Real-time Earth and Moon phase

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Waking up to a shipwreck

Here's part of a story in the Japan Times Online by Winifred Bird:
It's not every morning that a 169-meter-long ship gets knocked over by a giant wave and lands like a beached whale virtually outside the front door of your quiet seaside home.

The ill-fated Ariake had set out from Tokyo the previous evening bound for Okinawa. By 5 a.m. it was making its way through a storm off the shores of southern Mie Prefecture when it was blindsided by a huge rogue wave.

As the boat listed from the impact of countless tons of North Pacific, its cargo — including, among more weighty items, a consignment of the latest issue of the popular manga, Jump — broke free, slid to one side, and dragged the starboard half of the boat underwater.

The captain then maneuvered the crippled ship as close to the shore as he could. By 10 a.m. that morning, all seven passengers and 21 crew had been safely plucked from the deck by a rescue helicopter, but the vessel itself was here to stay, like a rather large nautical gnome suddenly camped out in one's rosebed.
Mie Prefecture (δΈ‰ι‡ηœŒ), is in the southern Japan according to this Wikipedia picture:

I am sure this is not the first nor the last freaque wave encounter ever happened near Japan. But this is the first reported by a western reporter who obviously lives there nearby. That's probably why the article is entitled "Waking up to a shipwreck" and regrettably no other details about the freaque wave that was encountered. But it did happen and fortunately all passengers and crew are safe, that's comforting to know!

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