26-foot wave hits cruise ship: 2 dead, 6 injured

Waves hitting a cruise ship

This is what normal waves hitting a cruise ship look like. Image from Flickr.

Just a few hours ago in the Mediterranean, the Louis Majesty cruise ship was slammed by three 26-foot waves. with more that 1800 crew and passengers aboard, the ship has docked in Barcelona. Greek Louis Cruise Lines may need to get emergency cash loans to repair the damage to the public areas that were smashed by the waves.

26-foot waves most likely caused by wind

As reported by The Associated Press, Cmdr. Bernard Celier of the French maritime authority in the southwestern city of Toulon, on the Mediterranean coast, noted there had been winds of more than 60 miles per hour in the area. High winds have been known to cause extreme waves in the past. The likelihood that the waves were caused by recent earthquake activity in Chile is relatively low.

Wave hits cruise ship unexpectedly

Though there had been high winds in the area, the passengers and staff of the cruise ship did not appear to have any warning of the 26-foot waves headed their direction. The Greek coast guard notes that waves such as this are very unusual, and while nearby weather buoys had reported high winds, these waves could not have been easily predicted.

Questions about where the cruise ship was hit by 26 foot waves

There are conflicting reports in the news about where, exactly, these waves crashed against the cruise ship. he Greek coast guard said the accident occurred near the French Mediterranean port of Marseille. However, French newspaper Le Figaro and other Spanish news reports are claiming that it took place about 80 miles northeast of Barcelona, off Capo de Begur.

No longer a vacation

The Louis Majesty has since docked in Barcelona. However, television news crews have been asked to leave the port. Other than the 6 injured and 2 dead passengers, none are being allowed off the cruise ship at the moment. When these passengers are allowed off the ship, some may have to look into short term loans if the cruise ship company does not offer help in getting them back to Cartegena, where the cruise began.

Cruise Ships not normally hit by waves

Unusually large waves (called “rogue waves”) such as the 26-foot wave that hit this cruise ship are not common occurrences. In the last 10 years, according to Wikipedia there have only been a few reported encounters. Generally, large ocean liners and cruise ships are very safe, even when these rogue waves do hit – they are designed to withstand some of the worst conditions the ocean can create.

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