A guest aboard a Viking Polaris cruise ship died this week after a monster wave slammed into the craft. The massive wave also injured four other passengers and shattered windows along one of the ship’s flanks.
The Daily Mail reports the Viking cruise ship was sailing Wednesday toward Ushuaia, Argentina when the wave struck. Per the news outlet, Ushuaia lies at the southernmost tip of South America and serves as the main starting point for Antarctic expeditions.
A representative for Viking cruise company addressed the death of the passenger in a statement on Thursday.
They said, “It is with great sadness that we confirmed a guest passed away following” the cruise ship’s run-in with the rogue wave. “We have notified the guest’s family and shared our deepest sympathies.”
The rogue wave also left four other cruise ship passengers with what the news outlet said were “non-life-threatening injuries.” Those individuals received treatment onboard the ship.
What Makes a ‘Monster’ Wave?
Aside from its passengers, the Viking cruise ship itself also sustained some pretty serious damages, with several windows left completely smashed. After sustaining impact from the monster wave, the ship’s personnel anchored off of Ushuaia.
Barring the loss of life, monster waves, or rogue waves, like the one that slammed into the Viking cruise ship are absolutely fascinating. Per the news outlet, scientists describe rogue waves as extreme storm waves. Moving in unpredictable directions, these monster waves can reach up to twice the size of surrounding waves and, basically, look like a wall of water.
They’re so extraordinary, in fact, that mariners once considered them to be a myth. Accounts of these waves, however, date as far back as 1916, when polar explorer Ernest Shackleton wrote of one in his book.
Man Miraculously Survives Fall From Cruise Ship & Frigid Waters
Last month, another cruise ship passenger experienced what Coast Guard crew members could only describe as a Thanksgiving miracle. On Wednesday, November 23rd, a 28-year-old man had been spending time with his sister aboard a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico when on his way to the restroom, he apparently fell overboard. His sister, assuming he’d gone to bed, went to her room herself.
By the next day, though, she still hadn’t found him and reported him missing. After hours of searching the cruise ship, employees contacted the Coast Guard. After receiving word about the missing man, the Coast Guard launched what became a six-hour air and water rescue mission. Suddenly, crew members aboard an MH-60 JHawk located what they soon realized was the missing man.
Footage from the rescue showed the man struggling to stay afloat in the frigid waters, though a waving hand indicated he was still alive. Though he suffered, hypothermia, shock, and dehydration, his rescuers shared that he was somehow coherent and able to walk.
“The fact that he was able to keep himself afloat and above the surface of the water for such an extended period of time, it’s just something you can’t take for granted,” said Coast Guard Lt. Seth Gross, “and certainly something that’ll stick with me forever.”
The man’s survival in the frigid gulf is even more shocking as his fall from the cruise ship could have easily broken his neck.