One of the dangerous Force of Nature

The Ocean Waves, considered as one of the dangerous Force of Nature. A lot of people get fascinated with ocean waves and consider it as an adventure to witness such event. Mariners sailing the high seas experience a lot of this waves in the ocean. For new cadets, ocean waves can be considered as a bad experience. With all the rolling and pitching of the ship you can picture a lot of ideas in your mind how a person behaves once the ship got hit by the ocean waves. Knowing and understanding how ocean waves are made would most likely prepare you when you encounter it.

About Waves

Ocean surface waves are surface waves that occur in the upper layer of the ocean. They usually result from wind, and are also referred to as wind waves. These waves may travel thousands of miles before striking land. They range in size from small ripples to huge rogue waves. There is little actual forward motion of individual water particles in a wave, despite the large amount of energy it may carry forward”. – Wikipedia.

Let’s make a simpler explanation of an ocean waves.

“Waves are caused by wind blowing over the surface of the ocean. The longer, stronger and further the wind blows, the bigger the waves will be”. – Mamashealth.

Types of Ocean Waves

  • Normal waves caused by the action of wind on the surface of the water and accentuated by the gravitational pull of the Moon.
  • Rogue waves, also called freak waves. Their exact causes are unknown but it is believed they may propagate from storms, high surface winds, subtle shifts in the ocean seabed, gravitational and magnetic variations in the Earth’s crust, and possibly an alignment of the planets and the moon that produce intensified gravitational effects. These waves can arise suddenly, can be more than 100 feet high, and can damage or destroy ships at sea.
  • Tsunami or sea waves, which are generated by large shifts in the seabed, usually as the result of an earthquake or explosive volcanic eruption. A special type of tsunami, known as a Mega-Tsunami can be caused by the action of a sudden landslide of large size into the sea, such as happened in Tulia Bay, Alaska, in 1957, that produced a 1,000 ft wave witnessed by several people including two on a boat who rode it out and survived. While an earthquake generated tsunami can reach a maximum height of about 100 feet at the shoreline, a landslide generated mega-tsunami can be any height, depending on the volume of water displaced by the land in-falling. – helium.

What causes Ocean Waves

“The winds cause waves on the surface of the ocean (and on lakes). The wind transfers some of its energy to the water, through friction between the air molecules and the water molecules. Stronger winds (like storm surges) cause larger waves. You can make your own miniature waves by blowing across the surface of a pan of water.”

“Waves of water do not move horizontally, they only move up and down (a wave does not represent a flow of water). You can see a demonstration of this by watching a floating buoy bob up and down with a wave; it does not, however, move horizontally with the wave.” – enchantedlearning.

The dangerous side of waves

Ocean Waves can cause fatal accidents. A lot of mariners lost their lives at sea by being washed out by ocean waves. We’ve heard news about sinking ships, man overboard, and a lot of ocean wave related accidents which can or cannot be prevented. We can control the ship but we cannot control nature.


We prioritized safety whenever we work onboard the ship. In cases of bad weather, the crew remains inside the accommodation and continue their work inside the safety of their ship.

  • Remember to keep all weather tight doors closed.
  • Monitor the changes of weather report on your weather facsimile. This information is necessary for you in order to plan your actions well.
  • Prior to departure at port keep it a habit to secure all loose equipment onboard the ship. Last minute securing is the common cause of accidents on onboard the ship.
  • Lashings must be checked and confirmed that it is within safety standards of tightness.
  • Paints and chemicals inside lockers must be lashed and properly secured.

Video Footage

You can indulged yourself on the video footage of “Deadliest Catch – Waves”;

or you can watch this video “Heavy Sea” and see how the ship bends and react on ocean waves.

Have your say

Ocean waves will always be a part of a mariners life. We see it most of the time and we spend a lot of time trying to enjoy it. A lot of sleepless nights can be blamed to ocean waves. How would you consider an ocean wave? Do you have an experience about ocean waves that you like to share with us? Write your comment and be heard or share this article to your friend. You can subscribe to my mailing list for more updates.

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