Feb 252016
 

Sailing history is rife with tales of monster-sized rogue waves — huge, towering walls of water that seemingly rise up from nothing to dwarf, then deluge, vessel and crew. Rogue waves can measure eight times higher than the surrounding seas and can strike in otherwise calm waters, with virtually no warning.

Now a prediction tool developed by MIT engineers may give sailors a 2-3 minute warning of an incoming rogue wave, providing them with enough time to shut down essential operations on a ship or offshore platform.

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Dec 282009
 

image MAC has covered rogue waves before and the subject seems to be feed-fodder, so we were interested to come across an account from those years when such things were thought to be merely over-active imagination among seafarers. It concerns the Lusitania, sunk by German torpedoes in May 1915.

Scientific American’s current issue reproduced the following account from its January 1910 edition:

WAVE VS. SHIP—

“Was it a last despairing protest of Old Ocean, when he lifted his giant hand in the blackness of night on January 10, and smote the Cunard liner ‘Lu­sitania’ a blow which racked and splintered her lofty bridge and pilot house, 75 feet above the sea, and crushed down her forecastle deck and decks beneath, giving them a permanent depression of several inches?

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Oct 262008
 

Time for the surfboardJudging by search statistics, one of MAC’s most popular posts is ‘Give Us A wave’, a look at rogue waves – mountains of water that can reach 20 metres or more and which were once thought to be exaggerations by credulous seafarers who didn’t know any better. Now Europe’s Maritime Safety Agency is taken them very seriously.

In its recently released Maritime Accident Review for 2007, EMSA comments:

A new phenomenon has recently appeared in EU waters, or perhaps it is an old one which has been given better media coverage than before. Rogue waves are those which are much bigger and much more dangerous than others, and they can cause significant damage. The largest of these have been reported by oil rig workers in the North Sea at up to 20 metres high, although smaller ones have inflicted significant damage. Continue reading »