Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter morning incident at Skennars Head

The headline of this article by Nigel Raynard in the Coffs Coast Advocate is "Freak waves hit fishermen at Skennars Head". The article is accompanied with this beautiful morning picture: 

Nigel Raynard is also the photographer as he indicated that he was standing on the headland at Boulder Beach early Easter Sunday when he saw two fishermen swept off the rocks at The Peg. And here's the story he told as a 3rd person:
WHAT was supposed to be a calm shot of two silhouettes fishing against an orange sunrise at Boulder Beach at Skennars Head on Sunday turned into a dramatic sequence when both men were swept off The Peg by a large swell.
Photographer Nigel Raynard was standing on the headland early Easter Sunday when the event unfolded.
"I was just at Boulder Beach taking some photos on the way to work and I saw those young guys fishing at The Peg," he said.
"The first wave took the first guy off and he fell backwards into the water.
"Luckily he didn't hit his head."
Fortunately, there was a group of surfers nearby who spotted the young fishermen in trouble.
"One of the surfers got the guy on his board and took him all the way to the beach," Mr Raynard said.
"Immediately after, the other guy got washed off by the next wave in the set.
"He fell off into the southern side of The Peg, which isn't as easy to get to.
Bystanders on the headland yelled out to surfers and pointed in the direction of the second fisherman.
Another big wave hit, launching the second fisherman into the channel on the southern side.
The man was washed to the end of the channel and managed to scramble up the rocks before collapsing on the ground.
Mr Raynard said it was a miracle neither fisherman was seriously injured.
"It's amazing they didn't hit their heads," he said.
Far North Coast Fishing Club Association president Ren Standley said The Peg was a notoriously dangerous spot for rock fishermen.
"You never fish in the swell," he said. "There's been quite a few go off there over the years."
Brian Wilson from Ballina Angling Club said it was a popular spot for fishermen as one of the few land based areas to catch bigger species of fish like tuna, however fisherman needed to be cautious.
"Even in small swells, you get one wave and there's no protection," he said.
So in the end with the surfer's rescue, neither fisherman is seriously injured, a miraculously happy ending of a frightful  Easter morning freaque wave encounter. Happy Easter!

Here are two other pictures with waves in action presumably was also taken that morning:

For me a desk sailor or land surfer it is always overwhelmingly enjoyable to see this kind of action wave pictures.  Thanks, Mr. Raynard.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Another video on a storm off South Coast of Ireland. 01/feb/2014.

The above is another super video introduced by Michael Ballaban of jalopnik.com. With this explanations:

Growing up I always wanted to be a captain on a ship. Wear a white hat, have a great big gray beard, hold a pipe but never actually smoke it, all those fun things. After seeing what massive storm swells look like off the south coast of Ireland, I might want to rethink that. 
The Reddit user that posted this video, stevgoldhound, says that he's a merchant mariner on a 203-foot boat, and that this is a bit of a typical storm. Previously he's encountered sees as high as 80 feet before. 
In a storm like this, you've got two options. Keep all your future sailing to inner-city ponds, while you cower in terror at the sea and the incessant squeaking of the windshield wiper, or lash yourself to the bow, and screaming at the mighty ocean to hit you with all it's got. 
I don't know why those are the only two options, but that is what they are and I don't make the rules. 
Good luck out there, sailor.
I can't say that I enjoyed watching this video. Since I am usually suffering seasickness, watching the video did tightened up my stomach somewhat. What I am enjoyed was knowing the fact that what I am seeing is the real thing, true reality, on what is happening out there in the open ocean. What really hits me is that when we out there in the real ocean surrounded by waves large and small, wave spectra, significant wave heights will be something meaningless -- who cares about them???

Oh yes, another question, when out there in the real ocean, does it or does it not, freaque waves always on every one's mind. My feeling is the latter. Really, if it happens it happens, who's going to unnecessarily worry about something that may or may not happen anyway?!

Video show on a vessel in heavy seas during severe weather conditions

I came across this above youtube video from Jalopnik.com given here  entitled "Watch Heavy Seas Bend and Twist a Giant Ship like Taffy" written by Michael Ballaban. It appears the video was taken at different parts of this giant cargo ship that really gave a clear indication regarding what was happening to the ship during the encountering of this heavy seas. Here as Ballaban tells it:
The Skagen Maersk is 1,138.5 feet long, and weighs over 100,000 tons. That sounds pretty big and strong. But when faced with some big waves, the whole thing undulates and groans like a bucking bronco. This is crazy. 
We've seen videos of big ocean swells before, but we haven't seen just what it can do to the innards of a huge, ocean-going vessel. The power of the sea puts massive forces on the ship, forcing it to bend to its will. Even deep in the belly of the ship, you can see one end of a corridor swaying back and forth. 
If I was on board, I'd probably jump off as soon as I could, because That Does Not Look Right. 
But everything is all right, according to the video, and big ships are designed to twist about in heavy seas, much like airplane wings bend in turbulence. If they weren't flexible, they would break. 
That doesn't make it feel any better though. I'd be putting on my lifejacket.

I guess one can not argue with video evidence of everything is all right. They knew that they were encountering the heavy sea. So just bracing to brave through it. One may wonders what might happen if it comes all of a sudden in generally calm condition, yes, when it encounters a freaque wave, would it still be all right? Let's hope it would be!

Friday, April 04, 2014

Happy rescue happened in North Pacific during the Clipper Round the World Race

This case has been well reported.  The above picture is from the South China Morning Post's report by Associated Press. A subtitle of the story states:  "Andrew Taylor was thrown overboard during The Clipper Round the World Race and faced a situation that has claimed many lives in the past" that's about to set the stage and here's what happened:

Halfway between China and San Francisco, British sailor Andrew Taylor suddenly found himself floating alone in the cold, rough North Pacific. 
One moment he'd been helping to change a sail aboard the 70-foot yacht Derry-Londonderry-Doire, and the next he'd fallen overboard, smashed into the rudder and was being swept away in big waves and strong wind. 
For a while he was within sight of the sloop, which is competing in The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. 
Then he wasn't. 
"I never contemplated I would die. I did consider whether the boat would find me," the 46-year-old Taylor said in an interview from the boat via satellite phone. 
About one hour, 40 minutes after falling in just past the International Date Line on Monday, Taylor was pulled out by his crewmates. He was treated for hypothermia and his leg was put in a splint. He'll have X-rays after the boat arrives in San Francisco on either April 11 or 12.
Taylor, a catering manager from London, said he never panicked and never gave up hope of being rescued because he knew his fellow crew members were well trained for a man-overboard emergency. "I just want to express my gratitude to the team for their work and effort," said Taylor, who had never set foot aboard a boat before he began training for this race in 2012. "It was a traumatic experience for everyone, for the crew as well as for me in the water."

This is a quite a good story telling piece. Being a happy ending it might even be enjoyable to read.  But of course for those who involved it was certainly not a picnic out there. Still by falling overboard it is gratifying to hear him saying that he was never contemplated that he would die. Not everyone can have that kind of bold bravery but it will be great help if you have it!

May be because of the happy ending, the article was written in a relaxing style. Here's some further details:

Before he fell overboard, Taylor was on the foredeck helping skipper Sean McCarter with a sail change. 
They were having some trouble so Taylor started to head back to get a pair of pliers. McCarter was able to unhook the sail when the boat suddenly leaned heavily downwind. 
"One second my feet were on the boat, the next second my head was in the water," Taylor said. "It happened so very, very quickly." 
Taylor thought his safety harness was clipped to the boat. 
McCarter said in a story posted on the race website that somewhere between going to get the pliers then not needing them, Taylor got distracted and forgot to clip on again. 
McCarter hollered "man overboard" and the crew began turning the boat around. Even after the engine was started, the boat had a hard time in winds of 35 knots and waves estimated to be four to six metres high. 
The crew could see Taylor about 200 metres away but he was quickly drifting. 
Taylor, who was wearing a life jacket and a dry suit, said a sudden storm pushed him farther from the boat and he was having trouble with his personal locator beacon. 
"It really got very nasty for a while," he said. "I got rolled over in some of the waves, like a washing machine. By the time the storm passed I didn't know where the boat was." 
More than an hour after Taylor fell in the water, a crewman shouted to McCarter that his personal locator beacon had just activated. 
Another crew member up the mast spotted Taylor more than 400 metres away. 
"I heard voices screaming. I heard voices calling my name," Taylor said. "I lifted up my spray hood and the boat was right in front of me."
I would like to add: Thanks be to God!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Happened at Santa Barbara beach

This news item by Morgan Chilson in NewsMax.com yesterday is a little disturbing to read: During Baptism in Ocean Waves, Man Swept Out to Sea. 
A man helping a pastor perform a baptism in the Pacific Ocean was swept out to sea by a rogue wave on Sunday and has not been found.

Pastor Maurigro Cervantes of Jesus Christ Light of the Sky Church,
told KCOY-TV that his cousin, Benito Flores, 43, was helping with the baptism when a wave grabbed him.

“A big wave came and took Benito. I tried to take him out, he was heavy and then another big wave came,” Cervantes told KCOY.

Two other people were also pulled away from shore by the waves, but they were able to swim back to safety.

The baptism was being performed on the coast in Santa Barbara County.

KCOY reported that the Coast Guard continues to search for the man, although the Santa Barbara Fire Department had suspended its search.
Cervantes told the Santa Maria Times that he performs the baptismal service at that location two or three times a year. He said about 25 people attended Sunday’s service.
The case is by no means new, even in this blog we have repeatedly reported similar kind of news  whenever it had happened and reported in the news.  So once again it shows freaque waves are totally unexpected and it can happen at any place at any time to any one.  This time it also shows unfortunately replicating St John the Baptist's historical act in Jordan river is not without risks, even in the peaceful beach area. It had happened to all different instances, this may be the first time encountered by a serious religious ceremony.  I certainly do not wish to discourage this kind of ceremony, but I do wish to make a modest suggestion: next time make certain everyone on the beach wear a life jacket just in case! Of course also make certain there should be life guard around just in case also.  No excuse should be tolerated by not providing any safety cautions during this kind of occasions involves a group of people!