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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Mary Rose -- Henry VIII's Warship

I have been continuously updating the list of cases of ships encountering freak waves. It has become an interesting undertaking and I am convinced it is unlikely the list will be ever complete. So instead adding it to that already quite long list, I’ll just make a post with each new piece of information I come across so that a brief can be pasted to the list simultaneously.

Now let me start with a historical one from the 16th century:

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.

Here’s a part of Mary Rose' story according to :

On the 18th of July, 1545, during an engagement with the French fleet, Henry VIII had dinner with his senior officers, including the Vice-admiral, Sir George Carew, who was in charge of the Mary Rose.

At dawn on the 19th of July, the French galleys started firing at the English fleet. There was no wind, so the English ships were becalmed.

Suddenly a breeze sprang up and the English ships set sail. Then, to the watching King's horror, the Mary Rose capsized and sank, drowning nearly all her crew.

Now an inevitable question to ask is whether or not there might be a freaque wave caused the capsizing of Mary Rose since there was a breeze sprang up suddenly. Probably that's one of the possibilities among other speculations that one can not rule in or rule out with any plausible certainty.

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