Severe weather has sunk more than 200 ships exceeding 200 meters in length during the last two decades. Monestrous killer waves ten-stories tall are now believed to be a leading cause of large ship sinkings.
The European Space Agency reports that results data from the space agency's ERS satellites helped establish the widespread existence of these monsterous killer:
"Two large ships sink every week on average," said Wolfgang Rosenthal, of the GKSS Research Centre in Geesthacht, Germany. "But the cause is never studied to the same detail as an air crash. It simply gets put down to 'bad weather'."
Mariners who survived similar encounters have had remarkable stories to tell. In February 1995 the cruiser liner Queen Elizabeth II met a 29-metre high rogue wave during a hurricane in the North Atlantic that Captain Ronald Warwick described as "a great wall of water… it looked as if we were going into the White Cliffs of Dover."
And within the week between February and March 2001 two hardened tourist cruisers – the Bremen and the Caledonian Star – had their bridge windows smashed by 30-metre rogue waves in the South Atlantic, the former ship left drifting without navigation or propulsion for a period of two hours.
Three weeks of 2001 data from European Space Agency's ERS-1 and 2 satellites 2001, showed more than ten individual giant waves around the globe of over 25 metres (80 feet) in height. Previously "dismissed as a nautical myth" such monster waves were thought to occur only once every 10000 years.
The fact that monster waves are actually common presents major safety and economic problems, because ships and offshore platforms are built to withstand maximum wave heights of only 15 metres, not the 25 metres of these monster waves.