Storm Damage

The pictures on this page are of the "APL CHINA", a containership of 64,700 d.w.t. She was built in 1995 and is capable of carrying 5,316 containers. The following is a series of pictures taken by Pat Brandow of the APL China. The pictures were taken in early November, 1998, as the ship returned from Asia to Seattle. The damage was caused by the Typhoon Babs; estimated damage was $100 million dollars In addition to the obvious damage, numerous containers were lost overboard.

All ships are at the mercy of the weather. Shipping companies make every possible effort to stay clear of bad weather. While I was crossing the Pacific a couple of years ago the ship was notified of storms in the North Pacific. Accordingly, instead of taking a polar route from the U.S. west coast, we took almost a direct route to Taiwan to avoid the weather.

Shipping companies spend large sums of money for long term weather forecasts in order to avoid weather that could possibly cause damage to the ship and cargo. Looks liked someone goofed in the case of the APL China.

Please don't let these pictures deter you from a freighter voyage! The damage pictured below is an extreme example of mother nature's wrath. This does not mean that your voyage is necessarily going to be as smooth as a cruise ship. All cruise ships have forward stabilizers that resemble the dive plains on a sub. These operate to make your voyage as stable as sitting in your living room. There are no stabilizers on freighters. Ships the size of the APL China are very stable, however on smaller freighters, say under 25,000 d.w.t., you will definitely feel the ship's pitch, roll and yawl, when the seas get over three meters (about 10 feet).

I have made no attempt to reduce the number of colors or resolution of the original pictures, so you will be at the mercy of the speed of your Internet connection. I feel that if someone is really interested in seeing graphics, they deserve is see the best quality pictures available, despite the download time.

Click on each picture for an enlarged view.