Anomalous killer wave: an American died on a cruise ship during a storm

A resident of the United States died, and four passengers were injured as a result of a powerful wave that hit the cruise ship. Viking Polaris during his Antarctic cruise as called at the port of Ushuaia in southern Argentina, reports Dailymail.

Photo: IStock

The Viking Polaris cruise ship was heading on November 30 to the Argentine port of Ushuaia, the main starting point for expeditions to Antarctica. Just at that moment, the “killer wave incident” occurred, according to a statement from a spokesman for the Viking cruise line.

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“It was unexpected and shocked us. We didn't know if we could get our gear ready to leave the ship," said a North Carolina couple who were passengers aboard the Viking Polaris.

At first, the couple thought that there was a collision with an iceberg, but the wave rose due to an Arctic storm.

The ship received minor damage and, with several broken side windows, was at anchor in the port of Ushuaia, which is almost 3200 km from the capital of Buenos Aires.

One of the giant waves hit the Viking Polaris in the side with full force, damaging the front of deck 2.

The glass of the passenger compartment shattered as a result of the collision. There was no danger of capsizing the ship. He was able to continue on his way.

“It is with great sadness that we have confirmed that one of the passengers has passed away following the incident. We notified her family and expressed our deepest condolences, ”the message says.

Four tourists "injured" were treated on board.

One of the largest cruise companies in the world, Viking Cruises, said it was "investigating the facts related to this incident."

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Viking Polaris was launched in 2022 and is the newest vessel in the company's fleet.

The young 378-guest cruise ship is just two months old and was handed over from VARD to owner Viking Cruises in September. From Amsterdam, the ship traveled to Argentina, where it was used for Antarctic cruises to and from Ushuaia.

It is not known how long the repairs will take and whether the ship will cruise in the future.

Scientists call rogue waves extreme storm surges that appear out of nowhere, often moving in an unpredictable direction. They can look like a steep wall of water, twice the size of the rest of the waves.

These rare killer waves were once thought to be a myth told by sailors and explorers. Polar explorer Ernest Shackleton wrote in his book about a "giant" killer wave he encountered in Antarctica in 1916.

However, in recent decades, scientists have learned more about them. They studied how waves form and how to predict their occurrence, because such a wave can rise even in calm seas.

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The incident occurred two weeks after two tourists drowned during another Antarctic cruise. Two men, aged 76 and 80, left the World Explorer ship and went on a tour in a Zodiac inflatable boat that capsized near the shore.

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