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From: (George Herbert)
Newsgroups: sci.military.naval
Subject: Re: The Perfect Storm, by Sebastian Junger
Date: 14 Feb 2000 13:37:40 -0800

<> wrote:
>This might be a little off-topic, but I recently read Sebastian Junger's
>non-fiction book, "The Perfect Storm" (soon to be a movie starring
>George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg) and was wondering:
>What would happen to a warship if it were caught in the situation
>described in "The Perfect Storm", in which a rare confluence of
>circumstances produces a storm with wave heights of over 100 feet?  Have
>any of the old salts on this newsgroup experienced such an event on
>board a warship?  Are there procedures or preparations that are gone
>through when a storm of that size hits?

Turn into the wind/waves.  Keep moving forwards enough to maintain
steerage but not much faster.  Batten down all the hatches,
take everything off the decks which you can move inside, lock
down every heavy object inside and all the cubbards, etc.
Same as on any other ship, except that other ships may
not have aircraft and helicopters on board to have to secure.

>The book mentions that a hurricane of that intensity would endanger even
>the largest of naval warships, like an aircraft carrier.

Yes, really intense storms can threaten carriers and other very
large ships.  There are several cases where tankers have gotten
lost in large storms and apparently got folded up by very large waves.
The Queen Mary got knocked over to some incredibly high angle (60 degrees
or more) during an intense squall off Newfoundland (?) in WW II while
acting as a troopship and very nearly turned turtle.  Carriers are
not weak ships, but aren't overbuilt enough to withstand some of the
weather which might hit them in extremis.  No ship is, it's not economical
to do so, whether its mission is carrying aircraft or oil or containers.
And so, from time to time even today, we lose ships at sea with no
warning in severe storms.

-george william herbert

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