Wednesday, October 27, 2010

And another!

Another very sad news reported in UK dailymail this morning. Here's the long headline:
"Husband's agony as British tourist, 63, drowns after wave sweeps women off beach in California."

Here are the details:

Hands clasped together in anguish, Michael Hauffe could only pray for his wife after she was swept out to sea by a freak wave.

The British tourist had watched in horror as his 63-year-old wife Ann and her friend were knocked off their feet on a beach in California.

And as rescuers searched the coastline for her, Mr Hauffe, a poor swimmer, could only stand and watch.

He had immediately run for help when the current swept his wife and her friend Angela Jewell, into the ocean. Rescuers managed to save Mrs Jewell, who is also 63.

But Mrs Hauffe, of Cocking, in the South Downs, in West Sussex, drifted further out and then disappeared.

Some 90 minutes after the search began, a lifeguard helicopter spotted her off the coast at Carmel. But her husband’s worst fears were soon realised.

She was no longer breathing and was pronounced dead on Monday afternoon at Community Hospital, off the Monterey Peninsula.

The Hauffes, who have a family garage business, and their friends the Jewells, had been walking along Carmel River Beach near a lagoon when the wave hit the women, who were closer to the surf.

The riptide then pulled them both 100 yards into the ocean, officials said.

Detective Sergeant Matt Luther, of the Monterey coroner’s office, said: ‘There is a lagoon one side and it can look pretty calm but there are some big waves on the ocean side.’

Mrs Jewell was saved after a lifeguard swam out to her and stayed with her until a rescue boat arrived. She was in good condition when she was pulled from the water.

Last night she was said to be in hospital with stomach pains.

An official warned that the strong local surf can be deadly for holidaymakers trying to make it out of the ocean on their own.

State Parks Superintendent Dana Jones said: ‘If anyone gets into difficulties near the shoreline, they should wait just beyond where the surf breaks and wait for rescuers.’

Now this tragedy seems to have caused by a combination of large wave and rip current -- the wave may or may not be freaque. But who knows? What would be the difference? Another dreadful tragedy happened and there is not much we can do about it except pray! Yes, we can only pray for Mrs Hauffe's soul, RIP and for her husband and family.

We really need more research into this phenomenon which is now non-exist. When do the powers that be will come to implement something?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Another encounter case, another tragedy.

This is reported in Kansas State Collegian and picked up by a couper of Kansas State tv stations:

Last Wednesday, a K-State professor died while vacationing in Mexico.

Mary Hale Tolar, director of leadership studies, sent an e-mail Sunday evening stating Tony Jurich, professor of family studies and human services, drowned while on vacation with his wife, Olivia Collins, instructor in the school of leadership studies. The pair were walking on a beach when a "rogue wave" overtook them and they were pulled into the water by the undertow.

The hotel staff witnessed the event and entered the water pulling out Collins and Jurich. Collins was revived then transported by ambulance to a local hospital and spent two days recovering, according to the e-mail.

It is a local news in Manhattan, Kansas, but the story is certainly not unfamiliar: walking on the beach, encountered an onshore freaque wave, and resulted in tragedy. We share our deepest sympathy with the professor's family. Similar and familiar happenings as has been reported at many other places before. Some survived, some ends tragedy. Sometimes it's worldwide news, sometimes it's just local. How many cases that did npt even get reported?

Also similar with previous cases, there is still no details about the freaque wave that was encountered -- basically we don't know what had happened -- it just happened!
A tragedy here and there, somewhere, a lost soul here and there, somewhere. When will it happen to have some power that be that will decide to do something -- such as making measurements to find out what, why, or how?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rescue in Poole Harbor

This rescue case happened last Sunday in southern England. According to BBC News:

Two fishermen were rescued after their boat capsized off the Dorset coast.

The men had been bass fishing on Saturday afternoon in the Swash Channel in Poole Harbour when a freak wave hit their boat.

Coastguards were alerted by the crew of a passing vessel who saw them clinging to their upturned vessel and waving for help.

They had spent about half an hour in the water when they were rescued by another boat.

The Poole RNLI inshore lifeboat crew arrived a short time later and brought the men ashore.

John Vine, volunteer helmsman, said: "There was a strong easterly wind that made conditions extremely rough.

"These guys were very unfortunate.

"We were very concerned that the men had been in the water for a long time, lucky for them that the passing vessel was there to lend a hand."

So they are two lucky fishermen after all. This is a more typical than atypical story for fisherman. They are usually not far from shore, but entirely vulnerable when any kind of wave hits their boat. We don't know what kind of wave that did hit them, it can be surmised that the wave may or may not be the kind of freaque waves the academics familiarized with. Anything that capsizes a boat will be necessarily a freaque wave by an ordinary stretch of conventional mind. There is no way to verify it. Let's just accept the report and record it as a freaque wave encounter. Thank God the rescue is successful! Here's a scenery of the scenic Poole Harbor:

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Space Hopper to the rescue!

I have never heard such a thing as Space Hopper before. According to the Wikipedia:
The term "space hopper" is more common in the UK; the toy is less familiar in the United States, and may be known as a "hoppity hop" or some other name.
That explains this recent rescue story from U.K. reported in,uk News:

A freak wave washed Charlotte Wright, 15, and her friend Hannah Woolacott 16, off the pier in Dawlish, Devon, on Saturday.
Their screams alerted Matthew Gribble, Andrew Riches and Leigh Larratt, all 24, who called the coastguard then raced to the rescue. The lads threw a lifebuoy but it didn't reach the girls. So quick-thinking Matt flung out a Space Hopper that a neighbour had brought out.

Charlotte and Hannah grabbed the toy, got to the lifebuoy and held on until Exmouth inshore lifeboat arrived.

Leigh said yesterday: "The Space Hopper saved the day. Matt got it right next to the girls and they got hold of it for long enough to get to the lifebuoy.

"They were fighting for their lives.

The sea was really rough and they kept going under."

Matt added: "I threw the Space Hopper into the air and gave it a good punch. Luckily it landed within two feet of them - they were quite far out, around 20 metres from the seawall.

"We knew help was on the way and we just screamed at the girls to keep their heads up out of the water. But the younger girl was blue in the face and looked really bad."

Two lifeboat crews and a rescue helicopter were scrambled. Helmsman Giles White said "Any longer and we would have been pulling out bodies."

The best part of the story is of course this:
Both girls were treated in an Exeter hospital and later released.
Thank God for that! All's well that ends well -- it's good to have a space hopper around!

By the way here's what a space hopper looks like:

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A wall of water in Bangladesh

An interesting expression in this sobering article by EIN News:
A wall of water whipped up by strong winds over the Bay of Bengal has flooded coastal areas in Bangladesh, forcing about 150,000 people to flee their homes, officials said.
"A wall of water" is one of the well-known characteristics freaque waves are known for. In this case, however, it was clearly not freaque wave at any rate, rather it is the storm surge as the title of the article correctly identified. Storm surge is expectantly generated by strong wind, once upon a time storm surge had also been referred as the "wind tide." So no one should mistaken it for a freaque wave which is mostly unexpected and not necessarily generated by wind. Come to think of it, a wall of water in connection with freaque waves was basically from the viewpoint of someone on a boat when encountering a freaque wave. The massive wave could appear to the people on board as a wall of water -- though not the wall of water like a storm surge or a tidal bore usually produce. Now the recent Hollywood movie called Poseidon that opened the scene with something like a wall of water and the Ship Captain announced a freaque wave is coming is clearly and totally unrealistic!