This has to be one of the most puzzling maritime sinkings ever.
The cargo ship left Jacksonville, FL at 8PM on Tuesday, bound for
Puerto Rico. At that time Joaquin was a tropical storm with 65MPH
winds, with a forecast to grow to hurricane strength shortly.
Which it did, just a few hours later. The forecasts also said
that the meterological conditions were there for it to keep
intensifying. Yet the captain headed
straight for where the hurricane was. And as the hurricane
intensified, he kept going, ultimately winding up in the eye
of it with 140MPH winds. Looks like the whole thing was over
in just 36 hours, start to finish. Thirty siz hours from leaving
a safe port, to sinking in the eye of a hurricane. I can't begin
to imagine what he was thinking? Did the company pressure him?
They say they didn't and it doesn't seem too smart for them to want
to lose the ship....
I just don't get it. If he wanted to start out, make some
progress and see what developed, he could have taken a slightly
different route, close to the FL coast, that would have added
200 miles to the 1300 mile trip. That would have kept him
out of the main forecasted path of the hurricane and also
within safe harbor if needed. It also seems odd that with all
the modern modes of communication, so little is known about
what really went wrong. Seems the only transmission was when
it had already lost power, was taking on water, listing 15
deg, but even then the captain indicated it was under control.
My guess is that they had an "on time" bonus that they did not want to
give up and they thought they would be OK.
These storms have been breaking up all summer and they were counting
on it again but this one got stronger.
I see two potential reasons, could be both.
This is 2015, not 1915 and the weather forecasting is pretty damned good
for things like this. Taking a ship into 140 mph wind is just nuts.
I've net seen a reason for the ship losing power either. Once a boat
like that gets turned abreast of 140 mph wind you can expect problems.
On Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 3:41:11 PM UTC-4, Ed Pawlowski wrote:
I think you're on to something there. While we don't know what actually
happened, I think it will come down to those two.
We don't know the reason for the power loss. Could be related to the
ship taking on water from the storm though. Also, from what I've surmised,
it sounds like the 5 Poles on there were part of a team that was going
to overhaul the ship and they were going to be doing some of the work
while the ship was under way. So, it's possible something related to
that factored in, but we may never know. It's in 15K feet of water and
who knows what info the recorder will have, how much can be determined, etc.
The most bizarre part is that the hurricane just grew worse, was doing
exactly what was forecasted and that at some point, like 24 hours in,
they didn't change course and start heading west to get away from it.
From where it went down. looks like the interval when it lost power to
it sinking wasn't that long.
Ever heard of the "Edmund Fitzgerald" ?
It went down in Lake Superior in a winter storm in 1975. Just
disappeared at the time, found later on the lake bottom. No one survived.
"Although the Fitzgerald had reported being in difficulty earlier, no
distress signals were sent before she sank; Captain McSorley's last
message to the Anderson said, "We are holding our own.""
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