A freak 15 - foot wave struck a whale-watching boat off the Rhode Island coast yesterday, washing a 14-year-old North Kingstown boy into the ocean and injuring 30 other students and a teacher, Coast Guard officials said.
The 104-foot Super Squirrel II was carrying about 115 seventh- and eighth- grade students and nine teachers from Wickford Middle School when the wave struck about 10:30 a.m. one mile southeast of Southeast Light on Block Island, Monica Hull-Shea, a New Shoreham, R.I., police dispatcher said.
Crew member Gary Dyer, a Coast Guard reservist, jumped into the water and pulled the boy out of the 55-degree waters, said Christopher Warner, a fireman …Well, 25 years ago rogue or freaque waves were not household words yet, but Boston Globe did used the "freak" word then nevertheless. Mr. Morgan's write-up provided a piece of important information: "The Super Squirrel II dropped into a deep trough" which don't usually being reported. A 15 ft wave is certainly not a minor one. So this is a truly freaque wave case which is likely not to be in anyone's record book. But it is a real freaque wave case that should be duly recorded. The best part, of course, is that it happened and everyone is safe especially the 14 year old boy -- thanks to the brave crew member who jumped into the water to have pulled the boy out of the 55 degree waters.
Mr. Gary Dyer, where ever you are now, we salute you!