Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Monday, September 21, 2015

Swept off Lighthouse Pier at Michigan City in Southern Lake Michigan

Here's a news from the Times of NW Indiana:
MICHIGAN CITY | A northern Indiana man's body was recovered Sunday after he was swept off the Lighthouse Pier at Michigan City's Washington Park a day earlier by a large wave, officials said. 
Earl Helmuth, 24, of Napanee, his fiancee and two other Amish couples were taking photos at the end of the Lighthouse Pier about 6:30 p.m. Saturday when a large wave came over the rocks and "knocked them off their feet," said Sgt. Shawn Brown, an Indiana Department of Natural Resources conservation officer. 
The six friends were standing on the middle tier of rocks north of the lighthouse as the waves were crashing in, Brown said. There are pilings but no railings at the end of the pier, which is "pretty open," he said. 
"It was a nice day. The waves were neat, and they were just taking pictures," Brown said.
After the group was swept off the pier, three were able to get out on their own. 
U.S. Coast Guard officers, who happened to be patrolling the creek that goes from Lake Michigan into Michigan City, rescued two others — including a pregnant woman — who were clinging to the concrete wall of the lighthouse. 
The Coast Guard and conservation officers launched a search by water and air for Helmuth, who could not swim, Brown said. Ten-foot waves and treacherous conditions late Saturday forced divers to suspend their underwater search until Sunday, officials said.
Helmuth's body was recovered about 8 a.m. Sunday, shortly after conservation officers divers resumed their search. He was found in 12 feet of water, about 20 feet from where he was last seen, officials said. 
Helmuth and his fiance were planning to marry in October, Brown said. Officials initially said Helmuth lived in Shipshewana. Brown said he was planning to move there, but legal documents still listed a Napanee address. 
As every happenings inevitably reckon with sad, tragic consequences, this one is certainly not an exception. It all started with an excited lighthouse outing and taking some pictures. Disaster is always lurking behind all the seemingly routine activities like taking pictures at the lighthouse. Another swept away by a freaque wave, a young bridegroom with a long productive life ahead -- dashed. God have mercy, RIP!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Swept off Pearl Beach of Australia, July, 2014

I guess the common sayings that "All news are local" is quite true, especially when it comes to the news of freaque wave encounters.  I just come across another "swept off" to sea case happened in July at the Pearl Beach, New South Wales, Australia.  Another terrible tragic occurrence did not makes into world wide news cycle: A 5 years old  was swept off NSW beach reported on July 12, 2014, massive rescue efforts were eventually called off with no trace of finding the young boy's body. Any one familiar with the area or have seen a picture of the beach there would certainly marvel the beauty and the seemingly tranquil peacefulness of the area that should not expect such a terrible tragedy to happen. Here's a post by the aunt of the lost boy:
"Devastating news for our family today . . .the passing of our nephew Chayce Kofe . . .Where there areno words know the silenceare carrying the thoughts and prayers of all who love you Charyce."

"I will Hold you in my heart forever Charyce . . . Loving you always."

What a tragedy! Time may not heal the loss, a year had passed, little had already back to God's place, but the family's pain of losing him remains forever. May God bless them!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rugby coach fell freaque wave victim

This case took place about a month ago as was reported in The full headline reads: Rob Walton: popular rugby coach killed after suffering whiplash when he was hit by freak wave.

Here's the detail story as reported:

A top rugby coach drowned after suffering from whiplash when he was hit by a freak wave on a family holiday. 
Rob Walton, 36, was overwhelmed by the giant wave as he swam off Labenne beach, near Biarritz, on the French west coast. 
The dad-of-four, known to his friends as Yoghurt, was a talented rugby player-turned-coach, who had played alongside future World Cup winners during a spell in New Zealand. 
A French police source said: “He was hit in the spine by a big wave and suffered whiplash injuries.”The spot where Mr Walton drowned is one of the most popular surfing spots in the area, thanks to the waves that roll in from the Atlantic. 
It is believed he was caught in a giant surge of sea water and was spun around before his body was released by the waves.

Very tragic, "hit in the spine by a big wave" and the wave is clearly unexpected is something that should not ever happen but happens more often than recognized. We feel extremely sorry for him,  his friends, and family. May God grant him RIP.

Now can this kind of cases be avoided? Let's hope so!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Another "swept out to sea" tragedy

Another "swept out to sea" tragedy, this time in Ireland, as this news from  reports:

A man has died after being swept out to sea by a large wave while fishing in Co Waterford. 
The incident occurred on Bunmahon Beach near Dungarvan at approximately 1.45pm on Tuesday.Dublin Coastguard, which co-ordinated the rescue attempt, received a 999 call at 1.50pm from the man’s friend who was also fishing. 
A spokesman for the coastguard said the man was swept out to sea by a large wave before his friend entered the water and attempted to rescue him. 
He was unsuccessful and returned to shore to raise the alarm. 
The spokesman for the coastguard said that because the man had been reportedly in the water for five minutes, the Waterford-based coastguard helicopter was dispatched, along with the RNLI lifeboat and a community rescue boat.
The helicopter crew located the man but he was found to be face down in the water and non-responsive.

How tragic! Perhaps the following comments one should always kept in mind:

The spokesman for the coastguard urged people to remain vigilant of large waves and not to fish in areas that are not frequented by local people. 
“These waves are often described as freak waves,” he said. “One in every seven waves is a large wave - so they’re not freak waves - they’re large waves.”
I am not quite certain what the last comment means!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rogue Waves sink Phi Phi cargo ship

Here's a headline from the Phuket Gazette yesterday: Rogue Waves sink Phi Phi cargo ship.

For us outsiders not familiar with geography of Thailand area, Wikipedia has these to say: The Phi Phi Islands are in Thailand, between the largest island of Phuket and the west Strait of Malacca coast of mainland.

Now please check their website for details of what had happened.

In essence, according to the Captain, Mr. Anan, they left in the morning in calm seas, then clearly an unexpected freaque wave, about 3 m high, struck them hard, the boat started to take on water, then another large wave hit it and sunk it.

To a large extent, this is probably a typical case of freaque waves happening with an auspicious ending: Both crew members are being rescued! Thanks be to God!

, where they were being taken care of by Phi Phi National Park officers,” said Lt Col Anurak.

Both men were taken to Phi Phi Hospite received a report from fishermen that they had located the pair and took them to Koh Pai, where they were being taken care of by Phi Phi National Park officers,” said Lt Col Anurak.

Both men were taken to Phi Phi Hospital for treatment, after having been clinging to debris for hours.

“The captain, Mr Anan, said that they departed Krabi at 10am in calm seas. However, a rogue wave, that was about three meters high, struck them hard,” said Mr Anurak.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Happened in Labenne in the Landes region of SW France

This latest news item in Mirror is a depressing happening: "British tourist dies after freak wave breaks spine and causes whiplash" as the headline states.
The man was bathing in a supervised swimming area in Labenne in the Landes region in Aquitaine in south-western France. 
 The 36-year-old suffered whiplash which broke his spine, according to authorities.The man was bathing in a supervised swimming area in Labenne in the Landes region in Aquitaine in south-western France.
How terrible!

The article also has this:

Facing the open Atlantic, the 60 miles of Landes beaches are famous for large waves.

The area contains the largest number of surf spots in Europe.

So care should be especially observed in famous tourist places! It is really upsetting to see  a life lost like this. On the other hand, some may regard this to be a romantic way to go. May God bless the victim, RIP.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Dog rescued from crushing waves by tourist at Honolulu rocky shore

This UK Daily Mail article tells a story of a tourist rescuing a dog that was crushed by large waves at Honolulu China Wall cliff with pictures and a video clip. Here's main story line:

This is the incredible moment a brave tourist rescued a small dog after two powerful waves crashed into it and carried it out to sea

The video and the online pictyures pretty much ca[ptured the whole drama well worth a watching!
Note that it was two large waves, not necessarily freaques.  But are there any differences?