Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Saturday, September 20, 2014

'Near Miss' on Hibernia as Rogue Wave Strikes Workers

Here's a news item on with the title "'Near Miss' on Hibernia as Rogue Wave Strikes Workers" published on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014:
It was a close call for some Hibernia workers last weekend in what the company calls 'a high potential near miss'.

Four people were working on the gravity-based structure roof slab Sunday when two waves came over the top and struck them.
 Two of the employees lost their footing and fell with one sustaining minor cuts to a hand. The  Hibernia Management and Development Company says workers were wearing immersion suits at  the time of the incident.

So "Two waves came over the top and struck them." clearly indicates this is indeed an encounter of freaque waves  in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Hey I don't believe the definition!

Hey I have a problem! 

I am becoming a heretic in the freaque wave studies because I don’t believe the famous, overwhelmingly accepted definition on freaque waves -- I don’t believe a wave height barely greater than twice the significant wave height is necessarily a freaque wave! Everyone uses this criteria simply because of it's simplicity, easily accessible, everyone can understand -- but it is not very meaningful.

But what is it?

We don’t really know what a freaque wave is! How can we effectively define something we don’t even know?

According to Longuet-hioggins’s 1952 analysis, based on the surface fluctuation being assumed to follow Gaussian mdistribution, wave heights are expected to follow Rayleigh distribution, then a maximumwave height in the record is about twice the significant wave height. So anything greater than the maximum wave height must be considered a freaque. Make sense?

But, but, what is a freaque wave?

First and foremost, a freaque wave does not jump out of Rayleigh distribution. No apology to Lord Rayleigh. Lord Rayleigh has never heard of freaque wave.  Neither has Carl Friedrich Gauss, for that matter. Now we are expected to frame our mind on ocean waves be put under the confine of Rayleigh and Gauss had formulated – so that we can conveniently manipulate the numbers we measured.

When we can not handle the unruly numbers we called them random. And when the number does not follow the rim the smart ones prescribed we call it freaque!

A freaque wave is most certainly greater than twice the significant wave height, but a wave height greater than twice the significant wave height is not necessarily a freaque wave!

So we can not, at the present, successfully define a freaque wave, but people know it happens only when they unfortunately encounter one!

Now mind you, the essense of a freaque wave is not, NOT, its size.  The main characteristics of a freaque wave  that can cause damage and disasters is because it happened unexpectedly, unexpectedly!

Yes, a freaque wave that’s dangerous is not because of its size, it is more because of the fact of it’s unexpectedness! (Yes, not all of of them were out of the blue. Some may even roaring over but still give us no time to prepare, that's also part of the unexpectedness!)

Now how do we define, or quantify, the unexpectedness of the occurrence?  

Well, if you can answer this question you'll have the whole basis of studying ocean freaque waves solved!  Nonlinear dynamic physicists, eat your heart out!.HGH

So far, we don't have an answer, no one ever even try! As a matter of fact, no one ever even ask!

So it happens, freaque wave is unexpected, so what?

Everyone knows significant wave height is the average of the highest one-third waves, that's easy to calculate for a single point gage measured time series data. But what does it have anything to do with the real open ocean out there?

I ask experts what is the significant wave height in the real ocean, not a single point, no one has the answer!

The academic oceanographic world is basically regimented by the single point wave measurements, the whole ocean waves field of study is distilled into a single point that's where all of our knowledge stemmed from! We defined a freaque wave at a single point and the whole ocean is supposed to follow from there!

Make sense or not that's the base of our knowledge basis on ocean waves.

That's my difficulty lies, I can not believe or accept what that implies.

The freaque waves are out there in the real ocean world, happening, but we don't know where, when, how, and why. We are still stuck at looking for 2 time significant wave height. If something higher, wow, that's freaque wave!

In my humble opinion, we know nothing about freaque waves, we can not define waht a freaque wave is. Greater than twice the significant wave height doesn't cut it. We don't even know what is a significant beyond a single point.  Ocean is certainly by no means a single point!

We need improved understanding on freaque waves we need new definition!!!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Freaque wave hits Boston ferry

Hmmm, this freaque wave news case happened a week ago just now come to my attention:
Five miles off the coast of Massachusetts, a passenger ferry was hit by a rouge 20-foot wave, breaking windows and disabling the vessel. The wave damaged the ferry’s generator and one of the ferry’s crew members was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with minor injuries, according to Boston Herald on Aug. 14. 
The commuter ferry travels from Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, to Boston. The boat was stuck about five miles off the coast of Scituate, reports WHDH Boston today. The wave seemingly came out of nowhere and just left the boat sitting dead in the water with 42 passengers on board on Wednesday afternoon, reports the Boston Globe.Passengers described the ordeal as “the boat sort of tips down in the water, almost as if it was going to flip over,” said Ariel Shurm, 22, of Boston. He was returning back to Boston after a family vacation on the Cape. The seas weren't unusually rough, but all of a sudden a "green sheet of water" came barreling toward the ship. It hit the ship, doing most of the damage to the captain's level, which sits 20-feet above the water line. 
The crew passed out life-jackets and panic set in with one woman screaming "the boat is sinking," according to Mail Online today. Water was rolling down the walls in the cabin area of the vessel and people were scared. This is not an area accustomed to waves big enough to tip over a boat of this size and people who frequent the ferry know this, making this wave event a bit out of the norm and frightening for them. 
There was initial panic on board when the wave hit, but because they were stuck out in the water with little to do, Shurm, who is a Berklee College of Music student, whipped out his trumpet and gave an impromptu concert for the stranded passengers. Shurm plays the trumpet for the popular local Boston rock band The Interlopers, tried to calm the passengers with his music and it seemed to do the trick!
At one point he played the theme to “Jaws” just as a joke. He also said he played a lot of “ocean-themed stuff.” 
Coast Guard officials confirmed that the passenger ferry was hit by a large wave rendering the vessel “briefly disabled.” The incident happened a little after 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The ferry is owned and operated by the Bay State Cruise Company. 
The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot motor life boat along with an 87-foot cutter out to the stranded ferry to assist in restoring the generator, which was knocked out when the wave hit, according to the Boston Globe. Once fixed, the boat continued on to its original destination to its dock in the Seaport District in Boston. It arrived around 7 p.m., a few hours later than usual. 
One person was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with injuries, but no further information on what those injuries were was made available.
It appears that it was the reporting media that's calling it as an encounter with freaque wave, Coast Guard officials only confirmed that it was "hit by a large wave". Anyway there were minor damage and injury, some panic, just a minor mishap that caused some inconvenience.  May be that's why the news did not spread.


This Thursday Boston Globe news article gave more details on the waves;
A series of large waves shattered windows and disabled power on the Provincetown IV ferry on Wednesday afternoon, leaving more than 40 people stranded five miles off the coast of Scituate. 
CBS Boston reported that the ferry, operated by the Bay State Cruise Company, was traveling from Provincetown to Boston with 42 people on board when it was hit by what the company described as “an anomalously large set of waves.” Two windows were shattered and the ship’s captain suffered a minor injury to his hand, according to the report. 
While most waves were reported to be roughly five feet tall, some passengers on board the ferry told WHDH that the waves that disabled the ship were nearly 20 feet tall.

A report from The Boston Globe added that the crew contacted the Coast Guard shortly after 4 p.m. and two ships, a 47-foot life boat and an 87-foot cutter, responded to the scene nearly five miles off the coast of Scituate. According to the report, the ferry’s generator was eventually restored and it was able to slowly return to port without being towed. It finally returned to dock at approximately 7 p.m., according to The Globe.
We should all be thankful that this freaque wave encounter case had only minor damage and injury. At any rate, however, it was a real encounter case with an unexpected large wave or waves -- which the ferry company described them as "anomalously large set of waves".  As the size estimates of the waves varied between 5 and 20 feet indicates the difficulty of getting a realistic estimate from eye witnesses.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Tragedy caused by a huge wave at Maui beach

This tragic sad case happened over two weeks ago in Maui, Hawaii according to this USA Today article entitled "Rogue wave kills mom in Maui" by Newser Staff Elizabeth Armstrong Moore, July 22, 2014:
(NEWSER) – Flight attendant Wendi Van Briesen was bodysurfing with her 13-year-old son, Tanner, in Maui when a huge wave turned the family's first vacation to Hawaii tragic, knocking her unconscious, shattering two of her vertebrae and putting her into a coma. 
Van Briesen's husband, Aaron, and 11-year-old daughter, McKenna, witnessed the accident from the beach, and Aaron, a schoolteacher, pulled her out of the water and performed CPR. A week later, the Arizona native died while on life support, reports Arizona's 3TV
"There are no words to describe it when you walk in and see her on a ventilator," her sister-in-law told Hawaii News Now. "It's been absolutely awful for our family—to go on vacation in Hawaii for the first time and go straight from an airplane to a hospital." 
The family had planned to fly to Kauai for the remainder of their vacation, but are instead flying home to Gilbert, Ariz., to plan the funeral. 
What a sad tragic case. Any thing can happen near the beach, but this one happened at the Maui beach caused by this freaque huge wave is very, very sad indeed. With shattered vertebrae tat put her in coma, she just did not have a chance to escape before its happening all of a sudden. "No words to describe it" is the only description that one can come up with. It's just too sad! We can only pray to God to help this family to cope this tragic happening.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

April tragidy at Tenerife

I just came across this UK DailyMail article earlier this year which I missed to notice when it happened in April of this year. As customery of  DailyMail articles, a long headline just about tells the whole story:
Two British doctors swept to their death by waves as they try to rescue their children from the water at holiday beach off Tenerife (Read more:
It is the human tragidy we wish it'll never happen. One of the most relevant key description in the words of one of the rescurers in the article is this:
"What they had been doing was standing on the rocks looking at the waves crashing in. Unfortunately one of those waves was so big it crashed in and swept them out to sea. The girl I rescued wasn’t even in swimwear, she was in shorts and a T-shirt."
Just everyday ordinary happenings, but this time it led to tragidy! How can one prevant it even if we know it will happen?!? But we do know it will happen, just that we don't know where, when, how, and why they will happen!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Swept out to sea

Here are a short list of recent news reports from around the world:
Australia SkyNews July 10, 2014: "The boy was swept into the surf about 1350 AEST on Thursday".

UK Mirror July 10, 2014: "Frantic search for five-yuear-old boy swept out to sea by huge wave during family holiday".

NewsonJapan June 20, 2014: "5 children swept out to sea in Miyazaki; one drowns".

Peninsula Daily News July 5, 2014: "Body of Chimacum girl, 11, swept out to sea by riptide found this morning".

UK News Letter August 1, 2014: "Five children saved as they were being swept out to sea".

It is just a sample showing wha thas been happening. The list is by no means complete. What I am trying to show here is that all these items have one thing in common -- they all carried the words "swept out to sea"! Yes, 4 simple words put together form an unpleasant, sometimes tragic, aspect of life that can happen near the ocean beach and nearshore area, even onboard seagoing ships in the open ocean. These cases were happened recently. Of course there must be cases that happened locally not being reported and available on the internet news system. So when go out enjoy the beaches, be careful, beware, and be alert. Have a safe and enjoyable beach outing!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The new freaque waves article in NewScientist magazine

The latest NewScientist (Issue 2979) carried this online article by Stephen Ornes entitled "Rogue waves: The real monsters of the deep" just caught my eye. What I was surprised to see was this:

Seven giants
In 2007, Paul Liu at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration compiled a catalogue of more than 50 historical incidents probably associated with rogue waves. Here are some of the most significant . . .

Hmm . . .  I know that my Geofizika article has been reasonably well referenced, but this NewScientist citing is still a surprise to me.  Here's a discussion in a paragraph in the early part of the article:
Science has been slow to catch up with rogue waves. There is not even any universally accepted definition. One with wide currency is that a rogue is at least double the significant wave height, itself defined as the average height of the tallest third of waves in any given region. What this amounts to is a little dependent on context: on a calm sea with significant waves 10 centimetres tall, a wave of 20 centimetres might be deemed a rogue.
The lament about the lack of "universally accepted" definition is fine. But the dismissing of possible of a 20 cm high freaque waves is unnecessary.  Freaque waves may be able to reach tens of meters high, but its existence is not necessarily measured by its sice alone. An important characteristics of freaque waves  the definition can not be delineated is the unexpectedness of the occurrence of the wave. Even a wave of 20 cm tall, if it occurs unexpectedly, it will be a freaque wave nevertheless!

Over all this is the best general article on freaque waves written by a science writer I have ever read.  He must have done extensive researches on the topic of freaque waves.  I don't know if he had actually talked to the key players he cited in his article, but his choice of players and representing their works all admirably.

For this article I signed up for a short term subscription to NewScientist -- the only way to allow me the access the article in whole right now, it's worth it!