Captain Lynch said that the weather conditions were very severe for the last couple of days so departure from Hollyhead had to be timed to ensure that “were able to make an arrival straight into Dublin” when the worst of the weather conditions were expected.
What is more, the Captain highlighted that in its maiden voyage, the Stena Estrid experienced sea conditions of about 5 to 6 meters, adding that it was “the first time we’ve made the passage but of course we’ve got lot of experience on the ship having travelled from China and various oceans around the world.”
It is added that the ship did move around but “we did what we could to make it as comfortable as we possibly can" as "the safety of the passengers is our priority;” the ship performed extremely well as the crew managed to monitor the weather conditions; the only limit for the ship was passenger comfort.
Captain Lynch highlighted that a series of weather routing courses carried out across the Irish Sea took a little longer that we expected, acknowledging whatsoever that their top priority is the safety and comfort of the passengers on the way across.
Lastly, the Captain noted that “we try to present ourselves to the weather conditions or the waves to make sure that the ship doesn’t move too much and of course the ship is fully stabilized as well, but we try and put them big waves just on the front of the ship and that just eases emotions and get balance,” remarking that
You are still moving through that five to six meters it is just trying to ease the motions to something that’s comfortable for the people that are moving around the ship.
Namely, ship navigation in heavy weather conditions or in tropical storm areas is a common situation, especially if the vessel is navigating in tropical oceans. Both heavy weather and tropical storms demand of crew’s preparation and immediate response, in order to ensure vessel’s safe passage with no or less harms on vessel’s cargo or even vessel’s personnel.
The term “heavy weather” is defined as combination of strong winds of Beaufort scale 7 or more and waves with height of 4 meters or more. A tropical storm is developed over tropical oceans and is a very intense low-pressure wind system with winds of hurricane force. Tropical storms consist of rotating masses of warm and humid air and create thunderstorms with high waves, flooding rain and strong winds.
Some actions to be taken under heavy weather conditions or tropical storms include:
- Master and Engine Room should be informed of the weather conditions
- Crew should be advised to avoid upper deck areas
- Safety lines and hand ropes should be rigged where necessary
- Vessel’s course and speed should be adjusted
- Necessary maneuvers should be made in order to minimize the risk of damages
- Weather reports should be monitored and reported to the appropriate authorities. In the case of tropical storms, danger messages should be done in accordance with SOLAS requirements
- Vessel’s accommodation should be secured
- Vessel’s machinery and movable objects on deck, engine room, galley and storerooms should secured
- Weather deck openings, ports and deadlights should be closed
- Cargo should be secured as appropriate