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A Japanese shipping company said it did not believe a wave caused an explosion aboard one of its tankers passing through the mouth of the Persian Gulf, but refused to speculate Thursday on what set off the blast until it had more information.
The incident aboard the M. Star supertanker happened shortly after midnight as it entered the Strait of Hormuz, heading out of the Gulf, Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines said.

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Oil tanker hit by freak wave near Strait of Hormuz

A freak wave hit a Japanese supertanker passing through a strategic Gulf shipping lane, causing damage, a United Arab Emirates port official said.
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Nonlinear internal waves
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URI scientist: Tides, Earths rotation among sources of underwater waves that impact offshore structures, submarine navigation, sound propagation

Scientists at the University of Rhode Island are gaining new insight into the mechanisms that generate huge, steep underwater waves that occur between layers of warm and cold water in coastal regions of the world's oceans.
David Farmer, a physical oceanographer and dean of the URI Graduate School of Oceanography, together with student Qiang Li, said that large amplitude, nonlinear internal waves can reach heights of 150 meters or more in the South China Sea, and the effects they have on surface wave fields ensure that they are readily observable from space.

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Large waves are not rare in the Mediterranean, but ones that size occur only once or twice a year, said Marta de Alfonso, an oceanographer with the Spanish government.
De Alfonso said there was in fact a big storm in the area at the time and the waves might have been stirred up by fierce winds. Waves often come in threes, she said.

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Giant wave kills passengers on Mediterranean cruise ship

Two passengers were killed when giant waves smashed windows on their cruise ship. The Louis Majesty was off Marseille when a German and an Italian were swept to their deaths.
A Louis Cruise Lines spokesman said three "abnormally high" waves broke glass windshields in the bow area. Six people were badly hurt by the 30-foot walls of water.

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Two people have been killed and six injured as freak waves slammed into a cruise ship in the Mediterranean, Greek and Spanish officials say.
The 26-foot-high (8m) wave hit the Cypriot-owned Louis Majesty near the French port of Marseille.

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On the Hunt for Rogue Waves

A near-vertical wall of water in what had been an otherwise placid sea shocked all on board the ocean liner Teutonic - including the crew- on that Sunday in February, more than a century ago.
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Scientists in the US have made a major advance in their understanding of so-called freak waves.
These monster waves present a major risk to ships and offshore platforms.
A computer simulation developed by oceanographers in the US could help locate where and when these "rogue" phenomena are most likely to occur.
The theoretical study shows that coastal areas with variations in water depth and strong currents are hot spots for freak waves.

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Mexican President Felipe Calderon has ordered an inquiry after an accident on an offshore oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico left at least 19 people dead.
Huge waves knocked the platform onto its side and into a drilling rig, setting off gas and oil leaks.
Desperate workers scrambled into life rafts to escape.
More than 60 survivors were rescued, some after hours in the water, but the search is continuing for four workers missing since the accident on Tuesday.
The accident on the Usumacinta platform happened during a heavy storm.

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Running Shipwreck Simulations Backwards Helps Identify Dangerous Waves
Big waves in fierce storms have long been the focus of ship designers in simulations testing new vessels.
But a new computer program and method of analysis by University of Michigan researchers makes it easy to see that a series of smaller waves---a situation much more likely to occur---could be just as dangerous.

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