Sunday, September 07, 2008

Freaque wave hits tourist boat

To be a tourist should always implying something to take pleasure in, to enjoy or rejoice or indulge. Of course there is also inevitably risk and dangers lurking behind it somewhere. A case in point is the news reported in The Age of Australia this morning: "Rogue wave hits tourist boat"

Eleven people were taken to hospital after a rogue wave hit a whale watching boat on the Gold Coast today.

A police spokesman said the wave hit the vessel about 9.40am as it was heading east at the Southport Seaway, causing it to lift.

Several passengers hit the deck heavily, while News Ltd reported that one man was washed overboard.

The passengers were treated onboard as the vessel returned to the Marina Mirage wharf where they were met by water police and ambulance officers.

A 14-year-old boy suffered a suspected broken leg while others were treated for minor injuries.

It all happened all of a sudden while enjoying being a tourist. Some more details reported by Greg Stolz of Courier Mail makes it more succinct:
Shaken passengers told of seeing a "freak wave . . . out of nowhere" as the Whales In Paradise catamaran negotiated the seaway entrance about 9.40am at the start of a Father's Day whale-watching tour.

One man was thrown overboard and others hit the deck as the vessel went up and over the 2m wave and slammed down.

Passengers bent the boat's metal bow railing as they were flung into it.

"This big wave came out of nowhere and just grew," Melbourne tourist Madeleine Harvey said. "The skipper had no real choice but to go through it. We were OK but some people hit the deck hard and got hurt."

A crew member dived into the seaway to save a passenger who was thrown overboard as a recreational jet-skier also went to the rescue.

So here's another case of "out of nowhere" which pretty much confirms that it was a freaque wave. As Stolz concludes:

Gold Coast water police Acting Sergeant Les Murphy said police were examining video footage of the incident captured by a witness.

Initial investigations indicated the boat "wasn't going quick" when the wave hit it.

Whales In Paradise manager Anthony Ardern said the skipper had 30 years experience.

"It was just one of those unlucky, freakish incidents that we hope will never happen again," he said.

"Hope will never happen again" is an unrealizable wishful thinking. If I may, I would say that it was just "one of those unlucky, freakish incidents" we don't know where, when, how or why will it happen. But it will happen again sometime, somewhere, somehow, nevertheless.

Since there's video footage of the incident captured by a witness this time, I am earnestly hope they can release the footage to the public after their investigation. It will be invaluable for caution others and for research particularly for research!


Anonymous said...

I was on the boat. It was quite scary as it was fathers day and it got ruined amd the police tested to see if the skipper was drunk but the ppl who got hurt were not supposed to be on that deck in open water for this reason and thats why they got hurt - thank god no one died

Anonymous said...

It was quite scary, everyone was screaming and my dad (fathersday) held on to me for life. Since i was only 10 at the time and was on the side of the deck he was worried iwas going to fall off. I remeber the ambulance asking if everyone was ok after we got off the nearest port. I remeber a couple of weeks later my dadsaid the company was offring discounted/free (couldnt remember which) boat trips to those who went through the misfortune. I remwmber saying to him theres no way im going though that again, i will never go on boats again..

Since this event i have never gone a boat since that dreadful day and will never in my life. I have realised that even small tramutizing events such ass these have lifetime effects on people who suffer them. Take any of the recent diasters - qld floods, victoria bushfires - all those ppl and their connections will feel the pain. But dont laugh or tease or discriminate them, no matter your reason.