Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Shetland ferry encounter

Here's a benign freaque wave news from Scotland in Shetland Marine News: "Freak wave knocks ferry out of action"
21 January, 2009

THE NORTHLINK ferry Hjaltland was out of action yesterday after being damaged by a freak wave during heavy seas on Monday night.

The ferry was 40 minutes out of Lerwick harbour on her way to Aberdeen in a five or six metre swell when “an abnormally large wave” struck the boat, damaging an external door into the accommodation section and breaking the window wipers on the bridge.

As a result of the incident the ship was two and a half hours late into Aberdeen yesterday morning (Tuesday). None of the 30 passengers on board were hurt.
This last sentence "None of the 30 passengers on board were hurt" is certainly something comforting to hear. and it also will keep this news a local one. And
NorthLink chief executive Bill Davidson apologised for the inconvenience caused by the incident, saying the boat had been sailing at 13 knots into a 55 knot south westerly gale “when the watchkeeper describes the ship being hit by a single very large wave”.

He said: “The vessel continued at reduced speed until clear of bad weather and arrived in Aberdeen some two and a half hours late. No-one was injured as a result of the incident. Indeed, most passengers were unaware that anything untoward had happened."
So it was "a single very large wave" or as it was first indicated "an abnormally large wave" either way, it should be considered as a freaque wave that caused minor damage. It was bad weather, I wonder if they have weighing the risk versus the possibility of cancel the trip. I would not mind. I guess they have enough experience to make the trip at reduced speed. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all freaque wave encounters can be like this one!

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