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Monday, June 06, 2011

Lucky escape from bombora!

Here's a simple news from Australia's ABC with a headline of "Lucky escape for fishermen":

Two commercial fishermen have been rescued after big seas damaged their boat south of Narooma, on the New South Wales far south coast.

The men were fishing near a bombora about 2km off Wallaga Lake yesterday.

They were treated by ambulance officers after being towed back to shore by Bermagui Marine Rescue.

As usual, not much information about the waves that caused the damage. But anything that can have the word "lucky" attach to it should always be good news. For me two things are educational here. First, for us outsiders a little geography lesson, Wallaga Lake is "296 km southwest of Sydney, Australia" according to Wikipedia. And secondly the word "bombora" is a strange new word for me. Again Wikipedia has these to say:

Bombora is an indigenous Australian term for an area of large sea waves breaking over a shallow area such as a submerged rock shelf, reef, or sand bank that is located some distance from the shoreline and beach surf break. As the wave passes over the shallow area its shape is raised and steepened, creating a localised wave formation. The size and shape of bombora waves makes them attractive to surfers willing to take the risk of riding what is generally considered a hazardous pursuit. These formations can pose a significant danger even in good weather as a bombora may not be identifiable because it may not always have breaking waves.
I am wondering if my Australian friends know about all of these! Now the description "As the wave passes over the shallow area its shape is raised and steepened, creating a localised wave formation . . ." seems to have a very distinctive theoretical flavor. May be all wave books should have a chapter on bombora waves! So here we are, bombora waves, anyone?

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