Ships vs. Big Waves

Overwhelmed! - Heavy Seas, Part 3

Also Read Part 1 and Part 2

Short of facing actual tsunami or the infamous "rogue wave" (see "Poseidon" to catch up on what rogue waves look like), ships are built to withstand a barrage of elements, but only to a certain point. And exactly where this breaking point lies, no sane seaman ever wants to discover on his own. The following is a collection of heavy storm pictures, testing and trying the nerves of sailors and the building quality of ships.

(original unknown)

Coast Guard Rollercoasters

Gary Robertshaw took incredible photographs depicting a U.S. Coast Guard 47-foot Motor Life Boat fighting for her life against a set of two, or possibly three giant waves in Morro Bay, California (photos used by permission). The storm produced waves 15-20 foot high... here is what Gary has to say:

"I did see these approaching in the distance, however I had a considerably higher vantage point than they did. By the time they could spot these waves from the boat, I seriously doubt they had many choices as to what action to take. The first wave of the set passed by them without incident, but the second, much larger one followed very quickly. The fact that no one was hurt or killed, and that the boat made it through and was immediately operational really attests to the competence of the crew and the equipment."

(all images copyright: Gary Robertshaw, used by permission)

Apparently this kind of a "vertical ride" is not something unusual for Coast Guard lifeboats, as their crew routinely face similar situations as part of their heavy surf practice:

"Looking for subs" -

(all images copyright: Gary Robertshaw, used by permission)

These photos were taken in Morro Bay, California, but the Coast Guard in UK has to deal with the similar conditions off St. Ann's Head in Wales, and Canadian Coast Guard in Nova Scotia battle similar swells, too.

Open the gates! The Sea wants to come in -

(image credit: Gert Nordoy)

stuff brewing over the board...

(image credit: sancholamancha)

(image credit: nadworks)

Some ships fare worse than others:
This is "Cougar Ace", and here is the great story how a team of "sea cowboys" took a challenge to straighten it up.

Here is a spectacular communist artwork, showing the struggling ship: looks like the artist knew first-hand the danger of the high seas...

(cover for TM, Russia 1954)

Tsunami's Power

Nobody would take a photograph of the event shown in this painting, simply because nobody would survive this giant wave's onslaught. The ship carried on its crest is simply airborne:

(art by R. Avotin, TM 1970, Russia)

Perhaps it is the similar tsunami wave, that deposited the ship in the next picture - in the middle of the Russian forest!

Imagine, going on a hike and seeing the prow of a huge rusty ship barging through a dark thicket. You can cross yourself and give it a wide berth. Or climb over to explore it and put a claim on the shipwreck.


Also Read Part 1 and Part 2

Disqus for Amazing Photography