Author Topic: Hurricane Luis  (Read 7591 times)

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Offline Louis De Sousa

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Hurricane Luis
« on: Jan 25, 2011, 03:51 PM »
She was on Trans Atlantic Voyage Number 1014, Westbound from Southampton and Cherbourg to New York City. The vessel disembarked on September 7 set to arrive in New York on September 12.

On night of the 10th to 11th September 1995 the ship was slammed by a 95 foot high wave, followed by two smaller waves. The captain, Captain Warwick, reported winds to 130 miles per hour with average wave heights of 40 feet.
The 95 foot wave hit as most passengers were asleep in their beds, those who could sleep being tossed all night, at 0410 hours (4:10am)
The captain had changed course to avoid the hurricane, but the storm had created high seas, with huge swells over a wide area. Even though the swells were high, the captain and crew on the bridge say they were not hit by a swell, but instead a rogue wave.
The captain said, "At 0410 the rogue wave was sighted right ahead, looming out of the darkness from 220°, it looked as though the ship was heading straight for the white cliffs of Dover. The wave seemed to take ages to arrive but it was probably less than a minute before it broke with tremendous force over the bow. An incredible shudder went through the ship, followed a few minutes later by two smaller shudders. There seemed to be two waves in succession as the ship fell into the 'hole' behind the first one. The second wave of 28-29 m (period 13 seconds), whilst breaking, crashed over the foredeck, carrying away the forward whistle mast."





Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #1 on: Apr 26, 2012, 05:50 AM »
More photos from the damage

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #2 on: Apr 26, 2012, 10:26 AM »
Amazing photos Louis. 

What was the response from the passengers in the morning?  Were they aware of the force of the wave that hit the ship?  When were they given the certificate?
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Terry Foskett

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #3 on: Sep 27, 2015, 06:04 PM »
I was Chief Cashier on that voyage. I remember being in the Wardroom for dinner and not much movement then but around 2200 the ship  began to move. My cabin was 109 at the time way forward on 1 Deck. It was impossible to sleep of course. At one moment in the early hours of the morning the whole ship rose up like it was a rollercoaster car. We  kept rising and rising and I knew we would be in for an all might crash down the other side. We reached the peak of what must have been the 90 foot wave and went down the other side like a rollercoaster. In the morning the storm had much abated. I went for a walk on the forward end towards the bow. The dogged steel door to the outer deck from the crew area on 1 deck had been blown out. Sea water had poured down through the stairwell into the crew quarters below. Outside on the anchor deck the steel plated deck had been been changed in to a curved dipped shape but had held. The steel outside utility stair to the crane deck above had been platted and turned as if by a giant hand. It was the greatest test of QE2 in her entire career and she passed it and kept us safe. If you saw the film The Perfect Storm and the scene with the fishing boat climbing up this enourmous wave then that was us.
Terry Foskett

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #4 on: Sep 27, 2015, 06:10 PM »
I was Chief Cashier on that voyage. I remember being in the Wardroom for dinner and not much movement then but around 2200 the ship  began to move. My cabin was 109 at the time way forward on 1 Deck. It was impossible to sleep of course. At one moment in the early hours of the morning the whole ship rose up like it was a rollercoaster car. We  kept rising and rising and I knew we would be in for an all might crash down the other side. We reached the peak of what must have been the 90 foot wave and went down the other side like a rollercoaster. In the morning the storm had much abated. I went for a walk on the forward end towards the bow. The dogged steel door to the outer deck from the crew area on 1 deck had been blown out. Sea water had poured down through the stairwell into the crew quarters below. Outside on the anchor deck the steel plated deck had been been changed in to a curved dipped shape but had held. The steel outside utility stair to the crane deck above had been platted and turned as if by a giant hand. It was the greatest test of QE2 in her entire career and she passed it and kept us safe. If you saw the film The Perfect Storm and the scene with the fishing boat climbing up this enourmous wave then that was us.

Thanks Terry, it was wonderful to hear your first hand account of experiencing the storm.  Your description of the damage you witnessed as you walked around the ship the next day gives us a perfect picture of the force of the storm and yet QE2 came though and as you say kept her crew and passengers safe
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline rhofstetter

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #5 on: Sep 27, 2015, 06:49 PM »
I'll remember it very well. I was 19 Years old and it was my first crossing on the Qe2. When we departed from Southampton, everyone was talking about a hurricane, but I wasn't any worried about it, because I didn't know anything about hurricanes or how tough they are, we don't have any hurricanes in Switzerland :-). On the 3th or 4th night, we just finished Dinner in the Caronia Restaurant (late seating) when the Captain made an announcement that we are not able to get away from the Hurricane, the ships speed would slow down. Everyone was advised to stay away from open decks and balconies.

Soon after the wind was pushing to the side of the ship, which made it pretty obliquely inside. It looked funny, when people walked around and all the walls were not straight up. At a certain point, I remember being in the Casino, some Blackjack tables were falling down. I then went to the Grand Lounge, were the dancers tried to make a show. But at this time the ship was rolling very hard and they canceled the show. It must have been soon after when one of the windows broke in this area at the portside at the Grand Lounge.

I was finally ending up in the Yacht Club, were the  band also stoped playing as their Instruments falled down and rolled through the whole room. I think by then they turned the ship directly into the wind, which means that the ship rolled and shaked very heavy, specific back in the yacht club. They tried to make a midnight buffet, but canceled it, I was wondering that they tried it at all. At this time I was seasick and went back to my cabin, which was on deck 4. While walking down the stairs, I remember that a lot of water was coming down the stairs, it looked like river, very surreal. There were also other passengers walking up the stairs with their duvets and some belongings. I later heard that their cabins on the lower decks got wet through the ventilation system. It was surprised looking at my porthole in my cabin, the wave were so big,  that it was most of the time under water. I was asleep when we were hit by the freak wave.

When I woke up in the morning, I feel relieved that the bad weather was over, but unfortunately the ocean was still very rough. At a time, when the see became more calm, the captain speeded up the ship. I've never experienced the Qe2 or any other Ship aftermath with such a high speed.

We arrived a day later in New York. I felt very excited to see all the broadcast helicopters around the ship when we were arriving Manhattan. All passengers were offered to stay one more night on the ship, what I did, as the pier 92 was at a great location and everything was in a walk in distance to mid Manhattan. (sorry for all the grammatical mistakes)

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #6 on: Sep 27, 2015, 07:19 PM »
Wonderful story, thanks for sharing.  I could imagine the movement of the ship as I read your story. 

Do you think that the passengers walking up the stairs with duvets and their belongings were fearing the worst?  It must have been pretty scary!
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #7 on: Sep 28, 2015, 12:05 AM »
Thank you so much, Terry and rhofstetter! Such accounts make the event very real, it is easy to imagine oneself being there.

I am amazed that anyone slept at all! What a test QE2 was put through -- and she survived with a few breakages and scars, soon forgotten by those who were not on board. For those who were, those are lasting memories :) .

Offline June Ingram

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Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #8 on: Sep 28, 2015, 06:08 PM »
Thank you very much, Terry and rhofstetter for sharing your memories of that day when QE2 was tested and came through it all !  What an experience to have as a memory !
QE2 - the ship for all of time, a ship of timeless beauty !

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #9 on: Feb 26, 2018, 06:16 AM »
Couple more photos of the damage

Offline Louis De Sousa

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Re: Hurricane Luis
« Reply #10 on: Feb 27, 2018, 01:00 PM »
Warning issue from the Bridge for that crossing

 

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