Monday, April 18, 2011

Freaque wave with a bang!

Here's a scary story with a happy ending, reported by Damian Bathersby in Sunshine Coast Daily of Australia, that had happened over three months ago:

BLOOD pumping from his foot, Jeff Kitchen was tossed through the dirty water like a rag doll.

“I remember the wave ... then a big bang like someone putting a gun next to your ear and pulling the trigger,” he said.

“Then I woke up and I was underwater.”

The Noosa Coast Guard boat had just been flipped by a massive wave on a notorious bar.

Jeff collided with the propeller as he and three others were smashed by the freak wave.

It cut through his foot, from ankle to toes.

He pulled the emergency cord on his life jacket and floated to the surface.

Jeff said he had no doubts he would have died from blood loss had it not been for a nearby surf lifesaving jet boat, which snatched him from the pounding surf within minutes.

More lifesavers arrived at the scene to rescue two of the coast guard crew who had been trapped under the flipped vessel, and a fourth crew member who had dived clear of the craft.

Jeff does not remember much else from the January 15 accident.

After almost two months in hospitals for surgeries to save his foot, Jeff is back home and on a long road to recovery.

Now I think the important part of the case is Mr. Kitchen's first comment: “I remember the wave ... then a big bang like someone putting a gun next to your ear and pulling the trigger”. Because here's again something that has not yet received any attention in the academic research world -- the sound effect! While I usually skeptical on people's general claim of encountering a freaque wave, I wish they could tell me more details than just the claim. But in this case Mr. Kitchen remembers the big bang. I think that's the one important detail many people involved might be easily overlooked. So I think this is a real freaque wave case that just came to light. I wish to congratulate Mr. Kitchen's grit on his full speedy recovery, his riverboat wedding, and a long everlasting happy marriage life!

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