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60 Ft Rogue Wave Hits Trawler


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I had a similar frightening experience that almost cost me my life in the 1960's when I was just 15 years old.

I was at Mallacoota and was going outside on a mate, Steve Casement's 48 foot trawler

named the Gyp-Sea.

Steve was still in the process of refitting his wheelhouse, so he had sea ply boards

attached to the side of the wheelhouse as well as temporary glass widows in the front.

We were going out to pick up his cray pots with four adults and me on board.

The Mallacoota bar can be a treacherous place at the best of times, but this day was as calm as a cucumber.

As we got half way over the bar, a huge wave, estimated to be over 30 feet suddenly came out of no-where, right in front of the boat. Two friends were standing on the point overlooking the bar and they said they have never seen anything like this wave.

It struck us right in front of the wheelhouse, smashing the glass and tearing the sides off the wheelhouse.

I was seated nearest the stern and the force of this wave swept us all backwards with all the cray pots, ropes and flying glass and sea ply.

I was swept over the stern and one of my mates managed to grab the cuff of my pants as I was going over the back. He saved my life that day!

None of us were injured thankfully, apart from Steve who had a few minor cuts from flying glass.

It killed the engine and swamped the boat. We were taking on water from split boards as this was a clinker built boat

Luckily it was a one off wave, as if there had been a following wave, we would have capsized and been in the shite big time.

Steve lost all his gear, most of it washing up on the long beach days after, but all smashed to bits.

We were all rescued by Steve's brother Dave who came out in his trawler and towed us back in.

By this stage, the boat was just about underwater

It was the most terrifying event in my entire life and I wouldn't go over that bar for about a year after that.

These freak waves can happen anywhere, anytime and are bloody scary.

Here's a pic of the boat being towed back to Mallacoota.


This is Mallacoota bar


Edited by MallacootaPete
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