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Hellbent

Joaquin toys with large cargo freighter

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So my morbid fascination with maritime disasters continues. Joaquin has apparently tossed a freighter like a toy boat, and no doubt broke it asunder and sank it beneath the ocean's frothy depths.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/10/03/cargo-ship-hurricane-joaquin-missing-coast-guard/73279228/

The thing I don't understand about this article (other than why would you sail directly into the path of a cat. 4 hurricane??) is why were the waves "only" 20-30 feet? Significant wave height in bad, non-hurricane storms (50mph winds) normally sees seas with waves this high. Wouldn't a hurricane packing maximum sustained winds of 140mph make monster waves? (maybe the wind flattens the waves somehow, keeping their size down?)Nevertheless, it's not hard to imagine the ship was undone by a rogue wave or just toppled by the strength of the wind. Somehow I don't think we will be getting any miraculous stories of survival coming out of the disappearance of this ship. :-/

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Reports say the ship left when it was just a tropical storm.

As for sailing right into a category 4 storm, it would have been less risky to alter your course and keep going at your high speed rather then stopping and turning around.

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It was a cargo freighter, not a tanker. Somewhat important distinction for those of us that don't want more oil in the ocean.

The article claims the captain had anticipated the hurricane would have passed them, guess not. It did send a distress message saying it's engines were disabled and it was taking on water. AFAIK really monster waves only occur mid-ocean or someplace with a lot of prevailing winds like Cape Horn. The ship was rather close to land, I'm thinking it ran aground.

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I doubt it ran aground; more of it would have been found by now; but I suppose time will tell.
I think rogue waves can occur anywhere where the confluence of different waves join together to create a monster wave.

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