Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The case of MV Rabaul Queen disaster

It's been called Papua New Guineans' "worst ever sea trouble" by Islands Business in an article written by Rowan Callick. The case of MV Rabaul Queen disaster, according to Wikipedia was happened in the early hours of February 2nd this year during herregular weekly route between Kimbe, the capital of West New Britain, and Lae, the capital of the mainland province of Morobe.  The ferry capsized and later sunk in rough conditions.  About 237 crew and passengers werem saved, between 100-200 were lost. Islands Business reports that "many of those who drowned were inside the cabins and were trapped inside the hull when the boat foundered. The reason, according to the crew, was the impact of three freak waves."

BBC reports the MV Rabaul Queen sank east of Lae, some 16 km fron shore.  According to Shipwreck Log, the rescue vessels reported 5 m swells and 45 mph winds where the Rabaul Queen sank.  Weather Service had an advisory and warn vessels about the adverse conditions. And

the ferry had been struggling to recover when being struck by a series of large waves.   One report states the vessel  tilted over three times before it capsized.   Many on the top deck were able escape, but many others were trapped inside the lower decks.   The Rabaul Queen remained afloat for another four hours before it sank.  Many survivors stated they struggled in oily water looking for anything to keep them afloat.

A worst disaster indeed!  It's all started with the "inpact of three freaque waves" and here the report was "a series of large waves."  So as usual in this kind of unfortunate cases informations are scanty and may be conflicting.  But we can pretty much surmised that they encounterd a series of waves which may be larger and unexpected that would be fiting the requirement of freaque waves since we don't really have a precise definition of freaque waves at this time.  This one can be considered as a freaque wave disaster.  Human tragedy for those lost souls may they rest in peace.  For the time being, however, we just have to content that we have no idea on how to effectively prevent similiar cases from happening again. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An article with a picture of some wave from the ship. http://www.smh.com.au/world/seeking-truth-behind-a-tragedy-20120420-1xcl9.html