TSUNAMI - Safer at Sea?

Discussion in 'Merchant Marine Academy - USMMA' started by DinghyMom, Feb 27, 2010.

  1. DinghyMom

    DinghyMom Member

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    Horrible news coming out of Chile and my prayers are going out to all of those effected by the 8.8 earthquake. I am also wondering about our Mids out there in the Pacific. In googling mariners at sea during tsunamis, it is reported that some haven't even felt tsunamis at sea - that the wave wall is formed in shallower waters. Is this true? I would be interested in hearing from those who are better informed and even experienced in this regard to shed some light on this current event.
     
  2. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

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    Not sure about tsunamis, but I do know that the devastation from an 8.8 earthquake would be unreal.

    An 8.8 would be the 7th most powerful earthquake IN HISTORY!

    I've read that the shockwaves could produce tsunamis as far away as Russia.
     
  3. jasperdog

    jasperdog Member

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    This is a great question, and the while the bigger, more involved answer relative to a specific vessel and it's location "at sea" may differ. I'd expect that in 99.99X% of the cases, assuming the vessel had an adequate stability margin - e.g. an appropriate GM for it's type - and it wasn't in some sort of area at sea where there was any sort of anomalous bottom conditions that would exacerbate the undersea rolling wave to crest, the answer would be unquestionably yes.

    That said there are instances where large waves have hit top heavy ships at sea and caused them to "lay over" so there's always exceptions to the rule.

    Last qualifier though would be the mere fact a ship at sea is less likely to be hit with debris and or by other vessels breaking loose from their berths or moorings in such situations as Hurricanes, Tsunamis, etc. generally means that's where you'd rather be with it if you were it's Master.
     
  4. kp2001

    kp2001 USMMA Alumnus

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    It is my understanding that the problem with a tsunami is the shallow depth which forces the water up.

    A ship at sea (away from port) would therefore not feel anything as the water that rushes out and then back in has too much room/depth to have any effect on the ship. If the ship was in shallow water, then yes, it could be effected.
     
  5. DinghyMom

    DinghyMom Member

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    Thanks KP - that leads me to my next concern: DS & fellow midshipmen on MSC ship in port at San Diego this weekend. Wondering how they will handle current tsunami advisory for there. I would think they'd take the ship out to sea?
     
  6. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    I was wondering the same things since DD is on an MSC ship in port near Busan, South Korea.
     
  7. C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight

    C/ 2nd Lt. McKnight Member

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    I know that this has pretty much already been answered, but yes this is true. For the vast majority of the time, tsunamis are caused because the water level where the earthquake strikes rises and the water doesn't begin to break until closer towards land.
     
  8. donar

    donar Member

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    March 3, 2010

    Giant waves hit cruise ship; 2 passengers killedMarch 3, 2010 2:54 p.m. EST
    STORY HIGHLIGHTS
    26-foot waves hit ship with 1,350 passengers aboard
    German, Italian passengers killed when waves smashed windows
    Vessel, the Louis Majesty, headed to port in Barcelona, Spain

    (CNN) -- Two passengers aboard a cruise ship were killed when 26-foot waves crashed into the vessel Wednesday, officials said. As many as fourteen others were injured.

    The Greek Louis Cruise Lines ship was off the French port of Marseille when it was hit by "abnormal" waves, some more than 26 feet (9 meters) high, cruise line spokesman Michael Maratheftis told CNN.

    As a result, five windows in public areas were smashed and two passengers, a German and an Italian, were killed, he said.

    Fourteen others were treated for light injuries, Maratheftis said.

    The vessel, the Louis Majesty, was sailing under a Maltese flag and traveling from Barcelona, Spain, to Genoa, Italy, the Greek Public Ministry of the Mercantile Marine told CNN.

    The ship had 1,350 passengers and 580 crew on board, the ministry said.

    After being struck, the cruise ship turned around and was heading back to port in Barcelona.
     
  9. js3486

    js3486 Parent

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    Which one? I was on an MSC Ship back in the day. Forward deployed to Yokosuka but we went to Busan many times.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Safer at sea, yes, 9 out of 10 times. That is why ships often get underway when there is enough warning.
     
  11. KPMum2012

    KPMum2012 Parent

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    She's on the SS Cape Jacob for another couple of days.
     

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