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The fictional Poseidon is engulfed by a rogue wave, rolling top top her port side and killing all yet a couple of of her passengers and also crew. (From the Warner Bros. Movie Poseidon)


For centuries, seamen have told tales about encounters v astonishing waves. Perhaps due to the fact that some sailors have actually a penchant for exaggeration, every too regularly such story were dismissed as absurd. However, in much more recent years, the facts around what room now well-known as “rogue waves” have become clearer: among newer items added to the cultivation list that “knowns” are photos and video of rogue waves in action, as well as hard evidence in the means of damages done come ships that survived encounters. With much more encounters, and an ext details, over there has likewise been boosted awareness in film and also media.

You are watching: Poseidon movie based on true story

On might 12, 2006, the Warner Bros. Film Poseidon, (1 hr. 38 minutes, rated PG-13 ) to be released in the joined States. A work again, please again of the 1972 Irwin Allen production, The Poseidon Adventure, itself based upon a novel by Paul Gallico, the film to be directed through Wolfgang Petersen (director of The Perfect Storm, which chin featured a rogue tide for the film’s finale, and Air force One). It starred kurt Russel, mock Lucas, Emmy Rossum, Jacinda Barrett, and also Richard Dreyfuss.

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Many fans of the 1972 movie savaged the 2006 remake, supposedly filled with ardor over many or many of the film’s details, acting, plot, and also the like. However, one thing around the film the is important astounding is its depiction of how the ill-fated Poseidon meets the demise. In this latest re-telling that the fictitious story, an massive cruise liner – the design of i beg your pardon was about based top top the Queen mar 2 – is swamped by a rogue wave, conversely, the 1972 version of the film had actually the delivery being lost to a tsunami caused by a sub-sea earthquake. How realistic to be this modern-day day big-screen depiction?

Viewing the movie itself without knowing anything around rogue waves, the enormity of the wave in a calm and also sea can strike one as positively absurd, favor the embodiment of every complaints that Hollywood exaggeration for the benefits of awe-inspiring unique effects. However, what can be surprising is that the relenten was in reality a very accurate one. In fact, the 120-foot wave presented in the movie was produced by digital effects firm ILM. They very closely studied the actions of water in order to develop new special results software with the assist of researchers from the Stanford University. The truth that the wave in the movie struck throughout otherwise patience seas is no unheard of, either, because that rogue waves.


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In among the many terrifying scene of the film Poseidon, the capsized ship’s dining room windows implode, sending a cascade of seawater into the doomed vessel’s hull. (From the Warner Bros. Movie Poseidon)


Beyond Hollywood, we know of real ships which survived encounters through rogue waves. Indeed, in retrospect, it seems that the Lusitania encountered at least two rogue waves during her career. (The incidents are discussed at size in my publication Lusitania: An shown Biography.)

In recent years a number of ships and also their passengers and also crew have likewise survived rogue waves, bringing back hard proof of the damage they caused, as well as photographic records of them. In April 1966, the Italian liner Michelangelo encountered an unusually huge wave and also took far-reaching damage; three human being were killed. Several of the ship’s lighter stole was take it through prefer paper; the was replaced with tougher steel once the ship was rebuilt, and also other vessels to be given comparable strengthening, together well.

On September 11, 1995, Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 had actually a terrifying encounter with a rogue wave. The ship to be west-bound in the Atlantic, collection to come in new York the adhering to day. Hurricane louis was churning up hefty seas and big waves; Captain Warwick report 130mph winds and wave heights of 40 feet. At 4:10 a.m., a rogue wave practically 100 feet high – which looked like the “white cliffs that Dover” – to be sighted right ahead, in ~ eye level through those on the Bridge. It took some seconds for the tide to near in and break end the bow. At least one other huge wave was difficult on the heels the the first; the ship dropped into the trough behind the first, and also the 2nd wave then crashed over the bow, tearing off the whistle mast and wreaking more havoc.

Canadian weather buoys in the area measure a rogue wave v a height of 98 feet, helping to check that the height of the waves which to win the QE2 were no exaggeration.

Other cruise ships have actually had comparable encounters. In 2005 the Norwegian Dawn encountered a rogue the was approximately 70 feet high; in 2006, the Norwegian Spirit encountered one more off Tortola.

On Wednesday, march 3, 2010, the cruise delivery Louis Majesty encountered a series of 3 “abnormally high” waves while cruising in the waters off the northeast coast of Spain. At the time she was reportedly carrying part 1,350 passengers and also 580 crew. The Louis Majesty is a 40,876 gun ton vessel v a size of nearly 700 feet — in other words, a rather an extensive cruise ship just somewhat smaller sized than the Titanic. The waves reportedly damaged the public part on deck 5 of the ship, killing 2 and also injuring at least six.

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Fortunately, in every of this cases, the cruise ship survived. However, it is most likely only a matter of time before one of this rogue waves catches a cruise delivery broadside, rather of head-on. What can be the outcome of together a scenario? The movie Poseidon explores that an extremely real threat. Additionally of interest, the history Channel aired a documentary called, Rogue Waves which faces these monsters, and discusses the accuracy that the movie itself. Several of the Blu-ray execution of Poseidon have actually the background Channel documentary as a bonus ~ above the disc.