|FYI — April 2005|
|By Brad Dunn|
A Word With... Al
Q: How did you
land in this business?
Q: What do you
like most about your work?
Q: How is working
with boats different from other jobs you’ve had?
Q: What do you
do in your spare time?
School of Hard Rocks
In January a Semester at Sea research boat was about 650 miles south of Adak, Alaska, only a few days out of port, when the 591-footer encountered gale-force winds and very high seas. Then, in the early morning of January 26, a giant wave smashed into Explorer and shattered her bridge windows, damaged her controls, and disabled three of her four engines. The ship—with 990 passengers aboard, two-thirds of whom were students—was left reeling in the darkness.
The crew quickly alerted the Coast Guard, reporting that miraculously only two people has sustained minor injuries. “The North Pacific Ocean is nasty this time of year,” explains a Coast Guard spokesman. “[Explorer] was hit by a unique wave caused by the weather system.”
Fortunately, the Explorer’s crew was able to repair one engine and regain control of the ship before the Coast Guard arrived. Students were able to call their worried families on satellite phones.
The ship was on the first leg of her around-the-world tour and was en route from Vancouver, Canada, to South Korea. The damage necessitated a change in itinerary, however, and the boat headed for Honolulu for repairs.
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This article originally appeared in the March 2005 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.