Wednesday, April 8, 2009

FUR Nightmare

Check this out. You are sailing east along latitude 40, a thousand miles west of San Francisco. You are returning from Hawaii after an exhilarating ocean race. You have been keeping a good watch, there is nothing on AIS or Radar. Suddenly there is a loud bang accompanied by a huge lurch. You look below and there is water over the floor boards.


You have just hit a reef. What you ask? This is not the Tuamotus. There are no reefs out here. Sure there are. You just found a floating uncharted reef (FUR). They are deployed by ships like depth charges in some old WWII movie. Only they don't sink like depth charges. They float at or below the surface and are filled with Salad Shooters, Gameboys and Soy Sauce. These are cargo containers lost in heavy weather by container ships.

One such "deployment" occurred this week when the M/V YM Taichung lost 14 containers in heavy weather 1000 miles west of San Francisco. Where are these FURs now? Who knows. Some may have sunk, others just lurk. Sure the odds of hitting one of these are very low. The chance of detecting and avoiding one is even lower. It is just a little scary.

The Coast Guard News has a story about the YM Taichung here.

1 comment:

rj said...

a good reason to install forward scanning sonar.

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