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Old January 30th, 2005, 07:14 AM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Re: Explorer of the seas

I found an article that is was the M/V Explorer, not Explorer of the seas...see below.

A wave came out of the darkness on Wednesday morning and crashed into the ship hosting Semester at Sea. Hundreds of students are on board, including 80 from Pitt. The U.S. Coast Guard reported two crewmembers were injured, but the wounds are minor and no students were hurt.
The M/V Explorer was en route from Vancouver, Canada to Pusan, South Korea, in the first leg of its journey around the world when it encountered stormy weather in the North Pacific Ocean Tuesday afternoon. At approximately 3 a.m. ship time Wednesday, the 50-foot wave struck the Explorer's bridge, resulting in a brief loss of power and engine control.

"The North Pacific Ocean is nasty this time of year," said Senior Chief Bruce Pimental of the U.S. Coast Guard's Pacific Area Office in Honolulu, Hawaii. "[Explorer] was hit by a unique wave caused by the weather system, and the wave took out the bridge windows."

"Everyone on board is fine," said Paul Watson, spokesman for the Institute for Shipboard Education, the Pitt organization that governs Semester at Sea. "There were several injuries reported among crewmembers, but none of them are critical. Some of the crew may have broken bones."

Watson said two of Explorer's four engines are usually in use. The wave disabled control of the engines until crewmembers restored one, and then restored a second late Wednesday night.

Communications to Explorer have been restricted to emergency radio, but Pitt junior Caitlin Ruddy was able to call Pittsburgh using a classmate's satellite phone.

"She said that after the wave hit, you could see in the crew's faces how scared they were," said Pitt junior Drew Siminerio, Ruddy's boyfriend. "The television in her room got knocked right off the wall and almost hit her."

Ruddy also told Siminerio that the computers in the technology lab and the books in Explorer's 11,000-volume library were knocked to the floor by the wave.

Siminerio, who attended Semester at Sea last spring, said he had "seen 15-foot squalls [while on board], but... can't even imagine what a 50-foot wave would look like."

The Coast Guard reported Explorer was holding its position approximately 650 miles south of Adak, Alaska until the storm passed yesterday afternoon. From there, it is sailing to Hawaii where damage to the vessel can be assessed.

Pimental said Explorer was approximately 1400 miles north of Honolulu as of 5 p.m. EST yesterday, and was due to arrive there Monday or Tuesday, depending on the number of operational engines.

The weather conditions around Explorer had improved as of yesterday afternoon, with 15-foot seas and 20-mph winds at the stern, or back, of the vessel.

The Coast Guard cutter Jarvis, based in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is standing by nearby Midway Island, along with an HC-130 "Hercules" aircraft from Kodiak, Alaska, ready to assist if necessary.

Watson said the Institute plans to continue this spring's Semester at Sea program.

"First, we have to evaluate what repairs have to be made to the ship," Watson said.

Throughout the last two decades, Semester at Sea has occasionally had to change plans due to mechanical problems and health concerns. Two summers ago, the epidemic of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in south Asia required the vessel's itinerary to change radically in a short period of time. Also, in the early 1990s, mechanical concerns required the Semester at Sea students to be flown to two ports before the ship could catch up with them.

"Unexpected events are part of what we do," Watson said.
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