The work sailors do is so very dangerous and courageous. The cargo ship El Faro that sank in the Caribbean could very well have confronted The Giant Wave of “The Perfect Storm.” Vessel and crew went missing near the Bahamas last week, during a hurricane, Joaquin, which whipped up 130 mph winds:
Together with “Orca” (1977), “Jaws,” (1975) Towering Inferno (1974), (the old) “Poseidon Adventure,” where a straight priest gets to act as the hero, not the child molester (1972), “Earthquake” (1974) and the Airport films–“The Perfect Storm,” also of the older disaster film genre, is one of my favorite films. (Sorry to disappoint: The verbose, French, “Three Colors” trilogy is not something I was, and will ever, be prepared to sit through. “Dancing With Wolves” was bad enough.)
The Perfect Storm is a 2000 American biographical disaster drama film directed by Wolfgang Petersen. It is an adaptation of the 1997 non-fiction book of the same title by Sebastian Junger, which tells the story of the Andrea Gail, a commercial fishing vessel that was lost at sea with all hands after being caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The film stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, William Fichtner, John C. Reilly, Diane Lane, Karen Allen and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. It was released on June 30, 2000, by Warner Bros. (Wikipedia)
Thirty three men went to their watery graves providing for their families:
… The 790-foot ship, the El Faro, was likely swallowed by the Category 4 hurricane two days after it left Jacksonville, Florida for San Juan, Puerto Rico. When it set off on Tuesday, Sept. 29, Joaquin was just a tropical storm with wave swells of 7.5 feet and sustained winds of 65 mph.
More debris found as search for missing El Faro cargo ship continues 2:08
Four hours earlier, the National Hurricane Center had issued an advisory warning that the storm was moving toward the Bahamas and could reach hurricane status by Sept. 30.
An hour and a half after the ship left port, a new forecast put Joaquin even closer to the Bahamas and, fatefully, closer to the El Faro’s route. By the time the ship, built in 1975, passed the Bahamas the afternoon of Sept. 30, winds were at 85 mph.
The captain was keeping a close eye on conditions and was not alarmed.
“On Wednesday he sent a message to the home office with the status of the developing tropical storm he said he had very good weather … and that his crew was prepared,” said Phil Greene, president of TOTE Services, the parent company of the ship’s owner.
As night fell, Joaquin grew. Tropical storm winds had expanded some 140 miles from the center and hurricane force winds were sweeping out 35 miles, packing the punch of the Category 4 hurricane.
The storm itself was moving slowly at just 6 mph. That meant the same area of water was being hit over and over by the winds — the perfect conditions for building monster waves.
As Joaquin slowed and strengthened, the El Faro was in trouble. The crew reported on Oct. 1 that the ship — which had two auxiliary power generators — had lost power, was taking on water and was listing at 15 degrees.
That was the last contact made with the ship. (NBC)
Rest in peace.