1498: While on his third voyage on August 4, 1498,
1545: Mary Rose, four masted warship, built on the orders of King Henry VIII between 1510 and 1511. She was one of the first ships able to fire a broadside, and was a firm favorite of Henry VIII. After a long and successful period of service she sank on July 19, 1545. See here.
1881: October, 1881, Firth of Forth, North Sea, the Alice of Boddam had left Fisherrow harbour five days previously, while attempting to return to Dunbar following a spell of bad fishing encountered a devastating storm. In the midst of the turmoil, the boat was seen half a mile away from Dunbar harbour when two massive waves struck sinking the vessel with all her crew. (Based from here.)
1883: On February 14, 1883 while en-route from Liverpool to
1884: Steamer Daniel Steinmann, an iron ship of 1,785 tons from Antwerp to Halifax, was wrecked at Sambro south of Halifax the night of April 3, 1884. Ninety passengers and thirty-four of the crew were drowned. Only the captain and several men were saved. According to the captain's statement ". . . At the same time an immense wave came pouring over her, carrying off every living soul. . ." and also by second boastwain: ". . . Just at that moment a heavy wave swept over the ship under which it sank. . ." See here.
1884: The yacht Nignonette set sail on May 19, 1884, from
1905: Late on the evening of August 27, 1905, the steamer Peconic was struggling to make its way southward along the Georgia coast. Bound from Philadelphia to New Orleans with a cargo of 1,500 tons of coal, she was in the midst of a fierce gale that she encountered earlier in the day. Just after midnight on August 28, the officer of the deck gave the order to put further out to sea, as he feared they were approaching perilously close to the beach. As the steamer was in the process of turning to port, an immense wave rolling in from the northeast struck the vessel. The unfortunate timing of the blow caused a shift in the cargo of coal, and the Peconic heeled over and almost immediately sank. The sinking was so swift that only two of her crew survived; twenty souls went down with the ship. Detailed story here.
1909: On the morning of 3rd December 1909 the SS Ellan Vannin of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. left the Island at 01.13 bound for Liverpool. She was carrying 15 passengers, 21 crew plus mail and 60 tons of cargo. In command was Captain James Teare of Douglas with 18 years of experience. At departure the weather was not particularly rough, and though the barometric pressure was falling, the captain did not expect any trouble. As the passage progressed the weather rapidly deteriorated and by 06.35 when she arrived at the Mersey Bar the wind had increased to storm force 11 with 20 foot waves. She foundered between the Mersey Bar and the Q1 buoy on the Mersey approach channel. She filled with water and sank by the stern. All passengers and crew were lost. (See here and this)
1916: Lake Erie. October 29, 1916, the Colgate, a whaleback steamer, designed for heavy weather, but it couldn't take the waves during the notorious Black Friday, 1916. Three men managed to make it to the liferaft when the ship plunged nose first, but only the skipper would make it ashore. Today the wreck is upside down in 80 feet of water in the middle of Lake Erie. (See here.)
1933: A 112-foot wave strikes the Navy tanker Ramapo in the North Pacific during a storm on February 7. The wave is so tall that it lines up with the ship’s crow’s nest.
1942: In December 1942, the Queen Mary was hit by a 23 meter (75 foot) wall of water while carrying 15,000 American troops from
1968: On June 13, 1968 the tanker World Glory, carry 49,000 tons of crude oil, encountered an abnormally large wave 105 km east of Durban, South Africa, broken in half , and both halves sunk within 4 hours.()
1973: A rogue wave off the coast of
1973: The cargo vessel Neptune Sapphire on her maiden voyage, carrying about 15 thousand tons of various cargo. The impact of a single, large wave off the south eastern shores of
1976: The oil tanker Cretan Star in
1978: On 7 December, 1978, the German merchant navy, super-tanker München, en route to
1980: A huge wave was reported to have slammed into the oil tanker Esso Languedoc off the east coast of
1980: On or about September 9th 1980, The MV Derbyshire sank off the coast of
1982: Not only ships, Offshore platforms may encounter freaque waves and facing demise also. On 15 February 1982, a giant wave smashed through the ballast control room window of the oil drilling platform Ocean Ranger off the coast of Newfoundland, short circuiting the electrical system and none of the crew could be warned. The rough seas caused the platform to sink and all 84 onboard were lost with no survivors. Check here or here for details and aftermath.
1985: On April 27, 1985 the tanker of former
1991: On November 4, 1991 a major storm, originally referred to as the "Halloween Nor'Easter" and hence recoined the "Perfect Storm" by a meterologist and made famous by Sebastian Junger's book and a Hollywood production, harrassed boats from Nova Scotia down to the New Jersey coast. The 70' longliner Andrea Gail went down in that storm and with her went the crew of six swordfishermen. See details here and here.
1995: In September, the cruiser liner Queen Elizabeth II encountered a 29-metre rogue wave in the
2001: On September 5, 2001 the bulk carrier Ikan Tanda, ran aground off Scarborough on the southern Cape Peninsula's Atlantic coast, at the mercy of what has been described as the worst storm for 50 years. The same storm blew a fishing vessel onto the breakwater in Table Bay. Details here.
2002: December 15, 2002, MS Hanseatic of the Radisson Seven Seas was struck by a large rogue wave while on a coastal cruise of New Zealand. It broke out one of the bridge windows and damaged electrical systems, there were no major injuries reported. See here and here.
2005: Medterranean, February 14, 2005, The cruise ship Grand Voyager encountered Force 11 gale and ferocious waves up to 46 feet high (some say 50 feet), knocked out electric power, stopped the engine, and the ship was left helplessly adrift. See here. (http://www.thetravelinsider.info/blogs/ti/archives/2005/02/anyone_for_dram.html)
2005: April 2, 2005 the commercial fishing boat Tracie Lynn. The Tracie was hit by a rogue wave approximately 30 feet tall during a heavy storm off the shore of North Carolina. Two of the crew members were recovered. Johnny W. Brown, 38 years old fisherman out of Murrells Inlet was never seen again. ( see here.)
2005: North Atlantic, April 16, 2005, A "freak wave" more than 70 feet high slammed a luxury cruise ship steaming for
2006: May 14, 2006, Trawler Kotuku, The 50 ft Trawler Kotuku sunk in Foveaux Strait, between Bluff & Stewart Island, NZ with a loss of 6 lives. Four of them were from the same family and covered 3 generations. There were 3 survivors. It was reported that two big waves struck so suddenly and violently that no one caught in the Foveaux Strait trawler tragedy had a chance to react. (Noted from here and news reports, e.g., here. )
2006: May 22, 2006, Brittany Ferries was forced to divert its flagship vessel, mv Pont-Aven, to a port in northern France last night after it was hit by a freak wave that smashed a cabin window and flooded several cabins. The 41,000-tonne Pont-Aven,with 1,149 passengers onboard, was sailing from Plymouth to the Spanish port of Santander through a force nine gale when it was hit by a wave thought to be 40 ft high.
2006: On the morning of october 18, the 58 ft fishing vessel Ocean Challenger rolled over and capsized in the stormy northern Pacific Ocean about 90 miles south of Sand Point, Alaska. According to the Coast Guard, in the frenzied moments before the boat capsized, the fishermen launched a life raft. But none of them were able to get in it, overtaken by waves two stories high. A Coast Guard C-130 plane rescued one. The C.G. rescu swimmer was able to reach two others, including the skipper of the boat, but both were pronounced dead by the flight surgeon. There is still one crew missing.
2006: On November 11, the 42,000-tonne oil tanker FR8 Venture was hit by huge waves while passing through the Pentland Firth, one of the world's most notorious stretches of water. Two crewmen,who have been standing on the deck, were killed and another seriously injured as the ship was caught in a gale force eight storm and buffeted by waves over 20 feet high. "The ship may have got hit by a freak wave." said the coastguard. (See here.)
2006: On November 17, a rogue wave sank a 35 ft commercial fishing boat off the coast of Florida nearly killing the captain and another crew member. (See here and here.)
2006: On December 8, the
2006: On Dec. 16, a commercial fishing vessel, F/V Ash, sank after hit by two sneaker waves in a treacherous bar near the Rogue River. Aboard the Ash, a 43-foot fiberglass boat, were owner and Capt. Rob Ashdown, 44, of Port Orford and three crewmen: Mark Wagner, 40, and Joshua Northcutt, 30, also of Port Orford; and Louis Lobo, 39, of Las Vegas. The crew was fishing for crab in the wake of a powerful storm that left the river running high, and a buoy 17 miles offshore of Port Orford reported waves of between 13 and 16 feet that afternoon. According to the manager of the Port of Gold Beach "It was a heavy surf, running 20 to 25 feet or better. They lined up about the end of the jetty. The waves caught them. Stood them up pretty steep. The first one caught the boat. It started going up and came down. The next one caught it behind and rolled it." (See, e.g., here and here.)
2007: On Jan. 25, The 58-foot fishing boat Starrigavan, while trying to cross the bar of Tillamook Bay along the Oregon coast about 9:30 pm, was hit by three 20-foot waves and rolled three times, one of four crew members was killed, and the vessel was threw onto a jetty. (see here.)
This list has been published in the journal Geofizika as:
LIU, P. C., 2007. A chronology of freaque wave encounters. Geofizika. 24: 57-70. http://www.glerl.noaa.gov/pubs/fulltext/2007/20070019.pdf