Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Freaque wave happened in Caribbean Thursday night.

A freaque wave happened in the Caribbean Thursday (Nov. 26, 2015) night as reported in the Travel Mole. Here're the details:

Freak wave hits MSC cruise ship

Two cruise passengers suffered minor injuries when a freak wave struck the side of MSC Divina as she sailed in the Caribbean.

The wave hit the side of the ship at 23:40 local time on Thursday, damaging a small cabin porthole.

"One of two Mexican guests staying in the cabin sustained minor abrasions, while an Argentinean guest in another cabin slightly injured a finger when closing a balcony door," said the cruise line.

MSC Divina was sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Nassau in the Bahamas when the incident happened.

"The safety and wellbeing of guests and crew are MSC Cruises' number one priority, and onboard technicians immediately sealed the damaged porthole," said the cruise line in a statement.

"As a further precaution, MSC Cruises has given alternative cabins to the guests from the affected cabin and those adjacent to it."

MSC Divina remained seaworthy and is continuing her itinerary, it added.
Friday, November 27, 2015
MSC is a Swiss based company. As usual that there's no details info available about the freaque wave other than it was hit at the side of the ship. Thank God for no serious mishaps.

Friday, November 06, 2015

Remembering the Fitz 40 years later

Every year around this time in early November, the Great Lakes area remembers the loss of SS Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10th, 1975. This morning the Detroit News published this article entitled "40 years later, Edmund Fitzgerald remains a mystery" written by Susan R. Pollack, Special to The Detroit News. So it's been 40 years, time flies! I still remember vividly the day after it's happening my colleague Tim Kessenich told me the news about it's happening. That was long before I got interested in rogue waves while we were deeply interested in Great Lakes waves. After that I did some hindcasting study on the possible wave conditions. I presented my study in the Great Lakes conference held in Ann Arbor the next year. As I remember that was the only time in my whole career, I made presentation to a room full of people even with people standing in the back. Hmm I was 40 years young then! The mystery Susan Pollack alluded about is basically what we are still not sure about what was really happened to the Fitz! For me personally as an interested bystander for 40 years I can only cite my favorite lines of Gordon Lightfoot's lyric:  

Does any one know where the love of God goes                                                                   when the waves turn the minutes to hours?   


Monday, November 02, 2015

Was it a freaque wave?

This is a follow-up to the previous post regarding the capsizing of the whale-watching boat. This article in the Province,, by  Jeff Lee of PostMedia News, provided a eyewitness account as told to a rescuer, Frank, who recounted:
“They were saying they were looking at the seals and they saw this real big wave coming, bigger than the rest,” Frank said. “It brought them up and they fell over and just started tumbling, over and over. 
“The next thing they know the boat is full of water and they were all rushing out. The only thing they could see was the life raft, so they all swam for the life raft.”
Now here's a quite good description of wave happening: they can see the wave coming! Clearly there was no time for them to react and prepare when the wave hit them. I have two questions regarding this case: 1). They can see the wave coming, did the wave make any noise? and 2). Is this a freaque wave or just a regular large wave?

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Whale-watching boat tragedy caused by freak wave

This tragic news was reported in  the Guardian as:
A freak wave that struck as sightseers crowded to one side of the top deck caused the sinking of a Canadian whale-watching vessel, killing five Britons and an Australian near Vancouver Island, investigators have said. 
Canada’s transportation safety board said that after questioning some of the 21 survivors, including three crew, it had initially concluded that the Leviathan II sank on Sunday after it was hit by a wave when most of the passengers were gathered on the top deck watching sea lions.
The article was written by Chris McGreal.

This is another one of all the tragic cases that was never expected to, and should not ever have, to happen but unfortunately happened. A most unsettling news is what the coroner disclosed: "none of the five who died had been wearing life jackets, although they were available."

I guess no one can emphasize more strongly this advise to the tourists:
 whenever on board a tourist vessel and there're life jackets available, by all means WEAR it! Your life depends on it!!!
May God bless the lost souls, may they R.I.P

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!