck the first moment behind the bow

Het Vrije Volk – 29-04-1953 – Collision tried in Red Sea

Ruling Board Ship

Text: Dave Datema

published: 06-01-1953

story number: 57

is a polygon made news about the return of the SS Willem Ruys 1953

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