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Thursday, March 05, 2009

Spirit of Mystery encountered a huge wall of water

This BBC news did not referring to the term freaque wave, but it's most likely that this is a case of freaque wave encounter.

A member of crew aboard a Cornish fishing boat attempting to sail from the UK to Australia was injured after being knocked over by a wave.

Mark Maidment broke his leg after Spirit of Mystery was struck by freak weather off Kangeroo Island, near southern Australia.

The voyage is being led by sailor Pete Goss, and his 14-year-old son and brother are also on board.

The boat is sailing to a point where Mr Maidment can be airlifted to hospital.

Mr Goss said: "There was no warning, just a huge wall of water that smashed into the boat rolling her more than 90 degrees onto her side.

"She just shook herself off and came upright; but when she did, Mark's leg was broken."

"He has been a bloody hero. It is a great shame for him, especially so close to the end.

Doctors flew out to the boat, 300 nautical miles off Australia, to drop medical supplies.

Mr Maidment's condition is described as "comfortable and stable" but it was decided to airlift him to hospital at the "earliest opportunity".

Spirit of Mystery is travelling to be within helicopter range (about 120 nautical miles off the coast).
As shown in the above picture, the Spirit of Mystery, a specially-built wooden Cornish lugger, is on a historical voyage that was set off from the Cornish port of Newlyn in November. The crew are retracing the journey made by a group of Cornishmen 154-years-ago, who travelled to Australia hoping to mine gold. Like them, they are relying on sail power and navigating by the stars.

According to the BBC report "The wave also washed away Spirit of Mystery's life raft and dinghy, but the remainder of the crew hope to arrive at their final destination of Melbourne on 9 or 10 March."

Encountering a huge wall of water that damaged the boat and hurt a crew member could also be historical. Freaque wave can never be ruled out. Luckily nothing worse had happened. And they are now within helicopter range. So the historical voyage will be expectedly successful. Detail story about the Spirit of Mystery is given here.

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