Author Topic: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)  (Read 23194 times)

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Online Rob Lightbody

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The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« on: Jun 18, 2010, 10:49 PM »
"Officers on the bridge estimated the wave at 92 feet, because they were eyeball to eyeball with the crest."

I have a very simple question - if it had hit QE2 in the side, instead of on the bow, what would have happened?
Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Magic Pipe

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #1 on: Jun 19, 2010, 03:32 AM »
I don't know everything about this wave, so I can't judge with 100% certainty.  But most of these giant "rogue" waves are created when multiple wave crests align at the same time, causing the multiple component waves to superimpose on top of each other and form a much larger wave (by definition, a rogue wave is a wave double the significant wave height) .  The multiple component waves will have different wavelengths, periods and velocities, so the rogue wave dissipates very quickly once the component waves move out of sync.  Because of this, rogue waves are usually what are called standing waves, meaning they have no velocity.  Therefore, the ship literally runs into the wave, and not vice-versa, so such a rogue wave could not hit a ship broadside.

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #2 on: Jun 19, 2010, 12:09 PM »
Great reply, thanks!

I have this page on my own website about it - http://www.roblightbody.com/liners/qe-2/1995_freak_wave.htm - i can't remember where it came from because i did that page about 14 years ago...

Passionate about QE2's service life for 37 years and creator of this website.  Worked in IT for 27 years and created my personal QE2 website in 1994.

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #3 on: Feb 27, 2011, 12:15 PM »
I was onboard when this happened and all i can say is that we were all lucky.I too ask the question what if the wave was a side hit.I am glad that i never had a answer.

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #4 on: Feb 27, 2011, 12:21 PM »
Here is a couple of shots


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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #5 on: Feb 27, 2011, 07:55 PM »
"Officers on the bridge estimated the wave at 92 feet, because they were eyeball to eyeball with the crest."

I have a very simple question - if it had hit QE2 in the side, instead of on the bow, what would have happened?

This is something I wonder about with the new big ships, I dont want to be onboard any that do meet a rouge wave.  But surely there is a danger that the higher you build a ship with a shallow keel, the risk of it losing balance because of a rouge wave is increased by the wave hitting it broadside or just hitting it in general?

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Online cunardqueen

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #6 on: Feb 28, 2011, 03:20 AM »
Quote
   "Officers on the bridge estimated the wave at 92 feet, because they were eyeball to eyeball with the crest."

I have a very simple question - if it had hit QE2 in the side, instead of on the bow, what would have happened?   
Well l for one would feel much safer on QE2 than any of the modern day ships, they, in spite of all the planning that goes into building them,they do look very top heavy. 
 It would be interesting to hear at which point these ships can keel over, and make a safe return.....
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Online Bob C.

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #7 on: Feb 28, 2011, 03:15 PM »
Well l for one would feel much safer on QE2 than any of the modern day ships, they, in spite of all the planning that goes into building them,they do look very top heavy. 
 It would be interesting to hear at which point these ships can keel over, and make a safe return.....

Putting on my naval architecture under graduate degree hat, there are two different types of stability to be considered: static and dynamic. Think of static stability as how far the ship can roll without tipping over and dynamic as how long it takes to recover from the initial disturbance. Besides roll stability there is also pitch and directional stability to consider but ship's roll is the most dramatic.

You are right in thinking that the older ships are more stable and therefore safer. Today's large ship designs tend to push the limits of technology to maximize revenue and ships run the risk of being unable to adequately handle conditions for which they may have been only marginally or under-designed (e.g. rogue wave).  See the comments at this website - http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/discus/messages/6937/62603.html?1066859518

Because QE2 was built specifically to handle the Atlantic, she is much better able to handle the rougher and unexpected conditions.
« Last Edit: Feb 28, 2011, 03:18 PM by Bob C. »

Online Peter Mugridge

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #8 on: Feb 28, 2011, 03:50 PM »
Bob, these modern tall vessels, especially those moster sized ones with huge inner courtyards.... do they test them for stability in the event of their being caught underneath a microburst?  Especially one that was not exactly overhead but slightly off to one side?
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Online Bob C.

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #9 on: Feb 28, 2011, 04:47 PM »
Pete, the link in my last post mentions that the masters of these sorts of behemoth ships avoid heavy weather like the plague.  Its not so much the stability but the huge sail area that these ships have whch can roll the ship a bit but swing it uncontrollably if the wind is hard enough.  I'm sure though a heavy enough microburst would roll the ship but most likely not enough to tip it over or to an uncomfortable roll angle.

However, the master and crew must pay very close attention to the weather reports and forecasts especially in restricted maneuvering scenarios such as docking where a microburst or high wind condition can result in collision or grounding.

Offline highlander0108

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #10 on: Feb 28, 2011, 05:44 PM »
I am a bit sceptical with the premise that the older ship are inheritently more stable.  There are numerous stories that both of the original Queens were big "rollers" in seas until they were fitted with Denny Brown stabilizers.  Other liners like the Stockholm, still in service although severely altered, have had appendages added to the hull to aid in stability.  The IMO is the policing agent now correct?  I wonder what standards, if any were in place in the 20's-50's regarding the stability of ships and if the standards have been tightened up as engineers have learned more.

I know from personal experience that, at least on small craft, the boat usually can take more of a roll than its occupants can comfortably take.  I suspect that is the case of the old liners as well.  Although they rolled in seas, with out stabilizers, I suspect they could roll substantially and still right themselves.  I have a book in my library "Seaworthyness, the Forgotten Factor," by C. A. Marchaj.  It goes into detail on stability primarily in sailboats and its effects on safety.  I recall him mentioning the Fastnet racing disaster, where Drum was overturned, turtled.  After the disater and the ensuing investigation, it was found that some of the sailboats are/were actually more stable upside down in the water. :o

Regardless,  QE2, with her extended foredeck and lack of windows has by far the advantage over any cruise ship at sea now, except one, QM2.
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Magic Pipe

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #11 on: Mar 06, 2011, 02:31 AM »
With stability, its not just how far a ship can roll and recover.  The more important factor is how much upsetting force or energy can a ship take and recover.  Older ships (and by older, I mean about pre-1950) may have been able to recover from a large roll, but it would have taken a relatively small upsetting force to cause that roll.  The Queen Mary fit into this category.  Modern criteria dictate that a ship must posses sufficient righting energy.  The Queen Mary would not meet current stability criteria.  As for modern passenger ships, they will not capsize unless extensive flooding occurs.   The ships that are at most risk of capsizing are those that carry large amounts of unsecured cargo (i.e. bulk carriers) that can shift.

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2014, 10:03 PM »
Really interesting to hear about this. It's amazing how much our QE2 has been through. She must be really well engineered and built to withstand everything she has been through.
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Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2014, 12:52 PM »
Really interesting to hear about this. It's amazing how much our QE2 has been through. She must be really well engineered and built to withstand everything she has been through.

Shes Clydebuilt Adam - 'nuff said!!!!!  :D

Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2014, 06:10 PM »
Shes Clydebuilt Adam - 'nuff said!!!!!  :D

Definately. Spot on!  ;)
"The QE2 is one of the last great transatlantic liners, and arguably the most famous liner in the world"

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Offline Adam Hodson

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2014, 06:14 PM »
She is Clydebuilt, the most beautiful ocean liner in existence, one of the fastest liners in existence, and definately one of the toughest.  ;D
"The QE2 is one of the last great transatlantic liners, and arguably the most famous liner in the world"

"QE2 and Concorde, a partnership that lasted almost 30 years... two stunning pieces of engineering, never to be forgotten!"

Offline June Ingram

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2014, 07:16 PM »
Shes Clydebuilt Adam - 'nuff said!!!!!  :D

 :)  :)  :)  :)  June
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Offline Greg Rudd

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #17 on: Oct 16, 2017, 03:26 AM »
Draw your own conclusions on this dramatisation.


Online Trevor Casey

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Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #18 on: Oct 16, 2017, 08:49 PM »
Seen it before. She is a liner from Clydebank. She will get through anything.
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Offline Bob van Leeuwen

Re: The 92 foot freak wave (1995)
« Reply #19 on: Oct 16, 2017, 08:53 PM »
Is there any know footage in any form just after the wave struck? Not that I would expect anybody to have made some, but I have been strangely surprised by this before.

 

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