Seaquakes 1900s to 2015

seaquakes along mid-ccean ridge
seaquakes out number earthquakes on land ten to one.

Ships Report Seaquakes
1900 to 2015

by Capt. David Williams 

Thousands of ships report seaquakes from 1900 to 2015. Below you will find the highlights of eyewitness reports of ship/seaquake encounters. The main purpose of this historical gathering is to prove that seaquakes generate powerful disturbances in ambient water pressure that could indeed cause a pressure-related injury in the cranial air spaces of diving whales, sea turtles, polar bears, seals, walrus, dugongs, and human divers. Seaquakes have also killed great schools of fish with swim bladders throughout history.


1900 Jun 22:  News from New Caledonia’ states that some divers of the warship Ringarooma had a sensational experience when torpedo practice was being carried out at the New Hebrides on June 22. A torpedo was lost in 17 fathoms of water, and a diver was sent down to recover it. He had not disappeared beneath the surface more than a minute when he tugged the lifeline to be pulled up. He was bleeding from the ears, and nose, and he explained that there was a volcano underneath and that the water was boiling hot. Another diver volunteered to get the torpedo, and he came up more suddenly than the first. A third man went down, with the same results, and. further attempts to recover the torpedo, which was valued at £250, were given up. Some submarine disturbance had apparently taken place. (trolink)

1900 Jun 23:  British ship reports seaquake. Saint Mirren which arrived recently at Astoria, Oregon, from Yokohama experienced a peculiar phenomenon last evening. It was about half-past six, when Captain Cordiner, the bar pilot boarded her from the pilot schooner San Jose. The wind at the time was blowing light from the south and there was only a moderate swell. Suddenly the sea to the southward was seen to be in commotion, as if a hurricane was blowing, but the wind did not increase as an immense wave approached the vessel. The ship was tossed about for over two hours in a sea that would bury her in the water and then again lift her up and down. The seas frequently washed clear over her. After this had continued for about two hours it subsided as quickly as it had arisen, and the wind immediately shifted from south to east, then in a short time to northwest, going almost around the compass in a few hours. The wind from the northwest was soon in the nature of a gale, and the ship was under lower topsails during the night, but no injury was done to her. Capt. Hamilton and Capt. Cordiner at first thought that a tidal wave was coming, but the long succession of big waves leads them to the belief that there must have been a seaquake in that vicinity.  (link)  chart this

1900 Oct 23:  Mail ship reports seaquake. Coptic was off the coast of Japan when a very heavy seaquake was felt. “The sea became suddenly ruffled, and we could see great mountains of water all about us. Suddenly the Coptic was in a turmoil, and there was every evidence that a seaquake was in progress. I was standing at the bow of the vessel at the time. A great sea came over, and I was swept away towards midships, receiving some bad bumps on the way.” (link)

1900 Oct 31:  American Steamer St Paul losses prop. Engineer says hit a submerged wreck. Was it a seaquake? The link takes you to a long interested article.  (link)

1901 Feb 06:  Violent seaquakes threw the steamer Guatemala party out of the water and caused the vessel to tremble from stem to stern for at least a minute off the coast of Ecuador during her latest trip. ( see column 6 link) chart this

1901 Nov 06:  When the steamer Argyle was on her way down the coast of Panama from this city just a month ago and was at a point forty miles off the Mexican coast, seaquakes occurred. A few minutes prior to the disturbance the sea was exceptionally smooth and the weather warm and pleasant. Second Officer Helpner was on the bridge. Suddenly a rumbling noise was heard and not far off the port bow a small tidal wave was seen approaching. Before it reached the steamer everybody on board understood that a seaquake has stirred things up, for the sea became thick with earth of a reddish color and the sea boiled in a peculiar manner. The wave caused little commotion on the steamer beyond throwing second officer Helpner Down and injuring him slightly. Five minutes later the sea was smooth again and the rumbling ceased. (link) chart this

1902 May 09:  Captain Henderson of British ship, Anaurus, reported that in latitude 5 and longitude 43, a terrible seaquake vibration was felt throughout the vessel, the shocks making it appear as if the ship were bumping on rocks. At the same time the sea was violently agitated and the crew were in a state of semi-panic. The phenomena lasted half a minute.* The Weekly Star and Kansan, Independence, Kansas, 13 Jun 1902 Page 6 column 2 *(Link)  (link)

1902 Jul 20: British steamer Homer and German bark Christine both experience severe seaquake shocks in latitude 39 degrees north, longitude 36 degrees west. The shock, which caused the Homer’s compasses to revolve violently, lasted forty seconds. Near Albany Seamount, 200 miles west of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. *(link)

1902 Aug 13:  The Alice Knowles experienced a terrific seaquake, when about 200 miles off the Kurile Islands. The shock was so violent that the ship’s chronometers were stopped. Captain Montgomery says the sensation made him think the vessel was ashore. Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 148, 26 October 1902  (link) chart this

1903 Jan 24: WHALE CUT IN TWO. Sidney: The Norwegian barque Barossa, which arrived last night from Eureka, when in the vicinity of Lord Horne Island, felt a shock of seaquake. On the following day, while bowling along at nine knots an hour, the barque collided with a whale, cutting the monster in two. The impact dented a plate in the bows of the vessel. (linkchart this

1903 May 20: The German bark Gudrun, which arrived yesterday, 188 days from Hamburg, had a thrilling experience as it near Staten Island, Cape Horn, Chile. It was struck by a seaquake, the violence of which set up a trembling of the ocean, and for twelve hours the vessel was in constant danger of destruction. The use of oil, Captain Karston says, is all that saved the Gudrun. Contrary winds were encountered at the outset of the voyage and until February 15, when the bark crossed the equator in the Atlantic, the Journey toward Cape Horn was pursued under difficulties. March 10 the Gudrun reached the vicinity of Staten Island and it was off St. Johns that the submarine demonstration made its strength manifest. There was little wind at the time and all hands were greatly alarmed when, with a sudden roar, the whole universe, as it seemed to them, began to tremble. For a moment it was thought the bark had grounded. There was another roar, more trembling and as the water surrounding the vessel commenced vibrating with ever increasing violence, the mariners realized that the bed of the ocean below them was being rudely tumbled and tossed by some awful internal force. As the vibrations continued the sea was beaten into a white fury, which waxed angrier and more dangerous every moment. The absence of wind made escape impossible and as sea: were boarding the bark from every point of the compass, Captain Karston ordered oil bags over the side. The oil gradually surrounded the ship and prevented the seas breaking on board. The alarming phenomenon continued for twelve hours and when the sea finally subsided all hands were tired out and scared half to death. The Gudrun was thirteen days rounding the Horn. She encountered a hurricane on March 22, which continued 48 hours, during the greater part of which time the bark was on her beam ends. One boat was smashed and other damage sustained about the deck. She crossed the equator in the Pacific April 20, and had fairly good weather from there to port. Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 93, Number 171, 20 May 1903  (link) chart this

1903 Oct 11: British ship hit by seaquakes off Cuba, the ship made movements as if she had been lifted above the sea and very suddenly dropped upon a rock. The second shock appeared to affect the ship under the stern. This second shock awoke the watch below. who rushed on the deck. expecting to find the ship badly ashore. No other shocks were felt on the ship. it was reported in the next day that an earthquake visited at the section of Cuba. (link)  chart this

1903 Nov 04:  Seaquakes, so violent that it caused the chronometers on board to stop, shook the whaling bark California when she was hunting sperm-whales off the coast of Japan. The bark arrived in port yesterday, and her logbook told the story of the violent seaquakes. “It occurred on the 25th of August,” said Captain Joseph, in speaking of the incident, “and we were then off the coast of Japan. The ship trembled as if she had gone ashore, and the waters were confused and ruffled for miles around. The quake lasted for fully 30 seconds. It was the heaviest I ever experienced. All the watches on board stopped.”  (link) chart this

1904 Aug 09:  The barque Alma, from Malden Island, which arrived at Timaru yesterday, reports that a very severe seaquake was felt at 41 degrees 37 minutes south, 176 degrees 50 minutes east, being 75 miles east by north from Cape Palliser, at half-past ten a.m. on 9 August. (140 miles SE of Wellington, New Zealand) * (link)

1904 Oct 14:  Vigorous seaquakes awoke the people of Honolulu at 3:45 o’clock a.m. The shocks were the most severe felt in years on this island. People were awakened by a violent shaking: of couches and beds. The seismic wave seems to have passed from a southeasterly direction to the northwest or vice versa. The seaquake shocks was general throughout the islands. The quake was felt at sea and the barkentine Encore, which arrived on the same morning from Newcastle, was the first vessel to report having experienced it. The peculiar movement occurred while the vessel was about fifteen miles off the southeast end of Molokal. It was sufficient to wake Captain Palmgren from his bunk and cause him’ to hurry on deck. The marine disturbance first started with a noise and then the vessel trembled violently. It sounded to Captain Palmgren as if the vessel was scraping over a sand bottom. ‘ He thought at first she had gone aground.  (link) chart this

1905 Jun 09:  Early in the morning while Canadian-Australian liner Aorangi steamed it was noticed that the clear green of the ocean had changed to a dirty brown such as is seen close off shore when after heavy rains the rivers bring down vast quantities of matter in suspension. As the day advanced fragments of pumice were seen floating about and then the cause of the appearance of the water became evident. There had been a seaquake down below, probably accompanied by a discharge from flung the deposit lying on the floor of the ocean violently towards the surface. In doing so whole populations of low forms of marine life had been ruthlessly disturbed and killed. For nearly 400 miles in which floated marine matter, barnacles like shellfish growing on marine stalks, and large cluster of a dark green weed. The species of none of these were known, nor were they like anything which those aboard who were acquainted with marine life had ever seen. Some specimens were secured and a full account of the circumstances will be forwarded to the Meteorological office at London.  (link) chart this

1905 Jul 22:  It’s a strange tale of a strange – that was told by Captain Montgomery of the whaling bark Alice Knowles, which has just arrived at San Francisco from the Siberian coast. “We were lying some 200 miles off the Kurile Islands on the Siberian coast when the shock was felt,” said he. “Almost a dead calm prevailed, and the sea was felt,” said he. “I was in my cabin when I suddenly felt the ship shaking like a leaf. It seemed that the deck was falling on me. The whole ship rattled as from impact with some object. I knew that the disturbance was not caused by a heavy sea, and I rushed on deck. There I found the crew terror-stricken and gazing helplessly at one another. While on the deck the shaking continued and a rumbling noise resembling thunder seemed to come from the depths of the sea. The surface of the sea was disturbed and was breaking up in confused masses. The rumbling noise and the vibration ceased simultaneously, and the sea again became calm. Both my chronometers stopped at 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon and I was set thirty miles off my course by the incident. I didn’t notice if the surface of the water was discolored, but for two days I sighted fishes floating on the surface of the sea.“—Morning Oregonian.  *(link)

1906 Jan 22: A passenger on board the steamer Norkowa which arrived at Pinkenba, from the Solomon Islands yesterday gave information concerning an seaquake in this island group. He stated he left Sydney in the auxiliary schooner Eugene for the Solomon Islands on the 22nd January and when off Marau Sound a most peculiar incident happened. The schooner was proceeding, along at a fair rate of speed when a noise and sensation similar to a vessel striking the ground was experienced.  (link) Chart this

1906 Mar 13: The ship Charles E. Moody arrived yesterday from Port Ludlow with lumber. Heavy southeast gales were experienced for twelve days, and in latitude 43 deg. 32 min. north, longitude 28 deg. 10 min. west a seaquake continuing for two minutes and vibrating from south to north was distinctly felt. The barometer during the storm registered 28.70. San Francisco Chronicle. (link)

1906 Apr 04:  The German Mail steamer was shaken by a terrific shock in the Formosa Channel. The big liner trembled as if she struck a rock and every electric light on board was extinguished. Ref:  San Francisco Call, Volume 99, Number 160, 9 May 1906  (link) Next

1906 Apr 18:  Captain McCullough, bar pilot, was bringing the collier Wellington In from sea, and gives a graphic description of how the earthquake felt at sea. “We were off Diaglo in about fifty fathoms of water,” he said yesterday, “when the earthquake shock us up. The Wellington shivered and shook like a springless wagon on a corduroy road. The sensation at first was as if the big steamer was jumping from one gravel bank to another and it seemed as if she would Jar her insides out As the shaking gained In intensity it seemed as if she was blowing out boiler tubes, an explosion every second. “It was a terrifying experience and none of the uncanniness was taken off by the fact that the sea was smooth as glass and showed not a ripple when the shaking was at its worst.” Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 99, Number 169, 17 May 1906  (linkNext

1906 Apr 19:  The French barque Andre Theodore, which arrived in port at Sydney on Saturday, en route from Barry, bound to Honolulu, had a sensational experience at about 3 o’clock on the afternoon of April 19, the day after the destruction of San Francisco. The master states that the effects of a severe earthquake were felt on the ocean. The water became disturbed, and the vessel shook convulsively from stem to stern. The tremor lasted for three minutes, but no damage was done to the vessel. The Andre Theodore, at the time, was in latitude 46.49 south, and longitude 141.20 east,. (link) 1906 Apr 06:*

1906 Apr 18:  About 5 in the morning, as the crew of the Hamburg Streamer Garda approached the Golden Gate Bridge, it was suddenly shaken violently by the Great San Francisco Earthquake. On August 18, 1906, she was anchored in the harbor of Valparaiso, Chili, when the vessel was stuck the second time by a horrible earthquake.

The Cook County herald. (Grand Marais, Minn.), 23 Feb. 1907. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. <> Next

1906 Apr 18: The Great San Francisco Earthquake disturbed many ships at sea. Information regarding the perception of the shock on ships at sea or in harbors has been collected by Prof. George Davidson, and the following notes are chiefly the result of his inquiries: (link)

The U. S. T. S. Pensacola, moored to the pier at the U. S. Naval Training Station, Yerba Buena Island, San Francisco Bay, felt the shock on the morning of April 18, 1906. Surgeon L. W. Curtis reports that while in bed on the Pensacola he felt a vibratory shock lasting about 30 seconds, with one heavy jar about the middle period of the shock. A gentle rumbling sound coincided with the shock. The phenomenon closely resembled vibrations which are at times set up in the ship’s hull on starting the dynamo, and it was mistaken for that, tho much more active and exaggerated than ever before observed. The vibration shook down some loosely piled books and papers from a table.

The pilot-boat Gracie S. was lying in 18 fathoms of water near the lightship off the San Francisco Bar. She was suddenly struck by a seaquake which caused her to quiver as if the chain were running out of the hawser pipe. When the pilot boarded the German Cosmos steamship Nyada, the captain reported that his vessel had been shaken as if she had struck on rocks. The pilot-boat Pathfinder was lying in the vicinity, in 20 fathoms, and reported the same effect.

The steam collier Wellington, inward bound, between Fort Point and Point Diablo, in 50 or 60 fathoms, reported that the vessel was struck as if she were upon rocks. (Personal report of Captain Hayes, of the Board of Pilots.)

The steamer Alliance, of Cape Mendocino, reported by Mr. H. H. Buhne, of Eureka: The captain said she was struck a hard blow, as if she had run on a rock at full speed; time, 5h 11m. Mr. Buhne states that all ships in the harbor at Eureka felt the quake, but in South Bay it was heaviest. One vessel was hurled against the wharf time and again, throwing down piles of lumber and shingles.

The schooner John A. Campbell felt the shock at sea, off Point Reyes. The following is a memorandum of the event by Capt. C. J. S. Svenson: “Ship’s local apparent time April 18, 1906, 5h 15m A. M. Lat. 38° 00′ N. Long. 126° 06′ W.; 145 miles true west of Point Reyes. Weather Fine; sky clear; wind fresh from north-northwest; sea moderate; ship’s course southeast; speed 7 miles per hour. The shock felt as if the vessel struck lightly forward and then appeared to drag over soft ground, and when aft a slight tremor was felt; the whole lasting only a few seconds.” The depth of water in the vicinity of the ship’s position is 2,400 fathoms.

The steamship National City was approximately in lat. 38° 24′ N. and long. 123° 57′ W; 29 geographical miles distant from the nearest point on shore and about 31 miles from the fault-trace along the valley of the Gualala River. The vessel felt the shock at 5h 03m A. M., April 18, 1906, ship’s time. James Denny, the chief engineer, supplies the following comment: “The ship seemed to jump out of the water; the engines raced fearfully, as though the shaft or wheel had gone; then came a violent trembling fore and aft and sideways, like running at full speed against a wall of ice. The expression `a wall of ice’ is derived from my experiences in the Arctic.” In this vicinity, the chart has several soundings, as follows: 911 fathoms over clay and mud at 11.5 miles on the line to Gualala Point; 1,586 fathoms over clay and ooze 8 miles north by compass; 1,821 fathoms over clay and ooze 14 miles N. 54° W. by compass.

The wharfinger at Santa Cruz reports that he heard a rumble before the shock, coming from the southeast, and saw the seismic wave traveling shoreward, causing a great rattling and crashing when it struck the town. Two distinct sets of vibration were felt, the latter being the harder. There was very little surf, the water looking like that in a tub when jarred. The wharf, extending southeast, seemed to pitch lengthwise. A steamer between Santa Cruz and Monterey, also one at Monterey wharf, felt the shock; it jarred them as if they had struck bottom.

Shocks felt at sea subsequent to April 18, 1906. — The ship Alex Gibson, at 7h 05m P. M. August 3, 1906, when in lat. 25° 35′ N., long. 110° 06′ W., experienced a tremendously heavy seaquake, lasting about 40 seconds and shaking the ship from stem to stern as if she were bumping over a ledge of rocks. It shook tools out of the racks in the carpenter shop; threw pots and pans down in the galley, cups and pitchers from hooks in the pantry, and all lamp glasses off the lamps. The crew came running aft not knowing what was the matter, and the captain thought the yards were coming down. The sea at the time was perfectly smooth, the wind light from the southwest, no land in sight, and all sail set in fine, clear weather. At 7h 10m P. M., ship’s time, another light shock was felt, of about 15 seconds duration; and from 8 to 12 midnight two more very light shocks were felt, but the time was not noted. The captain states that he had experienced an earthquake at sea on a former occasion, but the one felt before was nothing compared to this one, either in force or duration. (Hydrographic Bureau.)

The bark St. James, Capt. F. O. Parker, while in lat. 26° 19′ N., long. 110° 25′ W., in the Gulf of California, on August 26, 1906, was shaken by a seaquake at 12h 15m P. M. The shock lasted a minute, and the sensation was as if the vessel were striking upon sunken rocks. Upon arrival at Guaymas, the captain learned that no shock had been experienced at or about the time noted. ( San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 16, 1906.)

The bark Agate, Capt. C. H. McLeod, while off the northwest coast in lat. 43° 10′ N., long. 128° 50′ W., 100 miles west of Coos Bay, experienced a heavy shock on September 2, 1906, at 3h 45m A. M. The shock lasted nearly 1 minute. The sensation was as if the vessel had struck a coral reef or rock. The wind was light, the weather clear, and the sea smooth. At 3h 55m A. M., another shock was felt, not so severe nor so prolonged as the first. ( San Francisco Chronicle, Oct. 2 and 9, 1906. Hydrographic Bureau.)

The ship Robert Searles, Capt. J. H. Piltz, while in lat. 41° 78′ N., long. 125° 52′ W., 85 miles northwest of Cape Mendocino, experienced a severe shock on September 14, 1906, which occasioned a panic among the crew. The cargo (lumber) and upper works of the vessel were shaken. The shock lasted 25 seconds. ( San Francisco Chronicle, Sept. 17, 1906. Hydrographic Bureau.)

The American schooner Stanley, Capt. K. Petersen, while in the calm center of a cyclone, in lat. 46° 09′ N., long. 125° 22′ W., 55 miles west of Cape Disappointment, on November 6, 1906, felt a sharp shock that lasted 2 or 3 seconds. Immediately afterwards, when looking toward the southwest, the captain saw 3 mountainous waves coming; when they struck, the ship began to pitch and roll violently, and he thought every minute she would be swamped. (Hydrographic Bureau.)

The schooner Melrose, Capt. M. McCarron, while in lat. 37° 35′ N., long. 123° 35′ W., felt a seaquake on February 3, 1907. The first shock was at 10h 30m A. M., lasting about 8 seconds; and the second at 10h 50m A. M., lasting about 5 seconds. Neither shock was violent, but each caused a decided trembling of the vessel. The motion was from east to west. The sky was overcast and the sea was smooth, with light westerly winds. The position of the vessel was 28 geographical miles S. 73° W. from the Southeast Farallon. The nearest sounding on the chart is 5 miles north of this position, where there is shown 1,726 fathoms of water.

1906 July 11:  Ship struck by a tidal wave produced by undersea earthquake. The British tramp steamer Sir Richard Grenville was almost engulfed on Sunday afternoon while 300 miles outside of Sandy Hook. The ship reached the Upper Bay today, minus her funnel, which was washed overboard by an enormous wave. Lifebuoys were smashed, ventilators are gone, and the main deck is a complete wreck. One of the strangest features of the wave is that, after the water on the deck had subsided, a piece of a spar, supposed to be the yard-arm of some wrecked vessel, with many pieces of lumber, was found on the main deck. The only explanation of this Captain Jones volunteered to make was that a submarine earthquake released part of a sunken vessel from the bottom of the ocean. Captain Jones rigged a jury funnel of scantling and lumber. The improvised funnel was a box-like affair, eight feet across, rising ten feet above the deck. The sparks and flames from the furnace nearly overpowered the men, and a bucket brigade had to b.e stationed near the funnel to prevent in the ship catching fire. The Sir Richard Grenville came from Huelva, in the Mediterranean, and brought 3950 tons of iron pyrites.  (link) Chart this

1906 May 30:  PUMICE STONE COVERS SEA! Evidence of a subterranean 0utbreak seen in the vicinity of Laysan Island. The schooner Lavinia, which has arrived in Honolulu, from Laysan Island reports that the ocean in that vicinity is covered for many miles with a heavy coating of pumice stone. At Laysan Island and on the French Frigate Shoals there were piles of pumice prior to the San Francisco earthquake. It is believed that there was some subterranean outbreak, probably in connection with the Formosa earthquake. Captain Schlemmer of the Lavinia reports that the overseer at Laysan said that the shock of April 18 was felt on the island. San Francisco Call, Volume 99, Number 183, 31 May 1906  (link)

1906 Jul 22:   Captain J.R. Sirrins of the schooner ESPADA reports to the Branch Hydrographic Office that on July 22, 1906, at 9.15 A.M., when in Lat. N 40  33′ Long W 126E 15′, or about 85 miles N86 W true, from Cape Mendocino, he experienced a slight seaquake shock. At 9.30 A.M. he experienced a severe seaquake shock lasting about 6 seconds which felt as though the ship was grinding over rocks. Weather at the time was clear, wind light N.N.W, sea very smooth and barometer 30.04. Ref: The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, CA (link)

1906 Aug 06:  The crew of the Canadian Fish Company’s steamer Celestial Empire reported that the steamer sailed south through the same waters it traversed on its way down last Saturday. vow none of the blotches that reddened the surface of the water for miles round is to be seen. The real cause of the mystery has not been ascertained with accuracy, but the theory of the officers of the steamer with regard to the event eminently reasonable. The officers ascribe this queer manifestation of the mysteries of the deep to sub aqueous action to some submarine upheaval that threw the curious vegetable formations on the floor of the ocean to the familiar surface. Full many a fathom down plant growth is deep and dense, and when cast violently to the surface it spreads to great dimensions. covering the surface of the sea for miles round. There is no doubt that the forces which thus disintegrate the ocean bed are the cause of the wreck of many a ship that sails away and is never heard of again. This sub aqueous plant-life, when in the water is as red as blood, but when exposed to the air it assumes a greenish hue.  (link) Chart this

1906 Sep 14:  The lumber laden ship Robert Searles has arrived from Tacoma and Northern ports. Capt. Piltz in command, states that among other incidents during the trip, the officers of the vessel recorded a severe seaquake shock that caused a panic among the crew and threatened serious harm to the vessel. Capt. Piltz says that on the morning of September 14, when his ship was within 250 miles of her destination, a severe disturbance of the water was felt. As near as could be determine, the seaquake was experienced in latitude 41 deg. 18 min. north Longitude 167 deg. 52 min west. So severe was the disturbance that the cargo and upper works of the vessel were shaken. The captain and second officer recorded the length of the shock as 23 minutes. (link)

1906 Nov 27:  The Pacific Mail steamship Newport arrived in port yesterday morning and is now alongside dock 44. Captain Russell reports that on November 27 at 10:27 o’clock at night a severe shock of earthquake was felt. The steamer was then on the way from Champerico, Guatemala, to Acapulco. Mexico. The shock lasted about ten seconds. It shook up the steamer to a considerable extent and some of the passengers were so frightened they leaped from their berths. Ref:  San Francisco Call, Volume 101, Number 10, 10 December 1906  (link) Next

1907 Jan 31: PECULIAR EXPERIENCE AT SEA. A submarine disturbance caused some alarm on board the barque Largo Bay on her passage from Glasgow to Sydney.  She arrived in Sydney on Friday last, and the captain reported that when about 90 miles to the eastward of Tasmania, at 5 p.m. on the 31st ult., a peculiar sensation was experienced by those on board. The officers were at dinner, the weather at the time being fine, with a moderate breeze, when suddenly the ship began to vibrate. All hands, fearing the worst, rushed on deck, but nothing was visible likely to cause the shock. Some of the crew were of opinion that the vessel had passed over a submerged wreck, but the captain stated the cause of the incident was nothing more than a submarine disturbance. The shock lasted nearly two minutes. * (link)

1907 Feb 22:   It was 8:45 o’clock on the night of February 22 when the Planet Neptune was about 150 miles off the province of Rio Grande do Sul, that the lookout, Able Seaman Shailburg, saw a commotion dead ahead as if a school of great marine creatures were having a riot. The foam and spray shot and bubbled up in geyser-like fashion. The wind was from northeast and merely fresh. and the seas that the ship had encountered a moment before were of the duck pond variety. The look out, who was on the forecastle head tried to get shelter when he saw the great sea impending. He was picked up and driven aft on the flood. When he came to he found his shipmates uncoiling him from a stanchion around which he had been wrapped. His leg and hand were broken, and he was otherwise so much hurt that he can never go to sea again. The skipper, who was on the bridge, says that he had a little time to observe the wave. Just before it rose ahead of the ship he noted that she tremble exactly as she had done in the harbor of Iqnique last December, when there were several earthquake shocks along the the coast. The ship was steaming about six knots and the wall of water smashed her so hard that she came almost to a dead stop. The sea reared fifteen feet above the forecastle head and swept the ship from stem to stern. It was a foot deep on the captain’s bridge. It was the only wave of the day. All around where it had uplifted itself the skipper noted afterward that the surface of the sea was bubbling and whirling and spinning, as if there were something at work beneath. (link1)  (link2)

1907 Mar 16:  About 3:30 in the afternoon Schooner James H. Bruce, Capt. M. Swanson, was struck by heavy submarine earthquake shock which lasted about ten seconds. Geographic position was Latitude 40 46 N. Long. 125 30 W. This places vessel 50 miles N 70 degrees W from Cape Mendocino. Near this locality the Coast and Geodetic Survey lays down soundings of 1666 fathoms 20 miles to NNW; 1689 fathoms to NE 20 miles and 939 fathoms 23 miles to South. The soundings to the NW of Cape Mendocino are very irregular pointing to a submarine continuation of the Mendocino range of mountains. And south of Mendocino are four deep submarine valleys that head sharply into the mountainous coast line. * (link)

1907 May 20:  The schooner J.W. Clise, Captain Smith reports that on May 20, when the Clise was off the Umpqua river, a southern Oregon stream, the vessel experienced a severe earthquake shock, which shook it violently from stem to stern, causing all hands to pile out on the deck to locate the disturbance. The shock, which was severe, lasted for nearly two minutes.
Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 102, Number 7, 7 June 1907  (link) Next

1907 May 31:  While the barque Drammensteren, from Malden Island, was in latitude 21deg  32m south, and longitude 173deg 23m west, the vessel was shaken from stem to stern by a sudden shock, her way being stopped for several minutes. A loud report was heard in the distance.  It is supposed that the cause was a violent submarine disturbance was due to volcanic activity. * (trolink)

1907 Sep 07:   A shock of earthquakes was experienced at sea by  the barque Onyx at noon of while on the voyage from Surprise Island to Auckland. The barque at the time was latitude 25.30 degrees south longitude by 162. 20 degrees East. The sea was much agitated around the vessel, which quivered fore and aft for about 10 seconds. It was thought the barque had struck a rock. Several months ago, when the Norwegian barque Drammereeren? was bound to Auckland from Malden Island with a cargo of guano she meet with a similar experience.  * (link1) ( see highlighted text link2)

1907 Nov 19: The Norwegian steamship Admiral Borreson has arrived here in distress. it was struck by a terrific tidal wave, probably following a submarine earthquake. November  2 when 2,300 miles northwest of Honolulu. The vessel was from  Seattle to Taku.  (link) Next

1907 Nov 24:  The Kosmos liner Setos. Captain TC router, which arrived yesterday from Puget sound, was severely shaken Friday night by a submarine disturbance that probably was a sea going earthquake. For a time it was believed that the vessel had struck a rock or encountered a submerged derelict. A careful examination, however, satisfied Captain Kreuter that  the “Setos had sailed over the throbbing bosom of an earthquake. It was a clear night. The Setos was well off shore, with Cape Mendocino light abeam. At 10:45 p. m. Captain’ Kreuter. with a clear conscience and his favorite pipe, was reclining in his armchair reading his last letter from , the fatherland. Suddenly the Setos gave a lurch. There was a grinding noise and the vessel, shook with such violence that the skipper was almost thrown from the comfortable seat as he started for the bridge he heard the telegraph ring the signal to stop the engines. Soundings were taken fore and aft and on both sides. Nothing but deep water. The well was sounded and showed no sign. of any leak The searchlight revealed no derelict The Setos resumed its way and Captain Kreuter entered in the ship’s log that the Setos had been attacked by an earthquake, but had escaped harm.  Ref:  San Francisco Call, Volume 102, Number 177, 24 November 1907  (link) Next

1908 Mar 04:  The Dutch steamship Ocean on her marvelous adventure at sea, barely escaped destruction by a meteor weighing many tons, while the vessel was almost enveloped by the huge waves following the impact of the meteorite with the sea. Many of the crew became ill from the effects of the gas, which Captain Benkert declared would have asphyxiated them had they not sought shelter below, deck. The gas remained m the atmosphere for more than: fifteen minutes, and when Captain Benkert and his men ventured on deck they, found it covered with a peculiar brownish powder. Then followed a shower of blazing meteors, which began to fall about the vessel, the phenomenon lasting several minutes. The sea about the vessel became phosphorescent, and as far as the eye could see the men aboard the Ocean saw dazzling objects of every color dancing about on the sea. The remarkable sight, according to the log of the Ocean, was witnessed at three o’clock on the morning of March 4 while the steamer was in latitude 39.59 North and longitude 71.27. West. * (link)

1908 May 06:  The Norwegian tramp steamer Joseph K. Cuneo on cruise from Port Antonio, Jamaica, was hit by a great wave directly in the front of her bow, almost wrecked the ship. Capt. Aamdt. in quarantine said, “On sunshiny day, when suddenly a wall of water 30 feet high reared in front of our bow and pitched us up and up till I thought we would never stop. We almost turned a somersault. A second wave lifted us as high again, but this time we kept level. That was all except hundreds of dead fish floated on the surface as we steamed away.” He thinks the waves were caused by a submarine earthquake. The ship was not harmed.  (link) Next

1908 May 25:  Lightning Splinters Mast and Scatters Dead Birds All Over the Decks

The Pacific Mail liner City of Para, Captain Sandberg, which arrived yesterday from Panama, when steaming from Calcutta to San Jose de Guatemala. The vessel was struck several times and at each encounter with the electric strikes trembled violently fore and aft. The only damage sustained by the liner was the loss of the foretopmast, which was shattered into splinters. In the morning after the storm had passed thousands of dead birds were gathered from the bridge, awnings and decks. The lightning began to play about 1 o’clock in the morning. All the passengers and most of the crew were in bed and not until next morning did they learn of the electrical display that they had missed. When the storm began all the fuses on the ship blew out and the vessel was left without lights until the engineers restored the connections.  (link) next

1908 May 26:  The barque Pallas had a remarkable experience in the Samoan Islands.  The vessel shook and quivered in a calm sea, and was then lifted bodily out of the water and slammed down with a severe bump. The vessel shook like a leaf. (link) On the same day  the Norwegian tramp steamer Joseph K. Cuneo on a cruise from Port Antonio, Jamaica, which she has Just finished. “We were in a perfectly calm sea, said , Capt. Aamdt in quarantine on a sunshiny day when suddenly a wall of water thirty feet high reared in front of our bow and pitched us up and up until I thought we would never stop.  We almost turned a somersault. A second wave lifted us as high again but this time we ‘kept- level. That was all. except hundreds of dead fish floated on  the surface as a we steamed  away.He i thinks the waves were caused by  a , submarine earthquake. The ship was  not harmed.  (link) Next

1908 Aug 17:  The captain of the bark Australia reports shock of an earthquake while over the Chile Ridge in the South Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles off Valdivia, Chile. It started with a low rumbling sound, which increased until shouted orders could not be heard, and the vessel trembled and seemed suddenly to stand still. A loud grating sound succeeded as if the ship was crashing into rocks. * (link)

1908 Sep 03:  Sea captains belief that there has been a submarine disturbance of the earth’s crust or volcanic eruption near Yaquina Bay. The ocean for thirty-five miles off shore is covered with dead herring and the beaches for miles on either side of Yaquina Bay are pilling up with dead fish In forty years so many herring have not been seen in this bay or at sea as are now visible on every hand. Capt. Anderson of Schooner Condor says that the sea is literally covered with dead herring.  (link) Next

1908 Sep 12:  There was a submarine earthquake or volcanic eruption somewhere near Yaquina bay is the belief of sea captains coming into this port during the past week. The ocean for thirty-five miles off shore is covered with dead herring, and the beaches for miles either side of Yaquina bay are now piling up with dead fish that appear to have been killed in some catastrophe.  (link) Next

1908 Sep 23:  A Severe Agitation Off the West Coast of Mexico. Mexico City, received report from Acapulco that their were two heavy earthquakes yesterday off that port. The sea was greatly agitated and broke in tremendous waves. The Cosmos line steamer Radames from San Francisco, bound for Hamburg, was caught and tossed about like a chip. Passengers and crew were thrown to the deck by the onslaught of the waves. Four persons were killed and several others were wounded by rolling spars and falling woodwork. The earthquake was barely perceptible on shore.

Arizona republican. (Ref: Phoenix, Ariz.), 25 Sept. 1908. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.(see mid-page link) Next

1908 Sept 24:  Steamer cosmos in peril thrown around like a chip on the agitated waters and four persons aboard killed. Advices received here today from Aculpco, are to the effect that two heavy earthquake shocks were felt yesterday off that port. The sea was greatly agitated and broke in tremendous waves.The Cosmos line steamer Radmer, from San Francisco, September 8, for Hamburg, was caught and tossed about like a chip. The passengers and crew were thrown to the deck by the onslaught of the waves. Four persons were killed and several others were wounded by rolling spars and falling woodwork.The earthquake was barely perceptible on shore.  (link) Next

1908 Sep 25:  The steamer Radames of San Francisco was suddenly lifted up and let down hard by seaquake off Acapulco. The falling of spars, caused by the vibration, killed four and injured two of the ship’s company. * (link)

1908 Oct 14:  A sailing ship rounding Cape Horn was caught in dead calm. something almost unprecedented in that stormy latitude. The sky was filmed with a light haze, and the sea was flat and lead-colored. About 10 o’clock on the morning of the second day the ship began to shake violently, the mast whipped and bent like fish poles and everything movable above and below came down with a clatter. It was less pronounced at first, but increased in violence during the thirty seconds it lasted. The sea heaved in oily swells with a strange, hoarse murmur, and it continued to be agitated after the tremors ceased. Half an hour later fish by the thousand began to rise to the surface until it was covered with them. Forty-seven whales were counted, many cowfish fully eight feet across, sharks without number and seals by the hundreds. They were evidently stunned with the force of some terrific marine upheaval, and when stuck with a pole by one of the sailors showed only faint signs of life. (link) Next

1908 Dec 04:  Reported from Auckland New Zealand. The auxiliary ketch Albatross had a remarkable experience at Ohiwa on Sunday night and evidently felt the disturbance of the Submarine earthquakes at  Whakatane. The experiences of the crew on the Sunday night were graphically described by one of their number to a Star representative : “The first heavy shock came just as we had got into bunk, on Sunday night,” he said, “and it startled us considerably to feel the boat bumping about alongside the wharf on a calm night. Between Sunday night and Tuesday there must have been about a dozen shocks, but nothing further of much account happened until Tuesday. Just about breakfast time I was looking over the side at the time to see if there was enough water for us to get out. Then all of a sudden the boat lurched heavily on the water and began to rock violently. The wharf seemed to me looking up at it to be coming right down on the ship. The vessel creaked loudly and everything on board was badly jerked about. There were no more shocks until we left.”  (link) Next

1909 Jan 23:  The White Star Liner republic, outward bound from this city for Mediterranean ports, and carrying 461 passengers, in a thick fog ran into collision with the Florida of the Lloyd Italiano Line, inward bound, 26 miles southeast of the Nantucket Light ship, and about 230 miles from the city, The Republic was struck amidships, the bow of the Florida penetrating her engine room, and plunging the ship into the darkness. The Republic began sinking almost immediately, and within two hours her passengers were transferred in small boats to the Florida, whose bow was badly damaged, but which was in less danger.  (link) Next

1909 Mar 01:  HEAVY SHOCK FELT OFF JAPAN COAST Liner Arrives From Orient With Many Passengers and Silk Worth $500,000, The Pacific Mail liner Manchuria, Captain Daniel Friele, which arrived yesterday from the orient, wave shaken by a seaquake when 172 miles this side of Yokohama. The shock was terrific. It threw Chief Engineer j Bunker out of his berth and sent him into the depths of the engine room to sort out how many blades the propeller had shed. It sent Captain. Friele to the deck where he soon had all seamen taking soundings. The date of the shock was March 1 and the  time 11:45 p. in. There was great excitement all over the ship until it was ascertained that the Manchuria was all right and that the shaking had been caused by an earthquake. Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 105, Number 120, 30 March 1909 (link) Next

1909 March 20:  The seismograph at the Observatory recorded a series of severe earth shocks, extending from 7 to 8:16 yesterday morning. The interval between the preliminary tremor and the first long wave indicates that the quake was 700 miles distant, its origin probably being in the Indian Ocean.  (link) Next

1909 Aug 26:  The captain of the steamer Indralema which arrived from London at Melbourne the other day, reported strong gales and high following seas during the greater portion of the trip across the Southern Ocean. The wind died away, but during the next two days the vessel had a novel experience. It was in the nature of a remarkably heavy northeasterly and southeasterly swell, with a south-westerly under-swell, causing such a prodigious jumble, that, in the absence of airy breeze, Captain Trotter came to the conclusion that the disturbance was due to a seaquake. Whilst this lasted, the speed of the vessel had to be greatly reduced. She pitched, and rolled alarmingly, whilst excessive “racing” of her engines increased the discomfort of life on board. “It was a most, extraordinary experience altogether,” said Captain Trotter, “hardly a breath, of wind blowing during the 24, hours that the ocean was in such a state of tumult.”  (link) Next  Ref: Colonist, Nelson, New Zealand

1909 Oct 03:  A remarkable experience is reported by the officer of the steamer Wonga Fell, which arrive in Sydney, during the run across from Ocean island. On “October 3, about ‘2 o’clock in the afternoon, a white streak was noticed running in a slanting direction across the steamer’s bows. “It was like a tide rip,” remarked Captain Camp-bell when seen on board. “I saw it some way ahead and noticed the white-looking streak and the broken and confused water. ‘The ship caught it on the starboard bow.and was partly slewed round. It looked to live very like a submarine disturbance, by reason of the broken-up mass of water which we could see behind us after we had passed through. Whatever it was it must have been caused by something of an exceptional character, as it requires some force to swing a steamer like the Wonga Fell out of her course.”  (link) Next

1910 Jan 16:  Swan Island, 860 miles from this Port in the Caribbean sea, has been ripped from one end to the other by seismic shocks, according- to statements of passengers of the steamship Carinto, arriving here. Captain Olsen reported that when his vessel was midway between Port Limon Costa Rica and Corn island the sea became suddenly turbulent. Waves rolled mountain high and for a time it was believed the vessel would be swamped. So severe were the seas that the vessel was turned completely around. The island trembled and the tower of the wireless station swayed so violently that operators Roberts and Martin ran from the building’ to safety. A few of the huts were slightly damaged. The wireless station, though temporarily out of commission, was said to have withstood the shock. Los Angeles Herald, 17 January 1910  (link) Chart this

1910 May:  The Canadian Pacific Royal mail liner Marama, whilst passing through the (Fiji Islands) group on her present trip to Vancouver, encountered a severe marine disturbance, or a submerged obstacle Steps are being taken to have soundings made in the vicinity. * (torlink)

1910 Aug 17:  A sea quake of mean proportion jarred the big pacific Mull liner Mongolla which passed through Honolulu. on Saturday on her recent voyage from the Orlent. The steamer was off the Pescadores at that time the convulsion of the earth gave the huge craft a Jolt that started on board Some thought that the vessel had touched bottom, others that there had been collision with whale or a piece of submerged wreckage, others that the tall shaft had snapped off, The passengers were at luncheon  with tho first Jolt in the meal was suspended, although everyone kept his place. A few seconds Later came another but lighter shock and naturally It did not allay the feeling of uneasiness that wont through the ship. But nothing happened the comforting pound of the engines kept up and the ship moved forward in all stadiness. The few who had been in earthquakes before were very sure of what happened. As a matter of fact the Mongolla was at the time well out in the channel with thirty fathoms of water under its keel and there was no chance that the disturbance was due to any other cause ” There must have been some very severe submarine disturbance” said one of the passengers, I am informed that the seismograph did not record the disturbance but a certainly was sharp. It jolted that big ship sharply and there was a report that sounded like a collision. My first thought was that one of the shafts had broken but a second later I could make out the steady throb of the engines and knew that the incident did not lie there.   (link) Next

1910 Sept 13:  The missionary schooner George Brown reports that, when near Suva (Fuji Islands) she experienced a severe submarine disturbance. The weather was calm and the ship vibrated from end to end for several minutes.*  (link)

1910 Oct 31:  The Captain of the German steamer Albingia, which arrived here today, reports that at 1:00 a.m. while the vessel was approaching the southern coast of Jamaica, severe earthquake was experienced. The sea was greatly agitated and the ship caused among the passengers were much alarmed.  *(link)

1910 Dec 10:  Near the end of 1910 the Glasgow steamer, Cadillac, 5,000 ton register. while on a voyage to Philadelphia passed through an extraordinary and terrifying experience. Early one morning the lookout reported the approach of a huge wave and far away in the direction indicated, a huge volume of water could be made out, bearing steadily on towards the vessel. Captain McKay was immediately around and hurried to the bridge. The Cadillac was put about, so that she met the cataract of water bow on, and while everyone clung to any support available, the vessel was lifted high into the air. with many feet of her stem clear. Then as the wave passed, she slid down into the following trough her decks partly submerge. Almost everything movable was washed away. * (link)


The Glasgow steamer Cadillac, Captain T. R. McKay, which reached Philadelphia (states a Central News message) reported having passed through an extraordinary experience whilst on a voyage from Rotterdam. The Cadillac, which is an oil-carrying steamer of over 5000 tons register, appears to have traversed the zone of a great submarine earthquake-and it  may be noted that several reports of earthquake shocks at sea have lately been received. The German steamer Albingia, for instance, whilst bound from New York to Kingston, Jamaica, was rocked violently by an earthquake off the Jamaican coast on October 31. The Glasgow steamer was making 12 knots in good weather with a stiff wind from the south-west. She was then in latitude 46 49 N. and longitude 46 10 W., or in other words not very far south of the ocean liner track between New York and  Liverpool. At half-past 5 in the morning, just as day was breaking, the look-out man reported the approach of a tidal wave from the south-west, and far away in the direction indicated a huge volume of water could be made out bearing steadily on towards the vessel.  Captain McKay was immediately aroused, and hurried to the bridge. The Chinese stokers down below, hearing of what was happening, left the coal bunkers and furnaces, and scrambled up to the decks to await the crash. The Cadillac had been put about, so that she met the cataract of water bow on, and while everyone clung to whatever happened to be within reach the vessel was lifted high into the air, with many feet of her stem clear.  Then, as the wave passed, she slid down into the following trough, her decks partly submerged. Almost everything movable was washed away, but the timely warning of the watch proved the salvation of the crew. Something more remarkable however was to follow, for the sea was soon observed to be in a phenomenal state of commotion. It appeared literally to boil, and in many places miniature waterspouts shot into the air. A strange roaring, due to some submarine disturbance, could be plainly heard above the general din. The water from some of the spouts fell upon the Cadillac’s deck, and was found to be distinctly warm. In a few minutes the wind died almost completely away, whereupon sulfurous fumes filled the air, and made breathing difficult. Subsequently thousands of dead fish were observed floating on the ocean’s surface, among them sharks and porpoises in large numbers. *(link)

1911 Feb 18:  An appearance of a new island not long ago on the cost of Alaska calls to mind other rapid uprising of land in the ocean. An island suddenly to light off the coast of Sicily, remained for two months, and as quickly disappeared. The Gulf of Mexico has witnessed the advent and subsidence of small. These upheavals of the bed of the ocean suggest all sort of mysteries connected with the unknown depths. A British vessel once had an uncanny experience in this connection. The vessel was out twenty-three days from Manila to the Hawaiian Islands. It was a silent, dead black night. The lead showed deep sea. Suddenly those on board felt as though they had grounded. Daybreak revealed a low and misty sky. The Britisher lay as if becalmed in the midst of an oily sea strangely discolored in patches. Suddenly the water, to use the words of the master, “trembled.” The ship rolled, and in the distance rose a huge, balloon-shaped mass of vapor, steam or smoke. There was not the slightest sound, but a long line of chafing water stretched across the streaky calmness. Then the vapor settled over all, and the ship’s company could hear but not see the seething and pouring water all about them.  (link) Next 

1911 Jul 11:  The Hopewell, an English brig, was chartered for a voyage up the Gulf of Siam to secure the cargo of a vessel partly destroyed by fire at Bangkok, at the head of the gulf, and to try to learn the fate of the ship Viking, which belonged to a trading company at Singapore, and had been mysteriously missing for many months The Hopewell carried a crew of ten men, all of whom were provided with small arms, but she had no cannon. When she was about six miles off the island off Alango she fell a dead calm. This was early in the morning. Before noon there was cause for everybody aboard to feel alarmed. The atmosphere was close and stifling, the sky had a brassy look, and fish were continually leaping out of the water around the brig as if terribly frightened. At about 5 p.m. a great sheet of flame suddenly leaped out of the sea two miles to the west of the island. The flame was followed by a report which was heard forty miles around and then same such a boiling and up-heaving of the sea that the brig was tossed about like a chip, and was given up for lost. She continued to be pitched and banged about in a terrible way for half an hour, and the sea did not grow quite for more than two hour. All knew what had happened. A submarine earthquake had taken place, and a new island had been created.  (link) Next

1911 Dec 17:  Pacific mail Liner Pennsylvania, which arrived from Panama experiences shocks on the trip. Chief Engineer J.E. McKeenan was injured by a huge roller that boarded the Pennsylvania off the gulf of Toh Aun tepee. The earthquake zone was entered at 8 o’clock on the morning of Dec. 17, and the upheavals continued until 3 o’clock in the afternoon, coming at intervals of about twenty minutes.  (link) Next

1912 Mar 28:  The disabled steamer Enterprises was towed into port yesterday by the Matson liner Lurline, which picked up the cripple about 370 miles off this port. The tailshaft of the Enterprise was broken but of the propeller was saved. The saving of the wheel was due to the good seamanship of Captain Youngren, master of the Enterprise and J. Reid, chief officer, whose work was highly commended by the underwriters and Captain Matson, head of the Matson Navigation company. The Enterprise left here Saturday for Hilo with a large cargo of freight, and was making good headway, when, early Monday morning , the tail shaft broke. The jar awoke all hands. Until word was received from the engine room it was supposed that the vessel had been shaken by a submarine earthquake. Captain Youngren at once directed the wireless operator to report the trouble to San Francisco and to get into communication with Lurline.  (link) Next

1912 Jul 20:  The Pacific Mail steamship Pennsylvania arrived here today, bringing a full list of passengers and a good cargo of freight, Captain Austin reported that while off manzanilla on his southbound voyage, a heavy earthquake shock was felt. All of the passengers were awakened and rushed on deck, thinking a collision had occurred. Afterward. Captain Austin- stated, he learned this was the shock that nearly destroyed Guadalajara.
Ref: San Francisco Call, Volume 112, Number 82, 21 August 1912 (link) Next

1912 Aug 02:   The captain of the Prince AVuldmar,which arrived yesterday at Brisbane from Japan, says an earthquake was experienced at Rabone.The pier to which the vessel was moored rocked to and from, and some of the crew panic-stricken, jumped overboard. No lives were lost.  (link) Next

1912 Aug 27:  A sharp earthquake shock was felt today at 11 o’clock all over this city, and the surrounding country. The German steamer Andree Rickmers, on her arrival here later in the day, reported that the disturbance at sea was very severe.  (link) Next

1912 Nov 06:   The earthquake felt in Seward. Alaska, the night of November 6. shook the steamship Bertha while it was steaming off Triplet island, between Uyak and Kodiak. “At 9:50 o’clock p.m. we felt a severe jar that made the entire ship tremble,” said Captain TV. B. Knight, who arrived here with the Bertha today.  (link) Next

1913 Jan 19:  The Norddeutscher Lloyd liner Scharnhorst, while crossing the Indian Ocean en route to Australia , vibrated violently from end to end with a shock resembling that given if the engines had been run full speed astern. The startled passengers rushed on to the deck and found the ship proceeding as usual in a delightfully calm sea in clear moonlight. The shock was explained as being due to a submarine earthquake. It lasted 45 seconds.* (link)

1913 Feb 25:  STEAMER SHAKEN FROM STEM TO STERN. Minor earthquakes have occurred at frequent intervals at Westport South Island, from Saturday to this afternoon, the longest interval being from 8 o’clock on Monday morning till 11.30 on Monday night. Much alarm was caused in the collieries, but nobody was injured. The miners, however, describe the scene on Saturday as pandemonium let loose. The steamer Kato when off Westport on Saturday was lifted by a submarine disturbance and shaken from stem to stern. The captain believed that the centre of the seismic disturbance was out to sea. * (trolink)

1913 Feb 28:  One circumstance is worthy of special notice, namely, that the disturbance seems to have originated in the ocean bed some distance off, with Westport in the direct line of the main vibration This hypothesis is supported by the  press Association’s Auckland telegram While the Katoa, from Westport to Auckland was off Westport at 12.38 on Saturday, she was lifted by a submarine disturbance, and shaken from stem to stern. The disturbance was as though the steamer, had been raised from under, and was scraping her way over a derelict. The shock lasted only four seconds but had no appreciable effect on the sea. Captain North is of opinion that the centre was out at sea. Again, the experience thus described accords with that of other seafarers For instance, on January 19, just about a month before the Westport episode when the G. M. Scharnhorst was 700 miles on her way from Colombo to Fremantle: All of a sudden, like a shot (said the master, Captain Textor, in afterwards describing the incident we struck a submarine earthquake. The ship vibrated violently from one end to the other, and it was just as if we had set the engines going full speed astern. She pitched and shook until everything that could rattle did so, and if I had not been sure we were in deep water, I would have thought she had struck some submerged object. The surface of the water was not disturbed in any way, although the shock lasted for 45 seconds. The passengers got a bit of a fright, as was only natural, but no damage was done.  (link) Next

1914 Jan 15:  The Ryuku maru, a passenger steamer, has arrived here after rescuing 158 inhabitants of the village of Yumara, on the Island of Sakura-Jima. All residents of another village were found to have been rescued with the exception of one, who was taken aboard. The captain of the steamer witnessed the eruption of the volcano. Flames leaped from the ground, setting the villages on fire. while the steamer lay off shore ashes to the depth of a foot fell on her decks. On the way to Kobe there was a pall ashes like a dense fog. Near Chirin Island a severe submarine upheaval shook the vessel. The captain endeavored to call at Aburatsu, on the island of Kyushu, but was unable to advance without danger.  (link) Next

1914 Oct 8:  WELLINGTON (N.Z.). Thursday. – It is evident that the earthquake on the cast coast was of a serious nature. No further traces have been seen of Percy Tories, the shepherd who was lost at Cape Runaway, owing to his being overwhelmed by a landslide. It is feared that the body will never be recovered, owing to the great quantity of earth under which presumably it is buried. Jones had a narrow escape of being, engulfed in a landslide during the flood of 1906.  (link) Next

1915 Feb 06:   The loss of these vessels to an unknown and uncharted rock in Mid-Atlantic. This rick, so the story went, was needle-shaped and pierced the hull of a vessel like a giant spear. That it had never been located was said to be due to the fact that it appeared and disappeared at intervals, its upheaval being due to submarine disturbances such as frequently occur in various parts of the ocean. When at its greatest elevation it reached within a few feet of the surface and then, having accomplished its deadly work, it slowly sank again below the danger point. The theory, although it sounds far-fetched, has its supporters among Atlantic shippers. Should such a rock really exist, it undoubtedly constitutes one of nature’s most dangerous death-traps.  (link) Next

1915 Jun 19:  An earthquake shock central Japan, the strongest experienced in several years. The marine eruption took place at 8:30 o’clcok o the morning of Saturday, Its location is given as about 70 miles southeast of Fatsizio, Hachijo Island, which is 150 miles directly south of Yokohama, A pillar of fire and dense smoke obscured the sun and turned day into night. Huge rocks and quantities of lava rained down into the sea. and the waters are described as becoming red and boiling.. The steamers which observed the disturbances were struck by tidal waves, but they escaped injury.  (link) Next

1915 Nov  09:  Whilst the’ steamer Ventura was abreast’ of Turtle island, in the Fiji Group; and about; 120 miles from the Tonga Islands,” she ran into ” three hundred miles or more of deepest blue’ sea checkered ‘by a grayish-brown smudge.” To early passenger the officers jokingly described the flotsam_as “whales’ food. But Capt. Dawson Jiad somfe’ of it fished up, and found it to be volcanic pumice. As there were no dead fish on the surface the theory of a submarine earthquake did not appear tenable. The explanation of this mid-ocean mystery would probably be found in the Tonga group, where one crater is always staging spectacular stunts. Or maybe the ocean has given birth to another island somewhere. Suva, when questioned by wireless, heal “not ‘heard. ‘of any eruption.  (link) Next

1916 May 20:  Earthquake Lands Whale –Ever hear of a whale getting mixed up with an earthquake. Passengers of the steamship Pastores arriving last evening from Central American ports, being duly sworn, gave testimony as follows: That after the Pastores had entered the Bocas del Toro, which is one of the Chirqui Lagoon in Panama, a crowd of excited natives began yammering about a monster being washed up on Provision Island, which is near the entrance to the Bocas. There had been an earthquake three days before. A party from the ship went to investigate and on the beach they found the carcass of a seventy-foot whale. Although the earth had been distinctly felt in the town it had caused no material damage.  (see PDF link) Next

1916 Aug 29: the United States armored cruiser Memphis with the loss of about forty of her crew in the harbor of Santo Domingo on August 29th were given today by witnesses of the disaster who had arrived on the steamer Iroquois. The conjecture that the disaster was the result of an under sea eruption was strengthened by assertions that nothing resembling a gale accompanied the sudden disturbance. The theory that the big seas which tossed the 15,000 ton warship on the rocks was caused by an under-sea shock transmitted from a disturbance on the proceeding day at Dominica, British West Indies, was advanced by Captain Theodore De Booy. of the American Indian Heye Foundation, an eye-witness of the catastrophe. This theory, said Captain De Booy. is borne out by the fact that Dominica lies east-southeast of Santo Domingo. and the seas threw tlie Memphis in a west-northwesterly direction ashore.  Ref: Red Bluff Daily News, Number 265, 10 September 1916  (link) Next

1917 Feb:  EARTHQUAKE SNAPS SHIPS PROPELLER A submarine earthquake which lasted for 48 seconds and was so violent that it snapped a blade off the ship’s propeller, was reported by Captain Van Wyck Juriasse of the Dutch liner Tjikembang, on his arrival at San Francisco from Batavia (now Jakarta). The steamer was out one day from Nagasaki, Japan, steaming at 14 knots through a smooth sea when a shock was felt as if the liner had struck a submerged rock. Then the shaking started. The ship was shaken, said the skipper, like a rat in the teeth of a terrier, shaken until all on board feared she would fly to pieces. Panic seized the Oriental crew and the steerage passengers and the cabin passengers made frantic efforts to launch a lifeboat. Calm was restored when the vibrations ceased, but the Tjikembang had to limp all the way to Hong Kong, where she was dry-docked and another propeller shipped. (Marlborough Express, Volume LI, Issue 45, 22 February 1917, Page 3)* (pplink)

1917 Oct 25:  THE LOST STEAMER MATUNGA. A “SUBMARINE DISTURBANCE.”  Wreckage brought to Sydney from the islands has been identified as part of the missing steamer Matunga, and confirms the theory advanced some weeks ago that the vessel was lost with all hands. It is believed the vessel was lost as a result of a submarine disturbance. (trolink) Next

1918 Aug 14:  Over 13 years ago the world first heard that the U.S.S Cyclops, a 19,000-ton naval collier, had been lost with all hands somewhere between the Barbados and the American coast. At first it was thought that she had been the victim of a German submarine—a fact which has since been denied by Germany. It was pointed out that whether the Cyclops, which was a thoroughly up-to-date ship, splendidly equipped and manned, had been torpedoed or suffered any other mishap, she would certainly have sent an S.O.S. before hand, and also given her position. As the ship carried a valuable cargo of manganese ore destined for munition factories, an intensive search was made of her track by destroyers, yet not a single piece of floating wreckage could be found. There was an air of mystery about the Cyclops’ departure for America. She left Barbados under sealed orders, which were to be opened at various dates as the voyage proceeded. Now, however, a noted seismologist says he has discovered that during the period of the Cyclops’ voyage a huge submarine earthquake occurred in the Atlantic, a fact since attested by changes in soundings reported by surveying vessels. It is thought likely that the ill-fated vessel was caught in the center of such a disturbance. Without the slightest warning she was engulfed, and, with a load of manganese ore in bulk, probably went down in a few seconds. Officials at the United States Navy Department, after examining this latest hypothesis, say they are convinced of its truth.  (Link) Next

1919 Aug 02:  Six large battleships of the US Navy’s Pacific Fleet were shaken severely by a double earthquake at 4:18 pm twenty miles off the coast of Colima, Mexico. The USS New Mexico trembled from bow to stern as if she had struck an uncharted reef.  (link) Next

1920 May 28:  When Submarine Volcanoes Explode.The “earthquake” shock recently experienced by the Pacific battleship fleet off the Mexican coast was so severe that the big flagship.  (link) Next

1921 June 03:  The thirsty ocean yawned and almost engulfed the steamer Spectator a few days ago, according to report in marine circles in vancouver. The British vessels was bound for Vancouver from Mexico City with 10,000 cases of Scotch whisky aboard. The vessel was 150 miles off, the California coast, according to the report, when an earthquake mussed up the bed of the ocean. A grinding sucking noise followed and the ship was sucked down. The engines stopped dead, and there was a hill of water on either side. This lasted for 90 seconds, and then the vessels pulled clear. Two minutes later the ocean took another gulp at her, but found her too hard a pill to swallow, and finally permitted her to proceed on her way without further peril..  (link) Next

1922 Jan 31:  Two ships report same violent seaquake encounter. Scared crews thought their ships had run around.  The schooner Hartwood was 20 miles offshore of Eureka, California; the cod fisher Golden State was offshore of Point Arena, 140 miles south of the Hartwood yet they both report the same seaquake. * (link)

1922 Dec 28:  Captain J. Vellenoweth, of the Union Steam Ship Company’s steamer Kaitangata, underwent a strange  experience. When the steamer was six miles off Lyttelton Heads (near Christchurch) a sensation was felt similar to that of the vessel being changed from full speed ahead to full speed astern. There was a bumping as though the stern had grazed a sandbank, the whole ship being shaken and the masts quivering. It was at first thought that a serious mishap had occurred in the engine-room, but it soon became apparent that all the ship was experiencing was a strange phenomenon of an earthquake at sea. * (link)

1923 Mar 04:  The  Captain’s report  of the steamer  Martha, which has  just  returned   to  Coquimbo,  Chile,  from  a  lobster   fishing expedition  to  the  uninhabited  Islands  of San  Ambrosio  and  San Felix, which lie in the Pacific Ocean, about  300 miles west of the town  of Chanaral,  says, according  to  a Reuter  Message, that on March  4,  when  nearing   San   Felix,   the   Martha   met   a tidal wave 35 metres high (about 113 feet), which rose from a calm sea. Arriving at San Felix Capt. Campbell noticed  that  the island  was much  smaller  than  previously.    Anchoring  he  found  the water tepid  and  the  rock  bottom  changed  to  sand. Heavy  sulphur gases pervaded the air. On shore he found sea-fowl dead in their nests and  thousands  of dead  fish covered  the  Island.” (link) Next

1923 Jun 17:  In mid-ocean on the night of June 17, which was by a coincidence the day of the first violent eruption of Mount Etna, a severe earthquake shock was felt by the crew of the barque Cathgarry, which reached Sydney today after a voyage of 90 days from Callao. The vessel was in latitude 20.40 south, longitude 171.52 west. “At 9 o’clock at night,” said Captain Roberts, “we experienced a heavy earthquake shock, and there was a low, rumbling noise. The ship trembled all over for about two minutes, as if bumping on a reef. All hands rushed on deck thinking that the vessel was ashore. Soundings were taken immediately, but at a depth of 20 fathoms there was no bottom. Next day nothing was seen to account for the disturbance, and no more tremors were felt for the rest of the trip.” * (weblink)

1923 Aug 06:  The Pacific liner Brush had an alarming experience recently when 50 miles off the coast of Mexico. A huge wall of water, towering 70 ft. high, evidently started ‘ by some submarine disturbancecame rushing toward the vessel at a tremendous’ rate. The ship was quickly headed toward it, and half rode over it and half plunged through it.practically no wind, the water was extremely rough for some hours afterwards.  (link) Next

1923  Sept:  Japan’s greatest disaster, the earthquake and fire of September, 1923, brought whales back to Tokyo Bay. No whales back to Tokyo Bay. No whales had been seen in the bay for more than thirty years, but the earthquake is said to have so altered the sea bottom of the bay that the leviathans of the deep” are again finding it a pleasant place to visit. Fishermen report seeing numerous whales during recent weeks. (see pdf link) Next

1923 Sep 30:   This earthquake was felt by two vessels which happened to be in the neighbourhood of the epicentre, the Manchester Brigade and the Lady Brenda. Their reports have been taken from the Bulletin of Volcanology above quoted (1925 N rm. 8 and 4). The report of the Manchester Brigade is as follows:

The vessel began to vibrate heavily from stern to stem for about 20 sec. Thinking we had struck some submerged wreckage I was just on the point of stopping when the vessel began to vibrate again, more heavily than the first shock. This lasted for about 80 sec. ; then I put it down to earth vibrations or earthquake shock. While working out position to send out by wireless we got a message from the steamship Lady Brenda. * (link1) (link2)

1923 Dec 20:  The day after leaving Panama on the voyage from London to Auckland, the liner Rangitata steamed into a submarine disturbance, which shook the vessel violently for 30 seconds. It ls thought that the disturbance was connected with the South American earthquake. The Rangitata was in deep water. There was no alarm among the passengers. (tolink) Next

1924 ???:   The catch of whales last year at victoria, B.C., the largest since the years 1911 and 1912. amounted to more than 500. According to observations, the recent volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have played a part in regulating the supply of whales in Alaskan waters. After the volcanic eruption in alaska in 1912 the whale catches declined. It is thought possible that the volcanic disturbance caused a migration of the sea food upon which the whale fed. The theory is also advanced that the earthquake shocks caused a concussion in the water which had the same effect over a great area as that of a discharge of dynamite in a small body of water. The great catch of 1923 came immediately after the Japanese earthquake. It is the general opinion that the earthquake frightened the whales out of the waters of the earthquake zone to feeding grounds near Alaska and elsewhere.  (link) Next

1924 Jan 31:   A correspondent of an Eastern journal writes that experiencing an earthquake at sea is a nerve-wracking sensation. Steaming or sailing along quietly in a region where there is a great depth of water and not a suspicion of danger, all on board suddenly feel the ship grinding as over a reef of rocks and the entire vessel quivers violently as if about to go to pieces. Officers and crew rush to the sides to see what has happened, but the sea shows not the slightest sign of submerged rocks or of any other material danger, and it is at once realized that they are in the midst of an earthquake. Three days before the great Spanish earthquake, of Christmas, 1884, ships in the Atlantic, at a distance of about 150 miles to the north-westward of Madeira, experienced severe shocks, which lasted from 75 to 90 seconds. The shocks were attended by a thunderous noise; those in the cabins thought that large empty, iron tanks were being rolled about on deck, while those on deck thought it was the noise of not very distant thunder, which appeared to fill the whole air. The vibration of the ship died away gradually, ending in a faint tremor, and the thunderous sound traveled south-westward, dying out in a low roar as it appeared to sink below the horizon. Such are the weird sensations attending an earthquake at sea as felt on board of a ship.   (link) Next

1924 Feb 21:  A violent earthquake tremor, followed by more tremors at intervals of several hours, was experienced in the Pacific Ocean by the four-masted barquentine S. F. Tolmie, which arrived at Brisbane on Saturday from Vancouver. It was on February 21st last, in calm and clear weather, when the officers were aroused from their sleep at 4:35 a.m. by a shock. At first they thought the vessel had struck a submerged rock and immediately rushed on deck. The tremor lasted about 20 seconds. It was accompanied by a roar similar to that caused by a heavy squall of wind. The vessel shook from stem to stern, the crockery rattled, and below could be heard the sound of the ship’s timbers creaking and straining. The surface of the sea was very much disturbed. At short intervals, four more tremors were felt, but no damage was done. A good lookout was kept for any heavy seas or seismic wave, but none was observed.  (link) Next

1924 May 30:  Twelve distinct earthquake shocks were felt by seamen on the full-rigged sailing ship Monkbarns during a passage from Iquique (Chile) to Melbourne, where she arrived on Monday with 3,000 tons of nitrate. The first and last of the shocks which occurred on May 30, were the strongest.  At the time there was a strong wind and a rough sea, but four hours later the sea had increased to such an extent that the ship was plunging heavily. During the shocks ship was violently shaken. (somewhere in the Pacific Ocean) (link) Next

1924 Aug 2:  Submarine Earthquake Lights up the Indian Ocean. A remarkable combination of a submarine earthquake and phosphorescent seas has been reported to the hydrographic office at Washington. The stirring up of the ocean brought so many light emitting organisms to the surface that the British steamer Trefusts, on her way from Aden to Colombo, seemed to be steaming across a snow-covered plain. (link) Next

1924 Nov 3:   The Central Meteorological Observatory reports that a terrific submarine volcanic explosion has occurred near Hotojema one of the Luchu group. The steamer Miyako Maru, which was sailing in the neighborhood, reports that the sea was muddy and boiling, with pieces of pumice floating on the surface.  (link) Next

1925 May 23:  Japan was visited by the most violent earthquake since the catastrophe of 1923. Transport Loiret bound for Oran (Algerlao) was in the southern half of the Bay of Biscay, about 100 miles south west of Rochefort. Although the wind was light, the sea was strangely disturbe so much so that It became necessary to slow the engines. When the sea abated normal speed was resumed. but suddenly a huge was observed sweeping northwards. The wave struck and slightly damaged the Loiret, then passed on its way. The sea except for this uncanny phenomenon, was again fairly calm.  (link) Next

1926 May 17:  EXPLOSIONS THAT FORM ISLANDS. A big ship on her way across the Atlantic recently was suddenly jarred all over as if she struck a reef. At first her officers believed that she had hit a derelict, and were relieved to find that this was not the case. Presently news came by wireless that two other vessels, each about sixty miles from the first, had equally alarming experiences. Then the captain knew that what be had felt was the shock from a submarine earthquake or volcanic explosion. In 1569 a ship, thirty miles off the Chilean coast, was lifted as if a giant, had seized her underwater and shook her violently.. In 1577, another vessel crossing the Pacific was shaken twice in five minutes while from the depths came a sound like distant thunder. In November 1893, a large steamer was passing Cape Verde, on the African coast, when she began to shake all over and roll and tumble so violently that everyone rushed or deck. The weather was dead calm and very hot at the time.

Sometimes these undersea earthquakes throw up vast waves, wrongly called “tidal” waves. Off the Chilean coast in November 1922, a wave was so great that it flung a large ship inland over a railway bridge. The shocks may cast up islands. In 1831, an island of this sort arose in the Mediterranean, only to sink again; while, in September 1901, an island rose and vanished in the Gulf of Mexico.

One of the most frequent results of these submarine earthquakes is the breaking of telegraph cables. The yearly bill for this sort of thing runs into many thousands of pounds. ( Next

1926 Jun 04:  Volcanic upheavals and earthquakes have often caused strange disasters to vessels at anchor in their vicinity. When the volcano of Krakatau erupted and blew itself up, a great tidal wave arose and carried a Dutch man-of-war two miles inland, where it was left stranded high and dry.The same eruption played a curious trick on a ship at anchor many miles away. The vessel was being painted white, but when the work was finished it was not white, but grey. A lawsuit against the painting contractors followed, but it was proved that the dust from Krakatoa lead got into the paint and so transformed the color of the ship.  (link) Next

1926 Aug 24:  Surrounded by calm seas at a distance of about 224 miles from Sydney Heads, a huge patch of swirling and tumbling water was observed by the master and officers of the steamer Mahemo which arrived from Auckland to-day. The cause of the phenomenon is not known, but it is considered most likely that a submarine earthquake was responsible. Seaweed was in evidence, and there were many sharks cruising around, indicating that in all probability fish had been killed or stunned by the force of the disturbance. Before reaching the patch the Mahemo did not encounter any unusual current, and after passing it the sea was quite normal. For a considerable time afterward the swirling waters could be seen. which made it evident that the disturbance was not of a temporary character, The master of the Mahemo, Captain Molyneaux, said that he had never Molyneaux, said that he had never seen a similar patch in mid-ocean before. It had an oily look and appeared to boil at times. I do not know whether it was caused by a submarine disturbance or by a very strong current. He added ” The sea was calm and there was only a light southerly breeze, I noticed the broken water from my cabin and proceeded to the bridge. The fourth officer informed me that he had seen a number of sharks and a quantity of seaweed. The patch extended for about a mile and a half and it appeared as if a tide rip was meeting other water. The line of demarcation between the two waters was very clear. A report of the observations will be forwarded to the Navigation.  (link1) (link2) Next

1926 Aug. 25:  The cause of the phenomenon is a mystery. It is considered likely that a submarine earthquake was responsible. Much seaweed was in evidence, and there were many sharks cruising around, indicating that in all probability fish had been killed or stunned by the force of the disturbance.

To test the theory of an earthquake, the temperature of the water was taken as the vessel passed through the patch. The reading however, was approximately 65 degrees, which is about normal. The patch of broken water extended about a mile and a half, The line of demarcation between smooth and rough waters was very clear for a long time after passing, the swirling waters could be seen, indicating that the disturbance was not of a temporary character.  (link) Next

1926 Aug 28:  Here’s a long article all about seaquakes published in a New Zealand Evening Post, Volume CXII, Issue 51, 28 August 1926, Page 12. It should be MUST READING for all marine mammal experts. Tidbits extracted from this article: {If an earthquake is accompanied by such unpleasant results, what must be the effect of a seaquake? First comes a deep rumbling sound, then a series of shocks, under which the ship trembles or seems suddenly to stop as if it had run around, says the Melbourne, Australia “Age.” Perhaps after a number of shocks the ship appears to slide over a shoal and resume her course. On the morning of the San Francisco earthquake a ship some way off experienced heavy shocks as if she had struck bottom three times and then slipped over a shoal. The weather was quite calm and the sea’ perfectly smooth. In the same region and about the same time another steamer “seemed to jump clear out of the water, the engines raced fearfully, as though the shaft or wheel had gone, and then a violent trembling fore and aft and sideways, reminding me of running full speed against a wall of ice.” That is how a chief engineer described his experience.} (link) Next

1926 Aug 30:  On the morning of the  San Francisco earthquake a ship some way off experienced heavy shocks as if she had struck bottom three times and then slipped over a shoal, The weather was quite calm and the sea perfectly smooth. In the same region and about the same time another steamer “seemed  to jump clear out of the water. The engines raced fearfully, as though the shaft or wheel had gone. and then violent trembling fore and aft and sideways, reminding me of running full speed against a wall of bee.” That is how a chief engineer describe his experience.   (link) Next

1926 Sep:  Mystery Zone of Silence Add to Sea’s Perils— Besides the ordinary dangers of the sea, such as storms, fogs, rocks, and collisions with derelicts and icebergs, there are other perils, little known to the average person and some of them baffling to scientists. Possibly they may explain the sudden disappearance of craft that have been lost at sea and never found, and may be the basis for many of the early superstitions about the oceans. Not long ago, the ” Manchester Brigade,” while in mid-Atlantic, stopped suddenly and quivered so violently that the captain believed the boat had struck a derelict. In a few moments, the ship trembled and shook from bow to stern. It developed that it was in the path of a submarine earthquake but the cushion of water, nearly two miles thick, prevented serious damage. The steamer “Nina” narrowly missed destruction when a submarine volcano explode close by an immense tongue of flame leaped upward out of the sea, terrifying the crew and giving rise to belief that another vessel had blown up, but as no trace of wreckage could be found, this theory was abandoned. Falling meteors have contributed to the perils of navigation. In 1908, the Dutch steamer “Ocean” was on its way between Rotterdam and Philadelphia when a gigantic meteor fell so close that waves were flung up over the decks of the vessel and members of the crew were compelled to seek shelter below from the clouds of gas that shot up from the spot. Another meteor missed a tramp steamer by only half a mile while the vessel was sailing for Hamburg from Florida. A considerable number of wrecks off the southern end of Vancouver Island are attributed to a mysterious zone of silence, a “dead air” spot, which shuts out the sounds of fog and bell buoys.  (link) Next

1927 Aug 09:  Capt. F. H. Spurr, Of the Tanker William H. Doheny, from San Pedro, reported that at S P. M. August 9 the ship experienced a seaquake of such force as to cause the vessel to vibrate sharply, the effect being similar to that of striking heavily over a rocky bottom, wind at the time was west-southwest with force and with small west-southwest swell. The barometer marked 29,86. No change was apparent in the surface of the sea during the period of the quake nor following it. The position of the Doheny was in latitude 7.37 north and 82.48 west. * (link)

1927 Aug 24:  Officers of the trans-Atlantic liner France, which has arrived at New York harbour, reported an unexplained submarine disturbance rocked the France, throwing some passengers from deck chairs, bruising others, and exciting all, the passengers fearing that the vessel had grounded until Captain Aubert reassured them. The officers said that the activity continued for three minutes, but none attempted to explain the occurrence. Borotra, the famous French lawn tennis player, who was aboard, was thrown sprawling, cutting his left forefinger. * (link)

1927 Nov 24: Alaska Standard, shock like propellor hitting submerged object only much longer.  *(link)

1928 Feb 07:  The seaquake experienced by the Mooltan on her voyage to Fremantle, stated Mr. Curlewis. was registered by our seismograph just after 8 a.m.. and this would correspond to about 5:3O a.m. ship’s time: As estimated from the various phases, the shock occurred about 2,500 miles from Perth, and therefore, the Mooltan must have been about 400 miles north-west of the spot on the ocean floor where the disruption took place. The sea-quake occurred 700 miles northwest of Cocos Island. “In 1906,’ added Mr. Curlewis, ‘the old Omrah had, a similar experience from a seaquake, which happened on that occasion about 600 miles from Perth and the tremors of which were felt in Perth itself and over all the western portions of the State. The Omrah must have been very close to the spot where the seaquake occurred for the captain reported that it was just as if the ship had run against , some wreckage or a whale. This quake was experienced in the afternoon of November 19, and occasioned quite.  (link) Next

1929 May 08: EXPLOSION AT SEA. An extensive submarine disturbance is believed to have occurred near admiralty Island, North of New Guinea. A radio message received today in Sydney stated that a heavy southeasterly storm, followed by seismographic record of a severe disturbance about 2,300 miles east of the station. Mr. Slaroa, the State Meteorologist, said that no association with the storm and the earthquake has been proved. He believes the explosion following the storm was a coincidence.  (link) Next

1929 Feb 14: Navy Believes that Cyclops’ Fate was Cleared Up.  (link) Next

1929 Jun 18:  When on the voyage from Auckland to Sydney, the freighter Yoseric, which reached Fremantle on Tuesday night with a cargo of sulphur, ran into a violent ocean disturbance resulting from the submarine explosions reported off the New Zealand, coast about the time of the earthquake, which caused widespread destruction in the Dominion. On the night of June 18 two walls of water converged on the vessel, which was completely submerged, and it was learned afterwards that the time of the disturbance synchronised with the most violent of the shocks experienced on the mainland. Early on the following morning the freighter’s steering gear was disabled, but repairs were effected within three hours. Caught by a rush of water on the deck, the Captain of the vessel was jammed against a fixture, and he sustained an injury to one of his ankles.  (link) Next

1929 Jun 25:  The steamer Kaltangata which has reached Sydney from Greymouth was about 30-mile soil the coast of New Zealand last week when the earthquake occurred. When it became known that communications ashore had been severed, and the only steamer in Greymouth was unable to communicate with Wellington by radio, messages were relayed through the Kaltangata. Captain McLellan said that the ship had left Greymouth about two hours when she was shaken violently from side to side. The sea was calm and knowing that the vessel was In deep water, he thought that there had been a collision with something afloat, or that something serious had happened in the engine-room. A few minutes later the explanation of the ship’s curious behaviour came through the radio.  (link) Next

1929 Jun 26: The master (Captain Jorgensen) said that during his 28 years’ service at sea he had not had such a stormy voyage.The Brunswick was lying alongside the wharf at Wellington when the first earthquake tremor was felt. Five days out from New Zealand, in a heavy running sea, the Brunswick passed through great quantities of dead fish, killed apparently by a submarine explosion associated with tile New Zealand earth tremors. Dead Ash were floating on all sides as far as the eye could see, and the Brunswick was over an hour in passing through them. Flocks of albatrosses were feeding on the shoal.  (link) Next

1929 July 16: Passengers by the La Perouse which reached Sydney today from the islands, were not aware of the full extent of the damage caused by the volcanic eruption at Ambrym. As we approached it became evident that there was also a severe submarine disturbance in progress. There were terrific muffled explosions, columns of water, mud. steam and smoke shot hundreds of feet into the air. These columns I seemed to have an almost solid core. and were from 500 to 609 yards in diameter. At every explosion, we could feel the vessel lift and surge to the shock. “Judging that a close approach to the island would be dangerous. Captain Recohove his vessel to a few miles out and went ashore in a  launch, landing at Craig Cove. Almost as soon as he stepped ashore he troden what he thought was merely cold ash. only to find that It was so hot that his feet were blistered through his boots. The crater was belching smoke and fire. and. as far as could be seen, there were seven streams of lava flowing down the mountain side like small rivers. They flowed Into the sea making a great cloud of steam where they entered, and. in many places, find that water was so hot that it was impossible to put one’s hand in it. Some buildings at that point had been destroyed, but others were standing. Built on slight eminences they were like islands with a stream of lava flowing by on each side.  (link) Next

1929 Aug 19:  SEAQUAKE OFF BROOME. SEISMOLOGIST’S OPINION United Press Association—By Electric Telegraph—Copyright.  (Received 20th August, 1 p.m.) PERTH, This Day. Referring to the earthquake at Broome on Saturday, the Government Astronomer, Mr. Curlewis, said that it was evident that a severe dislocation in the ocean floor occurred about 400 miles west of North-west Cape. The seismograph boom swung over six inches, which is a very large displacement. It was the most severe earthquake reported within a 1000 miles of Perth. On November 19, 1906, a similar seaquake jarred the steamer Omrah throughout her whole length when she was 400 miles from North-west Cape. (link) Next

1929 Oct 24: When the Union Company’s ferry steamer Tahamine was about half way from Picton to wellington she passed through a huge shoal of dead fish for a distance of two miles. The phenomenon may possibly be attributed to some submarine disturbance, but the matter was placed before the Government Seismologist (Dr. Adams) he was unable to throw any light on the subject. It will be recalled that shortly after the Murchison earthquake several steamers encountered similar shoals of dead fish in the Tasman Sea.  (link) Next

1929 Nov 18:   Two vessels were were shaken by an earthquake in coasts of Nova Scotia and New found land which is said to have been the most violent ever felt in Halifax where, as chimneys were overthrown, it was of the seventh grade on the Rossi-Forel scale. Two and a half hours later, after a recession of the sea, three successive waves, 15 feet high, rolled in against the southern coast of Newfoundland and wrought serious havoc along a length of 30 miles. The waves broke on the southern and eastern shores of the Burin Peninsula and swept inland to the height of 1oo feet above sea-level, and on their recoil washed some of the houses out to sea, drowning the inmates. The death rollis reported as twenty-eight. The Anchor liner Caledonia, while in a quiet sea about 120 miles east of Sable Island, was suddenly shaken so violently for two minutes that the Captain feared that she had either thrown a propeller blade or was bumping over a sandbank. The engines were at once stopped; and as the machinery was in order, and the sounding showed 110 fathoms no bottom, Captain Collie concluded that the ship had been shaken by an earthquake. The following, due to the courtesy of Mr. W. J. Henderson, is an extract from the Caledonia’s log: “Lat. 44° 32′ N. long. 57° 4′ W. Vessel shook violently for period of two minutes. “4:oo p.m., mod. breeze, slight sea and northerly swell. Overcast sky and clear weather. “4.52 p.m., violent shiver felt throughout vessel. Stopped engines. “4.53 p.m. Slow. “4.59 p.m. Full Speed. Sounded 110 fathoms. No bottom. Vessel sounded fore and aft and found not to be making any water.” The R.M.S. Olympic, about 80 miles to the south, was shaken less violently, being 60 miles west of the western line of dislocation and in much deeper water, which, according to the chart, is 2564 fathoms. Captain W. H. Parker reports (Marine Observer, vol. vii, p.221) that while the Olympic was travelling at 22 knots in a calm sea, in 42°12′ N., 56° 56′ W.-approximately 140 miles south-east of Sable Island—a violent vibration was felt on the bridge; it happened at 3.30 p.m. by the ship’s time, and lasted for two minutes. The Captain at first thought that a propeller blade had been cast; but as the engines continued to run normally he feared that the ship had struck a submerged wreck. As there was no sign of wreckage aft and as the ship’s wells when carefully sounded were found to be dry, he concluded that the shock had been that of an earthquake. The look-out man in the crow’s nest described the sensation as if the engines had been put full a stern. Most of the passengers were at a kinematograph display and appear to have felt nothing; but the shock extinguished the electric lights in the mail room and the boatswain concluded that the shock was due to an earthquake or a submarine eruption. * (link)

1929 Dec 01:  Captain W. S. Smales, the steamer’s commander, reported that  while on route from Talcahuano to Tocopilla, Chile, they felt three heavy bumps as if the vessel had struck bottom. Their position was latitude 35 degrees 33.5 minutes south and longitude 72 degrees 54 minutes west, where the charts show a depth from 400 to 600 feet. Careful examination showed that no damage was done. As announced at the time, the center of the quake was 35 degrees south and 74 degrees west, not more than 60 miles away from the Magalda’s position. According to Commander N. H. Heck, in charge of the coast and geodetic survey’s must have been very close to the center, or it would not have been felt as it was. The Three bumps, he thinks, were due to three separate shocks of which probably only one was severe enough to set up the earthquake waves which traveled around the earth and permitted the seismologist to locate it when they were received on the seismographs. * (link)

1929 Dec 29:  A severe earthquake occurred yesterday at 10.45, lasting three minutes. It came from north-easterly direction, with a rumbling sound as if big guns were being fired, and shook houses and their contents, breaking windows shaking glassware off shelves and pictures off walls, and cracking chimneys. The alarmed inhabitants rushed outside. The steamer Collibot, tied up at Lady Barron wharf with tourist, shook as though her engines were racing, The barometer reading was 29.50 Twenty years ago a somewhat similar shock occurred, but was not of such long duration.  (link) Next

1929 Dec 31:  A severe earthquake occurred at Flinder Island at 10:45 on Sunday morning, lasting three minutes. It came from the north-east, and shook houses, breaking windows and cracking walls and chimneys. The alarmed inhabitants rushed into the streets. The steamer Colliboi, at the wharf, shook as though her engines were racing Judging from the experience of the Union Company’s steamer Kiwitea, the earthquake had its centre at sea. The captain stated that all aboard felt a submarine disturbance.The vessel was about thirty miles south-southeast of Cape Barren. The ship trembled and vibrated from stem to stern for thirty seconds, and then appeared to lift bodily in the water.  (link) Next

1930 Jan 03: Earthquake swept Deception Island today, making huge holes in the ground. Our ship was severely shaken. Two bridges at and station were smashed. Four men were thrown from the oil tank; one was killed, and the others seriously injured. None of the members of the expedition was injured, and none of the equipment damaged.  (link) Next

1930 May 29:  Fiji experienced a severe earthquake shock which mission schooner was dismasted, and the auxiliary schooner Veilomani, bound for Buca Bay with gear for salvage, foundered. The schooner Motua struck a squall off Nukulau Island, and the foremast was carried away. A falling spar struck the boatswain, breaking his arm and injuring his back.  (link) Next

1930 Jul 03:  The Diary of Cyclops During War.  (link) Next

1930 Jul 26:  Captain W.H. Parker commander of the White Star liner Olympic, bringing his ship into port recently, told of having come to grips with a force which arrested the 80 knot speed of the giant liner and made tremble for two minutes from crowsnest to boiler room (says the New York “Herald Tribune.”). The sky had darkened suddenly, he said, and the sea wits curiously calm when the ship halted as though the engines lind suddenly gone full speed astern- She vibrated violently as though she hail struck a submerged wreck or had lost her propeller. She had done neither. The mysterious force, he ‘ said, was the incalculable backwash of an earthquake. Other skippers arriving had similar tales-to tell, but their ships had felt the shocks to a minor degree. Captain Parker, customarily reticent, bristled with the tale of his experiences. Early in the passage, he recalled, the ship was delayed by adverse weather. But when it reached a point 640 miles from Rhode Island, in latitude 42.12 north, longitude 56.36 west, on Monday afternoon, the sky darkened and the violent tremor of the sea shook the officers on the bridge, “I was in the chart room at the time,” Captain Parker said, “and immediately went out on the bridge. Two officers were on watch there and two lookout men were on duty, one in the crow’s nest, the other on the bridge. Nothing had been sighted ahead, and nothing seen astern. For the moment I thought we had east a propeller blade, but as the engines continued working smoothly I began to fear that he had struck a submerged wreck. I went aft when the vibration caused to examine the wake for possible signs of wreckage. But neither I nor the quartermaster on the after bridge saw anything. * (link)

1930 Dec 28:  Judging from the experience of the Union S.S. Company’s steamer Kiwitea, the earthquake felt while on the north coast of Tasmania and on Flinders Island (according to the “Sydney Morning Herald”) had its centre at sea. The Kiwitea arrived in Sydney from Hobart on Tuesday morning. Captain Mackenzie reported that at 11.35 a.m. on Saturday, ten minutes after the first record was received at the Riverview Observatory, all on board felt a submarine disturbance. The Kiwitea was then 20 miles south-southeast of Cape Barren, the south-easterly extremity of Barren Island in the Furneaux Group. “The vessel trembled and vibrated from stem to stern for 30 seconds, and then appeared to lift bodily in the water.” said Captain Mackenzie. “So violent was the shock in the engine room that the engineer on duty rushed to stop the engines, having been given the impression that the shaft or the propeller had gone. However, the vibration had ceased by the time that he had reached the controls.”a lot of excitement in the city.’  (link) Next

1930 Dec 30:  A Coquimbo message States that heavy green seas wrecking with an unnatural odour washed. the shores of Northern Chile it was the aftermath of what is believed to have been a great earthquake far under the Pacific.

THE PUBLIC HEALTH. Officials have warned the inhabitants against sea bathing because all examination revealed a considerable quantity of suspended animal matter. Apparently millions of fishes were killed by the “shocks Although there was little wind the seas were running furiously high and unusual heat prevailed.  (link) Next

1931  Feb 04:  Toll of quake in New Zealand Growing Hourly, the seabed was thrust upward 18 feet by the earthquake. Ships at anchor in Hawke bay were forced to move further out. The motor ship Taranaki in Napier roadstead reported the ship was shaken violently as though by explosions aboard.  (link)

1931 Feb 16:   The steamer Puekho, which left Napier for Gisborne on Friday, experienced an uncanny upheaval. At 1.30 p.m. the time of the second earthquake shock,the vessel lurched violently, and simultaneously large sections of the cliffs on the coast slid into the sea amid great clouds of dust.. (link)

1931 Mar 02:  The Sub-Collector of Customs (Mr. H. F. Mahoney) was in receipt of a radio from the master of the Japanese vessel, Yajain Maru, On Monday night, couched in the following terms: “Observed discolored water at position latitude 16.17 south, longitude 154.30 east. Extended about one mile to eastwards, triangular shaped, yellow in colour, no tide ripple, no floating object ; position accurately observed.” The position as recorded in the message is centred about 300 miles east of Willis Island. In this region the water is so deep that it is reasonable to surmise the discoloration is the result of a submarine earthquake. Mr. Mahoney has reported the matter to the Deputy Director of Navigation in Brisbane.*  (link)

1931 Jun 8:  The daily express says the captain Norwegian ship in taking sounding in the North Sea found the site of the earthquake which was felt throughout England, when many people ran into the streets in their night attire. He says that the sea bed has risen more than 100 ft. over a range of many miles. and sand topped hills have been formed.  (link) Next

1931 Aug 14:  Huge Submarine Earthquake resulting 278 Lives were lost.  One of the most baffling sea mysteries of modern times—the disappearance of the ship Cyclops, with 278 souls on board, which has been the object of tireless research by scientists and naval experts—has at last been solved. The vessel is believed to have gone to her doom as the result of a huge subsidence of the ocean bed, which caused her to be overwhelmed in the trough of a gigantic wave. Over 13 years ago the world first heard that the Cyclops, a 19,000-ton naval collier, had been lost with all hands somewhere between the Barbadoes and the American coast. At first, it was thought that she had been the victim of a German submarine—a fact which has since been denied by Germany. It was pointed out that whether the Cyclops, which was a thoroughly up-to-date ship, splendidly equipped and manned, had been torpedoed or suffered any other mishap, one would certainly have sent an S.O.S. beforehand, and also given her position. As the ship carried a valuable cargo of manganese ore destined for munition factories, an intensive search was made of her track by destroyers, yet not a single piece of floating wreckage could be found. There was an air of mystery about the Cyclops’ departure for America. She left Barbadoes under sealed orders, which were to be opened at various dates as the voyage proceeded.Now, however, a noted seismologist says he has discovered that during the period of the Cyclops’ voyage a huge submarine earthquake occurred in the Atlantic, a fact since attested by changes in soundings reported by surveying vessels. It is thought likely that the ill-fated vessel was caught in the centre of such a disturbance. Without the slightest warning she was engulfed, and, with a load of manganese ore in bulk, probably went down in a few seconds. Officials at the United States Navy Department, after examining this latest hypothesis, say they are convinced of its truth.  (link) Next

1931 Oct 03:  Earthquakes in Solomon Island developed, two submarine disturbance–. Among the oldest seismic regions of the earth are the Solomon Islands. These island lie in the Southern Pacific about 1000 miles northeast of Austria. They are Volcanic mountainous. On October 3, the labour recruiting schooner Mendana was about one mile off the coast of San Cristoval when the jolts started which caused the ship to roll about alarmingly. The Captain reported that the ship’s bottom was struck by boulders and sand there was a smell of sulphur. and  On October 10, the steamer Montoro was about 60 miles from Tulagi (Florida) when the earthquake occurred. The ship rolled so violently that it was thought she had struck the reef. One of the Jesuit Fathers of Visale (Guadalcanal) was in his boat about 25 miles west of Guadalcanal on October 10. He reported that the boat seemed to be hit by sledge hammers on the bottom. The rudder of the boat was damaged.  (link) Next

1932 May 07:  Artificial earthquakes.npHESE are some of the results likely if, as Mr. Ozaki, of Japan, suggested., to the Disarmament Conference, war were made more brutal in the interests of its permanent abolition. These inhuman results would probably follow in any case if a world war were to break out, say, five years from now. They represent inventions already perfected on a small scale, and it is now an open secret that the war departments of the great nations are feverishly experimenting to produce them on a large-size, practical scale.There is the heat ray, already in use for destroying insect in orchards in America. It has a strange history.At the experimental laboratory of the General Electric Co. in the U.S.A. in 1928, workmen were seized with a strange fever when remaining for any length of time near a new short radio wave transmitter. The cause was traced to the short waves themselves.  (link) Next

1932 May 16:  A submarine shock of great violence, shaking the Indian Ocean floor less than 400 miles from the West Australian coast, was recorded in Perth, On Saturday night. PERTH,  The seismograph at the Perth Observatory recorded a severe upheaval of the Indian Ocean floor less than 400 miles from Perth. At 9:18 p.m. on Saturday maximum shocks continued for 14 minutes, repeatedly swinging the boom nearly 7 in. It was then violently oscillated for nearly 30 minutes, after which there was a marked diminution until normality was reached after 31 hours. Five submarine quakes within 1000 miles have been recorded here, commencing with the one which shook the steamer Omrah throughout her length off North-west Cape in 1906, followed by another near Geraldton in 1919. The collapse of the Continental shelf felt at Albany a few years later, an upheaval near Shark Bay in 1919, and a submarine disturbance 300 miles from the north-west coast in 1929. None was in the slightest degree as severe as the latest upheaval.  The Government Observatory at Wellington recorded a violent earthquake about 58 degrees from here at 12.51 o’clock yesterday morning, Apia recorded a shock at the same time. The Government Seismologist thinks the earthquake was between Borneo and New Guinea. In Sea of Celebes SYDNEY, A very severe earthquake was recorded at the Riverview Observatory  late on Saturday night. In the absence of reports it is assumed that the disturbance was sub-oceanic. From the calculations made yesterday Father O’Leary (director of the observatory) estimates that the earthquake took place less than 3000 miles to the northwest of Sydney, most probably ih the Sea of Celebes.  (link)

1932 Jun 03:  Although the epicenter was located 30 miles inland, the large shallow-focused Mexican earthquake of 3 June 1932 was felt by many vessels at sea. The S/S Solana, steaming through a smooth sea with light variable winds in water over 4,800 feet deep, 60 miles from the epicenter, experienced strong violent shaking for about seven seconds. Only 10 miles away, the M/V Sevenor experienced less severe vibrations but lasting nearly a minute. Conditions aboard the M/V Northern Sun were entirely different. Although the vessel was 115 miles from the epicenter, vibrations lasting for three minutes became so violent that the engines were stopped. Before the earthquake, the sea was smooth with a slight westerly swell, but after the event the sea had become confused and the swell pattern had changed. Further to the North, 130 miles from the epicenter, the S/S Arizona commenced to vibrate and continued to do so for about 75 seconds. The aftershocks continued for many days. Ship reports indicated that during the next 36 hours several strong seaquakes were experienced in the area. The M/V Silerwillow began to vibrate dangerously in every part and at the same time began an uneven short pitching motion followed by heavy rolling. The disturbances commenced at 0530 GMT on 4 June, and the rolling continued 15 minutes. Seven hours later at 1245 GMT the crew aboard the S/S Talmanca heard a loud noise like distant gunfire, then experienced severe vibrations, and at 1337 GMT two similar gunfire reports were heard again about 10 seconds apart but there were no apparent vibrations. However, 20 minutes later the sea surface was littered for five or six miles with small dead fish. Several hours later, the S/S Hanover reported violent shocks that “rocked the ship as a nearby explosion might.” Fifteen minutes later two more shocks were felt. (Lt. Frank Rossi, (1969) Seaquakes: Shakers of Ships, Mariner’s Weather Log, 11 (5) pp 161-164)  (link)

1932 Jun 16:  San Francisco, Calif., June 18.—Reports received by Mackay radio here today from the fishing boat,”Chicken of the Sea,” in the vicinity of the Mexican earthquake. ” At 3 o’clock this morning, off Manzanillo, Mexico, we felt a terrific shock and thought we had struck something, we made for Manzanillo, where we found that two minute quake had struck the town. ” Adobe houses had collapsed, railroad tracks were twisted and there were large cracks in the street.”  (see at left button of the pdf link) Next

1933 Mar:  EARTHQUAKE AT SEA IS IN CLASS BY ITSELF — So Japanese Sea Captain Found Out When He Encountered One — Houston, Tex., Aug. 2.—(LP>—Hurricanes and typhoons are no fun, but an earthquake at sea is in a class by itself, according to Capt. M. Yamiguchi of  the Japanese steamer Montevideo Maru. Last March while 600 miles off the coast of Japan, en route from Houston to Kobe, Capt. Yamiguchi had the terrifying experience of feeling his ship shaken by an unseen hand and flung on its beam-ends. The crew and passengers quickly ran for cover, he related, and braced themselves against the ship’s rolling and pitching. “I ran to the bridge,” said the skipper. “My first thought was that the after part of the vessel had been carried away. Then the propellers started racing like maybe they were tossed out of the water, and next they would be doubly submerged as the bow left the water and a terrific vibration set in. It lasted three minutes.” Puzzled as to what was causing the disturbance, Capt. Yamiguchi wirelessly his owners, asking if there was an earthquake ashore. The owners answered in the affirmative. When the Montevideo Maru reached Kobe two days later, Capt. Yamiguchi picked up a copy of Nicht-Nichi and read that the center of the quake, which had taken many lives, had been centered about 600 miles due east of the Japanese coast, the vessels approximate position. (THE FREEPORT JOURNAL-STANDARD, Freeport, Illinois, Wednesday, August 2 1933, Page #4)   1933_Mar_??.pdf  (link)

1933 Mar 10:  Monterey was to have sailed at 10 o’clock that night, but a number of passengers were delayed by the earthquake, and the sailing was postponed until next morning. It was also considered dangerous to attempt to leave before daylight in case the bed of the harbour had been raised by the shocks.  (Link)

1933 May 23:  Earthquake tremors lasting twelve seconds were experienced at 8.37 p.m.on Sunday by the Northumberland (which arrived from Liverpool today), (link)

1934???: THE GREAT WAVES UNLEASH THEIR MIGHT; They Batter Ships Ruthlessly, Sinking the Weakest, and Their Action Is Constantly Studied by Scientists THE MIGHTY WAVES UNLEASH THEIR POWER Their Action Is Closely Studied by Scientists.  (link)

1934 Jan 28: It was learned on the arrival at St. John (New Brunswick)’ today of the liner Duchess of York that three mountainous tidal waves, believed to be the result of a submarine earthquake in mid-Atlantic, descended successively on the vessel last Tuesday, smashing gear and injuring two of the crew and three passengers.The tidal waves were followed by a hurricane, during which passengers were ordered to remain in their state rooms, Towering waves descended, over the bridge and buffeted the vessel like a straw.While treating a seaman with a broken rib, the surgeon, Dr. Morton, received a fractured arm. Another seaman is believed to have a fractured skull. The remaining injured men were treated by the surgeon, despite his own injury. (see at the first-page  link)

1934 Jul 19: A Sensation at Sea. On July 19 the freighter Anglo-Canadian, bound to Newcastle (New South Wales), was in the zone of the Solomon Islands earthquake, and did not know it. Without warning, there was a shock which startled everybody and awakened men who were asleep. The sea was so calm that, the suggestion of a submarine earthquake did not at first enter the mind of anybody aboard. The vessel was stopped and investigations were made to discover whether there was any propeller trouble. No sign of this could be found, and soundings were then taken to discover whether the vessel had encountered an uncharted reef. Again the result was reassuring, and at last the true explanation of the disturbance was guessed. (pplink) (July 25 The Sydney Morning Herald– link)

1934 Dec 19:  A submarine disturbance  thought to be connected with the earthquake in South- America, violently shook the New Zealand Shipping Company’s motor-liner Rangitata, the day after she cleared the Panama Canal on route from London to New Zealand. The liner arrived at Auckland today, and the passengers described the uncanny experience. The ship, they said, quivered from stem to stern for about 15 or 30 seconds in a manner that made it seem that she was being shaken from different directions at the same time. Then she ploughed on steadily through calm and untroubled seas. The disturbance occurred at. about 7 o’clock in the evening; when most of the passengers were preparing for dinner. One man said he was in the smoke-room having a cocktail before dinner, and the sudden and violent trembling of the ship “would have spilled his drink if he had not hastily swallowed it.” Captain Hunter, commander of the Rangitata, said the liner was travelling at her normal speed. The weather was fine and the sea calm. Suddenly without any warning and with nothing to disturb appreciably the surface of the ocean; the ship shook convulsively. There was deep water in the vicinity and there was nothing in the peculiar motion to suggest that the ship had struck, a whale or any submerged obstacle. Later reports were received by wireless stating, that a severe earthquake had been experienced at San Salvador and Guatemala. It was thought the disturbance experienced by the liner was– almost certainly connected with this earthquake.  (link)

1935 Sep 22:  The Amazing Mystery of a Ship.  (link)

1935 July 30:   A severe earthquake was recorded by the seismographs at the Riverview Observatory last night and the successive waves continued for more than two hours. . It was estimated that the centre of the disturbance was about. 1,400 miles from Sydney in the general direction of the Solomon Islands.It is thought that it was a submarine disturbance.  (link

1936 Feb 02:  Between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. on February 2 the whole of the Aroe Islands were badly shaken by an  earthquake, the longest quiver lasting about seven minutes. The whole  population living at Dobo became  alarmed and ran out onto the streets. No damage was reported,  but one of the Chinese shops built on piles over the sea shifted bodily about six inches towards the sea.  The only damage done besides that was some bottles of wine and beer broken. At the Kei Islands, situated about 60 miles west of the Aroe Islands, some damage was reported, and on the 4th instant the local patrol vessel Harman left for the Kei Islands to survey the reported damage. It was found that two kampongs had lost several houses, and after the earthquake a small tidal wave about one meter high had swept over these kampongs. This tidal wave  brought in a lot of fish; another wave washed over the kampong and took the remaining fish out to sea again. It was reported and since  confirmed by a Government steamer, that a reef near a port of call for the K.P.M. steamers, called Elat, had risen about two metres above its normal height before the earthquake happened. Fortunately this reef is situated away from the usual course taken by steamers to and from Elat. The Japanese cargo motor vessel Daiichi Tora Maru experienced this    earthquake while proceeding to Elat.  This vessel is about 6oo tons, and  when some distance from Elat, the officer of the watch feeling the vessel shuddering and trembling, ordered the engines to be stopped as  it was thought a submerged reef had  been struck. After taking soundings the vessel proceeded on her way and afterwards was informed of the    earthquake.It was very fortunate for us that  the tidal wave did not visit Dobo. The main township is built on a sand spit, and is only two feet above high water level, in fact when the king tides come every year it is a common sight to see children in small native canoes paddling about in the main street; so it can easily be imagined what damage even, a small tidal wave would do.  (link

1936 Apr 02:   Two ships now berthed at Port Adelaide experienced submarine disturbances on their last voyage. They are the South African Railways and Harbors Board steamer Dalia, and the Clan Line steamer Clan Macalister. When the Dalia was near Rabaul on April 2, officers thought the vessel had run aground when it shuddered violently for several minutes. An officer said today that about 4:10 p.m. the ship began to shake as if it were on a reef and was being broken up below the waterline by the propellers it further aground. No disturbance was noticeable on the surface of the sea, but the violent vibration coincided with an earthquake shock at Rabaul. The Clan Macalister had a similar experience about 500 miles west of Fremantle. The ship was severely shaken but no surface disturbance was noticed. * (link)

1936 Apr 12:  A report received late to-night by the Assistant Meteorologist  (Mr. Barkly) from the commander of the liner Port Fairy indicates that some form of submarine disturbance occurred south of the Australian coast. the Port  Fairy reported a heavy swell about 750 miles south west of Adelaide. Other ships between here and South Australia reported a heavy swell from the southwest. ” The measure of the disturbance was not warranted by the weather conditions. and it probably was due to submarine disturbance farther south. ” Mr. Barkley said. ‘ After such a disturbance sea waves could travel to the Victorian coast and entering the heads might be reflected from the shore and meeting an incoming wave, cause the tidal upheaval which struck the Nairana, After an earthquake in chile some years ago. earthquake sea waves reached Sydney Harbour every 20 minutes for two days. * (link)

1936 Apr 14:  The steamer Aelybryn had a peculiar experience in the Tasman at 1.30 p.m. on Sunday, July 10, 1929. On the arrival of the steamer at Sydney from Auckland, Captain R. Stevenson reported that together with the second officer, Mr. C. C. L. Bass, and the helmsman, he had seen two submarine disturbances at a point about midway between Sydney and Cape Maria van Diemen, the most northerly point in New Zealand.Without warning a great surging wall of white water rose out of the sea about a mile and a half away on the port bow. Gradually the watery mass assumed a concave formation and reached a height of between 20 and 30 feet before it started slowly to settle back into the sea. Fifteen minutes later a second upheaval occurred in almost the same position. In development, size, and subsidence the second wall of water was practically the same as the first. There was a strong south westerly gale blowing, which had brought the progress of the steamer down to five knots,so that if the surface of the sea had been disturbed for any appreciable distance from the seat of the upheaval it is probable that it would not have been noticed in the ship, owing to the huge waves that were running. Captain Stevenson said that if the Aelybryn had happened to be on top of that wall of water she would certainly have been engulfed. According to the chart the depth of the sea at that point was 6660 feet, or, roughly, about a mile and a quarter. The upheaval was charted by Captain Stevenson as having taken place 530 miles east, true, of Sydney, and 580 miles west, true, of Cape Maria van Diemen, latitude 34.25 south and longitude 161.25 east. As soon as the Aelybryn berthed in Sydney Captain Stevenson went to the State Meteorologist, but there was no seismograph record at the Sydney Observatory to link up with what had been seen from the Aelybryn. Another arrival in Sydney in the same week as the Aelybryn was the motor tanker Brunswick, the master of which reported having steamed for more than an hour through dead fish while coming across from New Zealand. He thought the fish had been killed by a submarine disturbance.* (link)

1936 Oct 20:   Aeroplanes and ships are still searching in the hope of finding further survivors from the Van der Wijck, which mysteriously capsized and sank in two minutes in the shark-infested Java Sea, between Surabaya and Samarang. There were 226 people on board, passengers and crew, of whom all except 34, including 14 Europeans, were saved. The victims include the Dutch wireless operator, who stuck to his post, sending out SOS calls. The saved include 16 Europeans besides the commander, Captain Akkerman, all the officers, and the chief steward. Captain Akkerman jumped at the last moment when the vessel actually capsized and swam for seven hours before he was rescued, saving a Dutch woman and child by keeping them afloat. Oil from the vessel covered the sea and probably kept the sharks away, as they do not like an oily sea. The cause of the disaster is believed to have been “a seaquake.” Such, a phenomenon sometimes occurs in the Java Sea. Immediately the SOS call was received the Defence Department dispatched nine flying-boats and light naval craft. The flying-boats saved 43 people, bravely risking collision with floating wreckage each time they landed on the sea. This is the first time these machines have been thus used. Native boats also affected rescues.  (link

1936 Dec 14:  Three earthquake shocks were recorded. The first two were mild tremors, but the third, which Captain Soderiand estimates to have lasted for 90 seconds, was much more severe Lamps and fittings shook violently, and ‘members of the crew were considerably alarmed. The Lawhill has been chartered by Louis Dreyfus & Co., and is awaiting orders. She has rock ballast and is anchored at the outer ballast ground about eight miles from the jetty The Adelaide Steamship Company’s Quorna arrived here yesterday, and lifted 1,000 bags of barley on account of the Yp. Barley Pool for transhipment at Port Adelaide.  (link)

1938 Jul 16:  A severe earthquake shock was experienced on Easter Sunday as the passengers were about to assemble in the saloon for Divine service, says the “Shipping World.” The master, Captain R. E. Dunn, said that there were three separate and distinct shocks, but fortunately, there was no tidal wave. “I conducted the service at the usual time, and no damage was done. Later we learned that the earthquake had been felt in Chile, but the effect was more severe at sea than on shore. (link)

1939 Feb 21: Liner Shook Violently PERTH,  The strange effect on the liner Orford of an earthquake which from the record on the seismograph at Perth observatory, is estimated to have been a distinctly severe one, was related when the ship reached Fremantle yesterday. The earthquake occurred on the morning of February 21 when the liner was between Colombo and Cocos Island. According to the ship’s log, the ship vibrated and shook violently fore and aft. The vibrations lasted about 2 1/2 minutes. No sea surface effect could be observed, and the weather at the time was fine and calm. Officers today reiterated that there was a completely smooth sea at the time of the tremors and that the only manifestation of the disturbance was the shaking of the ship. (link) On march 21, The liner Orford, when midway between Colombo and Cocos Island, Must have been near the epicenter of a severe submarine upheaval, for the vessel shook from stem to stern just as if she had submerged wreck.  (link)

1939 Oct 19:  A supposed underseas earthquake or landslide somewhere off the North Atlantic Coast — so severe that it was felt in cities and towns of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and the Quebec province of Canada–was recorded as far west as Cleveland, Ohio. The Atlantic ocean quake or undersea landslide started at 6:55:24 a.m. and lasted several minutes, but did no damage except to rattle windows in the Boston area.  (link 1941 Apr 15:  Off the coast of Mexico, near 18 N by 103 W, a seaquake interacted with a vessel loaded with steel assembly causing “some pieces weighing 6 tons, to shift about six inches and to jump as much as five to six inches up and down from its blocks.” (Lt. Frank Rossi, (1969) Seaquakes: Shakers of Ships, Mariner’s Weather Log, 11 (5) pp 161-164)  *(link)

1941 Nov 25: NAVY SUBMARINES MAY HAVE BEEN CRUSHED BY EARTHQUAKE; New York. November 27, 1941 – The terrific earthquake on Tuesday may have destroyed any submarines that happened to be in the Atlantic between Lisbon and the Azores, Father Joseph Lynch, chief of the seismological observatory at Fordam University, said today. “The disturbance was one of the mightiest ever recorded, and if the wave it created were a complete compression wave in the Atlantic it might have crushed all the submarine submerged in a wide area around the earthquake centre,” he said. “We know it was partially a compression wave, and possibly a complete one. In the latter case it would act like a depth charge of terrific intensity, pushing in the sides of submarines as though they were eggs.” Epicenter of the great earthquake is believed to have been about 500 miles off the Portuguese coast. (halfway between Lisbon Portugal and the Azores).  (link) Next

1942 Jan 28:   Convoy of 4 cargo ships was in an insufficient speed was available to get ahead or in favorable firing position before convoy arrived at straits or before moonset.  Night was very bright and visibility generally excellent 0200 Lost visual contact, distance estimated 8 to 10 miles. 0204 changed course to 213 T. 0305 Observed moonset.0525 Heavy rainstorm,accompanied by heavy thunder and lighting. Visibility Zero Luch St. Elmo’s fire was seen on rigging, antennas and search light platform. This weather continued with intermittent rain and low visibility until submerging at 0619 on course 213 T, speed 2.5 knots. 0727 Changed course to 230 T. 1000 Changed course to 270 T. 1144 Changed course to 180 T. 1730 Heard 2 heavy rumbling noises accompanied by vibrations which later were determined to have been caused by a severe earthquake between NEW GUINEA and AUSTRALIA according to radio report; changed course to 025 T. 1957 Surface, speed 10 knots. 2218 increased speed to 12.3 knots.  (link) Next

1943 Apr 30:  NAVY SUBMARINES FELT EARTHQUAKE.—An earthquake struck Corregidor Philippines during the height of the evacuation of personnel from Bataan, according to Commander Eugene Paro who commanded the submarine which evacuated army and navy nurses from the area. The shock was one of the heaviest ever recorded at Corregidor and was felt by submarines hundreds of miles at sea. (PDF link) Next

1944 Aug 08:  U.S.S. SAILFISH– reports about the the patrol boat sinking, while conducting submerged patrol heard heavy rumbling dull explosion. At first thought we had bumped aground (1300 fathoms of water) since ship was jarred appreciably. source of explosion undetermined- believe possible earthquake.  (see PDF link) Next

1944 Oct 04:  Mr. Platten said that in 1928 they had a severe earthquake one night, and in the morning found 32 whales, each weighing about two tons, washed up on the beaches. ( Next

1944 Dec 29:  ARTIFICIAL EARTHQUAKE — Sir: About 48 years ago the Boys’ Own Annual published a story called Barbican and Co. The chief character had a theory that a sufficient shock applied in the right place would shift the axis of the earth and bring the lands of the north and south frigid zones into the temperate zones. What was to happen to the lands already in the temperate and tropic zones was overlooked. The technique was to drive, a tunnel into in Mount Kilimanjaro or some other East African mountain, and use in as a cannon to fire a shot at an appropriate moment after the charge had been mathematically calculated.According to the story this was done, but the effect on the earth’s axis was not noticed, and Barbican and Co Went broke. Either the “suggested artificial earthquake to destroy Japan” (29/12/44) is a bit of a leg pull or members of the National inventions Council ‘ of America have been brushing up some of the literature of their adolescence.  (link)   Next

1945 Jan 1: American experts are Investigating the possibility of causing a man-made earthquake to destroy Japan. Some experienced engineers, as well as hundreds of amateur strategists, have advanced the idea since the earthquake and tidal wave hit Japan this month. They argue that the artificial release of great stresses and strains on the earth’s surface could cause a terrific ‘quake at a predetermined spot. An artificial earthquake occurring in the sea could bring with it a destructive tidal wave. Seismologists consulted by the U.S. National Inventors’ I Council are not optimistic. They agree that a man-made earthquake is not beyond possibility, but believe it would be extremely difficult to create, They say it would be a gigantic task computing exactly when and where the ‘trigger’ charge should be placed, and they doubt whether there is any known explosive powerful enough to start an earthquakeThe Institute of Technology at Pasadena (California) this week recorded a heavy earthquake, probably in the region of New Britain. Experts say the disturbance would have been extremely destructive if it had occurred in a settled area.  (link) Next

1945 May 02:  U.S.S, Reports of War Patrol NUmber six— Experience deep rumbling and heavy throbbing sensation, lasting about 20 seconds.My first reaction was that the OOD had sighted something dead ahead and close and was backing emergency. A quick check revealed no abnormal conditions. From what I have heard and read concerning the effect of earthquakes on ships, I am certain that this was an earthquake. * (see PDF link)

1945 Sep 06:  British aircraft carrier, on which the Japanese at Rabaul signed their surrender on Thursday, was on her way back to Lae yesterday damage control squads were ordered to stations at 8 a.m. when the 18,000-ton ship was shaken from stem to stern. It was first thought that Glory had run aground, although she was 10 miles from the nearest land, but it was later announced through the loudspeakers that the shock was caused by an earth tremor. This lends weight to volcanologists’ forecast that Rabaul volcanoes would be active again in the next few months. Glory is carrying Lieut-General V. A. H. Sturdee, GOC First Australian Army, and his staff, who received the Japanese surrender, back to their HQ at Lae. Rabaul, on the island of New Britain, had been the capital of the mandated territory of New Guinea since the administration of the mandate of this former German territory by Australia, but after serious damage had been done by volcanic activity in 1937 it was decided to transfer the capital to Lae, on the north coast of the New Guinea mainland. The war intervened, however, before the transfer could be effected.  (link) Next

1945 Sep 09:  Submarine SS Cero heard distant explosions, possible earthquake rumblings. * (link)

1946 Apr 24: Severe earthquake at sea enough to be recorded throughout the world. occurred about 100 miles south of Adelaide. *(link)

1946 Aug 07:   The sea off northern Santa Domingo boiled like a pot of water on the stove and sent up a loud rumbling from the bottom as a result of Sunday’s Caribbean earthquake, Capt. William C. Chisholm of the Canadian motor ship Camco said on his arrival here today. The Dominican shore line, along which he was navigating when the quake struck, appeared to sink into the sea sending a dust cloud half a mile in diameter 200 feet into the air.  (link) Next

1946 Dec 25:  The crew of the 9,895 ton passenger liner, Nellore, which arrived yesterday on her first visit to Port Adelaide, had an alarming experience when Japan was shaken by earthquakes last Christmas. Kurt, where the vessel was berthed, escaped the run force or the quake. but the tremors, which lasted few minutes caused a crack 100 ft. long 6 ft. deep in the wharf. A ship’s officer said yesterday that massive dockyard cranes Jumped several feet Into the air. Some or the crew were thrown out of their bunks when the chip lurched heavily, but there was no panic. The vessel was unloading a shipment of trucks from New Zealand for the occupation forces, and she had to shift to another berth. Examination of the Nellore on her return to Sydney showed that she had escaped carnage.  (link) Next

1947 Jul 21:  Super Bomb — Air Force Wants Bomb to Produce Man-Made Earthquakes. Navy working to produce artificial earthquake in the sea floor.  (link) Next

1948 Jan 31:  Last known position of the Steamer SS Samkey (liberty ship) who suddenly vanished.  (link) Next

1948 Aug 3:  Disappearance of the 7200-ton British Samkey while on voyage from London to Cuba has Become another of those mysteries which the sea holds locked in its depths. The vessel had been efficiently manned and was surveyed before her voyage, but no trace of her or any of the 43 in her crew has been found. It is now believed that the vessel must have been overwhelmed by a phenomenal sea, possibly part of a shock from some submarine earthquake.  (link) Next

1955 Nov 21:  Marine inspectors today completed a preliminary survey of the 70-tone “ghost ship” Joyita and reported the disappearance of her 25 passengers and crew could only be explained one way— a seaquake!, The Joyita, Now at Suva’, Fiji Islands, was found drifting and deserted in the South Pacific three weeks ago. She had sailed from Samoa on a two- day voyage to the Tokelau Island On Oct. 3 A big air sea search uncovered no trace of the missing passengers and crew. The Fiji government ruled out piracy, Investigators said today the only imaginable cause of the disaster was an undersea eruption that threw everyone overboard. The Tonga government is being asked to help check the “seaquake” theory. (link) (link) Next

1962 Apr 18:  Oil tanker Tanea hit be seaquake off New Zealand coast. “When I was at sea, 18th April 1962, I was shot out of my bunk at 5.43 a.m. The ship shuddered to a stop. One hell of a shock in the middle of the ocean. Reminded me of depth charges. The incident did not have the character of hitting a submerged object or whale. We were soon under way again, and I reported to Wellington Radio (still the morse code days at sea). The operator told me “We’ve just had quite a shake”. Soon after, I received a report from the Seismic Centre to say that, from our position, they had judged us to have been at the epi-centre.” * (link)

1963 Apr 10:  Precisely that scenario seems to be what happened on April 10, 1963 to the U.S.S. Thresher nuclear submarine. It left a signature: the subs nearby surface companion, the U.S.S. Skylark, was in the “splatter zone” of the underwater scalar interference. That is, spurious EM noise was being generated in all the Skylark’s electrical systems, some of which were actually disabled. So intense was the “electronic jamming” that it required over an hour and a half for the Skylark to transmit an emergency message back to its headquarters that the Thresher was in serious trouble and contact with it had been lost. Some of the Skylark’s communication systems actually failed, but later resumed operation inexplicably, once the jamming was gone. That type of “jamming” of multiple bands and multiple electronic equipment, of course, together with the anomalous failure of electronic equipment and its later mysterious recovery, were direct signatures of the exothermic scalar interferometer against thee undersea target in the vicinity of the skylark. The very next day, April 11,1963, the same Soviet scalar EM howitzer system was tested in the “destroy submarine” pulse mode. A huge underwater EM blast occurred off the coast of Puerto Rico, about 100 miles north of the island. The underwater explosion caused a huge boiling of the surface of the ocean, followed by the rising up of a giant mushroom of water about a third of a mile high, the mushroom of water then fell back into the ocean, completing the signature. Fortunately the entire incident was seen by the startled crew of a passing U.S. jetliner which was just passing its checkpoint in that area. (Ref: Robert J.Durant, “An underwater explosion — or what?”, Pursuit, 5(2), April 1972, p. 30-31.)  (link) Next

1964 Mar 27:  At 5:36 p.m. local time, a great earthquake occurred in Prince William Sound region of Alaska. The epicenter was 90 km west of Valdez and 120 km east of Anchorage at Latitude 61.04N, Longitude 147.73W, at a depth of approximately 25 km. Many vessels within 200 miles of the epicenter experienced violent shocks as told in this article by Roland Von Huene, a member of the US Geological Survey Team (link). Aftershocks were reported by ~50 ships within a 500-mile radius of the epicenter. Crew members mentioned “running aground, hitting a reef, being hit by another ship, or losing part of a ship’s propeller.Von Huene, R., (1972) Seaquakes, The Great Alaska Earthquake of 1964, Oceanography & Coastal Engineering, National Academy of Science 1972 — Harold Harding, on the fishing vessel Roald, reported the initial shock felt hard like “hitting rocks.” He said he felt many hard jolts during the night and could hear “booming sounds even above the engine noise.” He described the jolts as like “explosive depth charges.” Joe Clark, on the fishing vessel Quest, reported shocks felt as if the “boat were going aground.” The captain of the Little Purser said it felt “like the boat was being pounded on the rocks.” On 29 March, two days after the main event, the US Coast Guard Cutter Sedge was 10 miles offshore when crew members heard a sound like an underwater explosions, “similar to that of a depth charge or torpedo.” During the next few minutes they experienced three minor tremors. The engineer reported that it felt exactly like going over a reef and asked if the captain intended to go back over the reef when he was ordered to back the engine to full astern. The Sedge later reported that during one aftershock, sensations were felt similar to the propeller cavitation in a smooth sea.*

1964 Oct 23:  A seaquake was recorded on the R/V CHAIN at 015-56m-14.5 S Greenwich Mean Time. The position of the ship was 19°57~N, 55 ° 30rW. The record shows arrivals in fair agreement with those calculated for an average oceanic crust. A violent seaquake was felt on board a research vessel loaded with scientists from Woods Hole returning from a cruise to the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. When the seaquake was first felt the ship was steaming west at 12½ knots and was towing a hydrophone array for continuous seismic reflection profiling. The quake shook the ship violently; the motion seemed mostly vertical. Immediately the bridge rang the general alarm and the ship was stopped. Opinion on the cause of the disturbance varied. Some people thought the ship had run aground or hit a submerged object; others, that a shaft or screw had broken. After the ship was stopped the array was brought aboard for fear it would foul the screws. During this time the seismic recording gear was left running. Some people claimed to feel smaller shocks during this interval of about twenty minutes. That’s when the scientist discovered they had recorded a seaquake.* (link)

1966 Jun 15:  The captain of the M/V Ninghai, while at about 10 S by 161 East in the Solomon Islands, reported being shaken repeatedly for over two hours by seaquake activity. The damage report read as follows: “The cathode ray tube shattered, the capillary tube in the barometer was smashed, valves were shaken out of their sockets in the wireless transmitter, the suspension wire on the gyro snapped and the azimuth mirror on the monkey island gyro repeater feel off. In addition we made some water in No. 3 double bottoms and after peak; also the main engine fuel line was broken and the sanitary tank on the monkey island was holed. No water was made after the tremors, which suggest that as the ship was being shaken water was entering these tanks through various rivets and seams which had started and opened, but only for the duration of these tremors. The mast whipped about a great deal, and the funnel rattled alarmingly.” (Lt. Frank Rossi, (1969) Seaquakes: Shakers of Ships, Mariner’s Weather Log, 11 (5) pp 161-164) * (link)

1966 Aug 31:  A freighter that vanished in the south China Sea five months ago has created a first class sea mystery. Not even piece of wreckage or an oil slick has been found from the ship, the 709 ton Valiente. Shipping circles is the mystery compared with that of the Mary Celeste, the American Brigantine found drifting off the Azores in 1872 without anyone aboard, one month after setting sail from New York. The disappearance of the Valiente led to speculation that the might have been mistakenly sunk by American fighters or hijacked by North Vietnam or Communist China.  (link) Next

1969 Feb 28: Ida Knudsen was sailing in the Atlantic 200 miles southwest of Lisbon, Portugal when it experienced a “violent vertical shock”. The vessel sustained very serious structural damage. In the wheelhouse, chartroom and radio station binnacles, compasses and permanent instruments were torn loose and collapsed. Doors and fixtures in the superstructure were torn loose and thrown about. The signal mast with the radar scanner was distorted and all its cross-bars were broken. Damage in the superstructure was more serious at midship than at the aft peak. From eyewitness accounts it appears that the vessel was lifted up bodily, the bow moving up faster than the bridge, and then the whole ship slammed back with violent vibrations, the whole event lasting about ten seconds. Serious damage was also caused both to the machinery and hull where piping was broken and leakage developed between tanks. After hours of drifting and with a misaligned propeller shaft the ship returned to Lisbon where it was dry docked and surveyed. The surveys proved that the hull, machinery and other equipment had sustained great damage and, on account of the permanent deformation and breaks, the ship had lost a substantial part of her longitudinal strength. The complete surface of the vessel’s skin from cofferdam to cofferdam buckled, in places with permanent sets of 4 cm and the hull was twisted to port by 18 cm. Bulkheads, hull frames and girders were buckled or torn apart and all the wing tanks leaked. Moreover, the bottom parts of the side platings were torn away from the girders, in places by as much as 5 cm, effects resembling those from an underwater mine explosion. The ship was condemned as a total loss. (see 2nd paragraph link) Next

1969, Feb 28: An oil tanker in 2,000 fathoms of water out in the Atlantic (36°31´ North, 12°33´ West; the earthquake centered at 30.0° North, 10.6° West) reported unusual happenings. The Captain of the Esso Newcastle reported, “A most unusual and frightening incident happened this morning. I was shaken out of bed by a severe shuddering, vibrating and rumbling noise, with a feeling as if the ship was lifting out of the water. My first reaction was that we had lost the propeller or broken a blade … (or) that we had struck some underwater object.” *(link)

1969 May 20:  Captain Christi of the barque Euperosyne relates that when his vessel was in latitude about 16 deg 40 m. south, and longitude 4 west, the sky suddenly became overcast with dense black-looking clouds, and in all directions was heard a noise resembling distant cannonading, while the sea became tossed and confused to these signs of agitation another was added of peculiar significance The compass vibrated largely and almost lost its polarity, a sure sign that a terrestrial disturbance of great extent and violence was in progress Several large meteors shot out from the heavens, a phenomenon which can hardly be associated with the occurrence of submarine disturbance, unless we suppose that burning matter had been projected from some submarine volcano, and that the flying masses were mistaken by Captain Christi for meteoric bodies Fish jumped out of the sea and struck against the sides of the ship, and the trembling of the vessel could be, distinctly felt as well as heared. Both the last named phenomena. point so distinctly to submarine action as to remove all doubt which, might be suggested by the appearance of meteors, The intense heat of the matter thrown out. in submarine convulsions invariably driven the fish away from the neighbourhood, killing large quantities of those which happen to be near the outlet from which the burning matter is being erupted Captain Chisti relates that the volcanic action of the sea continued during the night until sunrise, when the weather became clear and settled. * (link)

On August 11, 1970, a major shallow-focus earthquake of 7.6 magnitude occurred in the region of the New Hebrides Islands. At 1255 GMT the area was observed by infrared cameras on board the Nimbus 4 spacecraft. The water temperature in a 60 km circle of the earthquake was found to be about plus +2″K warmer than the surrounding water. Calculation done by NASA scientists at Goddard Space Flight Center indicates a possible shock wave of about 100,000 pounds per square inch (6000 kilobars) would be required to heat a 60 km circle of water 2 degrees kelvin. This is an excellent treatment on the potential for destruction by seaquake waves and high on the recommended list of reading.  (see page 5 link) Next

1970 Dec 09:  Elmer Tagge has a lot of souvenirs and a lot of memories from the 59-day Pacific cruise he completed last week. and recollections of being aboard ship in the middle of earth tremors which tossed the ship into the air and killed one man. The most dangerous part of the trip occurred in the late evening hours of Dec. 9, after leaving Peru. It was 11:35 p.m. when the University of California’s seismological station in Berkeley recorded an earthquake with a force of 7.4 on the Richter scale. Aboard the liner Bergensfjord a near catastrophe took place — with one person killed. The quake’s center was 40 miles northeast of Piura, Peru about 40 miles inland, and the area affected ran along the South American coastline for about 130 miles. The Bergensfjord was 10 miles from land at the time. Its position from the center of the quake was 70 nautical miles west, close enough to be severely jolted. Tagge had just returned to his stateroom after spending the evening on deck and was packing some hula skirts he’d gotten while in the South Pacific when the quake struck. It seemed as though the whole ship raised out of the water and then dropped, he said. Immediately after that bells began ringing, buzzers began buzzing and whistles began blowing. The bells signified a fire call, buzzers notified stewardesses of emergency and whistles told passengers and crew to report to their life-saving stations. At about the same time, the generators on the ship ceased to function and lights went out. It was terrible — everybody yelling and that — and with no more engine noise, Tagge said. And the water was just boiling up — there were no more waves. Then came a massive tidal wave which tipped the ship and nearly submerged it before it finally began to right itself. During the course of the 11-minute tremors, the ship was turned completely around. In the wake of the quake, big red SOS flares indicated that other ships in the area were in similar distress. One ship sank because of the tumult. The big diesel and generator plant on the Bergensfjord were dead, and it wasn’t until 2 a.m. that the first engine was again started. Those aboard considered themselves fortunate at having survived the night. A man from Green Bay was the only casualty. The ship was listing and held at eight knots an hour before finally limping into Panama. The slow speed was required because of damage to the ship’s stabilizers. There was then a 13-hour trip through the Panama Canal and another cruise to the Everglades. The last segment of the trip was to be between the Everglades and New York, but Tagge decided he’d had enough “relaxation” and caught a plane back to Wisconsin. (excerpted from The Sheboygan Press, Sheboygan Wisconsin, December 24, 1970, page #3) (link) Next

1974 May 13:  The Captain of a Japanese submarine says his sub and 80 crewmen weathered the shocks of an earthquake that struck Japan’s Southern Izu Peninsula Thursday. Earthquake experts said it was extraordinary for a submarine to encounter an earthquake below the surface and surviv. The Submarine was cruising submerged in the Pacific off Southern Izu Peninsula. The skipper said he and the crew “at first thought there had been an explosion aboard ship, then we discovered we couldn’t control her navigation.” He said it felt as if “someone had suddenly tied a rope around the craft and began yanking it up and down, back and forth.  (link 1) (link 2) Next

1975  May 26:  Earthquake Rocks Azores, Portugal– A very strong earthquake was reported today in the Atlantic between the Azores and Portugal. The tremblor sent panicked residents into the streets in the Madeira and Canary Island and rocked Lisbon for a full minute, but no major damage was reported. * (link)

1985 Sep 20:  Two merchant ships, five Mexican trawlers and two dozen small fishing boats disappeared in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Acapulco after a major earthquake rocked Mexico, The quake, with a magnitude of 7.8 on the open-ended Richter scale, was centered on land, a few mile from the Pacific Coast.
After the quake, which devastated Mexico City and took a heavy toll of life, the National Weather Service issued a tidal wave watch for Mexico, El Salvador, Ecuador and California but called it off about four hours later. No tidal waves were reported hitting land.  (link) Next

1988 Mar 06:  Two ships damage in a magnitude 7.6 Ms (USGS) earthquake at 22:38 UT in the Gulf of Alaska. The ships were Exxon Boston and Exxon Orleans at 57.63 N and 142.75 W and a tsunami with amplitudes of 38 cm at Yakutat, 12 cm at Sitka, 8 cm at Kodiak, and was recorded on deep ocean gages AK7 and AK8 and WC( with heights of 4.6, 3, and 5.6 cm between the Aleutian subduction zone and Fairweather fault zone on the west coast of southern Alaska and Canada.* (link)

1988 Mar 06: FOUR OIL TANKERS HIT At 22:35 GMT, a major earthquake with seven aftershocks occurred in the Gulf of Alaska about 200 nautical miles from the oil depot at Valdez. Four tankers were nearing Valdez when the following events erupted one after the next near their position:

PDE 1988 03 06 223538.14 56.95 -143.03 10 7.8 MWHRV
PDE 1988 03 06 230556.84 56.75 -142.99 10 4.7 MLPMR
PDE 1988 03 06 231105.10 56.91 -143.04 10 4.4 MLPMR
PDE 1988 03 06 231438.46 57.50 -142.80 10 6.3 MLPMR
PDE 1988 03 06 232359.90 57.67 -142.94 10 4.4 MBGS
PDE 1988 03 06 233332.53 57.40 -142.89 10 4.2 MLPMR
PDE 1988 03 06 233747.69 57.74 -142.97 10 4.1 MLPMR
PDE 1988 03 06 233949.59 57.10 -142.90 10 4.5 MLPMR

The 500,000-barrel crude oil tanker Sansinena II, under the command of Captain Brent Christiansen, was streaming from Portland, Oregon, to Valdez, Alaska, to pick up a load of crude. Captain Christian in now chief port pilot for the Port of Los Angeles. Below is his account of what happened:

“Suddenly, without warning, an extremely severe vibration started to shake the entire ship. My first though was that we’d lost one or several propeller blades. I immediately pulled the throttle back to about 40 rpm, but there was no change in the intensity of the shaking. I did not know what was happening so I ran out on the bridge wing to look around. I could see the stack shaking so hard I though it might collapse. I returned to the bridge and a few moments later the shaking subsided.”

“About this time I heard a call over the very high frequency (VHF) emergency Channel 16. It was the Exxon Boston calling the Exxon North Slope and reporting that she had encountered heavy vibration, had lost power, and was experiencing some flooding. The Exxon North Slope also was without power and called a third Exxon ship, the Exxon New Orleans, which turned around and headed back to stand by the Exxon Boston. Meanwhile our radio operator heard about the earthquake from a station at Ketchikan. We proceed to check the deck and the engine room and found no signs of damage, so I gradually resumed speed. I called the Exxon North Slope, gave our position, and offered to assist if needed. They responded that they were restoring power and did not need any help at this time. The Exxon Boston reported that the flooding was under control and the Exxon New Orleans was now standing by. While this was happening we felt the first of several aftershocks, leaving no doubt that it was an earthquake we’d felt. We resumed course to Valdez, where eventually all vessels arrived without further incident.” (Craig B. Smith (2006) Extreme Waves, Joseph Henry Press, 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001, ISBN 0-309-13367-X e-pub ISBN

1995 Oct 20: An earthquake of magnitude 6.7 rocked the Chiapas/Oaxaca border area. Considerable damage was done to some of the older cities in Chiapas; no damage was done 100 miles away in Bahías de Huatulco. No damage other than a few rather nervous moments. Ole Sharkbait was with a Scotswoman on her first night dive when a rather intense vibration and roar permeated the surrounding water at some ten meters of depth. At first, I thought Risco La Blanca was about to be the site of another Exxon Valdez disaster, but I’ve been in Cozumel when a cruise ship passed over. This was far more intense than that. My next thought was that I had a massive air leak somewhere, but a quick check proved that not to be the case. By that time I had it figured for a ‘quake. Since the duration as well as the force was quite beyond anything I had experienced previously, I made my way with my charge to the lee of the island, just in case there was a tsunami. Fortunately, that fear proved unfounded. However, it was awesome watching the small particles vibrate off the rocks, dramatically reducing visibility. I am seriously considering submittal of an outline to PADI for a distinctive specialty course in Earthquake Diving.  (link) Next

2005, Mar 20: Sea Shocks (Japanese) or seaquakes (English) are earthquakes that a ship feels in the sea, and earthquake motion becomes acoustic wave and reaches the ship through sea water, giving short vertical motion to the ship. This science article reports a sea shock caused by the Earthquake (Fukuoka Prefecture West Open Sea) that occurred on March 20, 2005 at 10:53. The training ship Nagasaki-Maru encountered this quake at the Nagasaki harbor open sea wharf. A tsunami warning was issued at 11:57, 4 minutes after the earthquake occurrence, but canceled at 12:00 after the confirmation of absence of tide level changes. (link) Next

2009, June 07:  As reported by Captain Bos of the Holland American Cruiser Liner Volendam: Today during our visit to Glacier Bay, Alaska, the Volendam felt an earthquake that had its epicenter approx 20 miles NNW from the ship. The whole ship started shuddering, the bridge immediately pulled back the throttles and called ECR [engine control room] to ask if everything was all right down there. Tanks were checked on the screens, and a person was asked to look over the bow at the bulb to see if by accident a whale had been hit since the ship was in 350-meter-deep water, so running aground was not the most logical choice even if that was suspected, but all positions checked out OK. When the all clear was given by the ECR, speed was increased again and approximately one hour later we got confirmation from the local marine radio station that an earthquake had occurred and they asked if we had felt anything. An announcement was made for the guests as well to explain this. Earthquake Data: Local Date: Sunday, June 7, 2009, Local Time: 03:24 PM, Magnitude: 5.10 ML, Latitude: 58.7781, Longitude: -136.6676, Depth: 3 miles (6 km) (link) No Lat. and Long. direction

2009-Jul 15:  History of Shock Waves, Explosions and Impact, a very interesting book by Dr. Peter Krehi, the former head of Nato’s underwater defense system (link)

2010 Jul 28:  An oil tanker owned and operated by Japan’s Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd was damaged in a “tremor” and there was no evidence of an attack, the Omani coast guard said on Wednesday, while Iran reported an earthquake to its south. “The boat was hit by a tremor …we have no information of an attack,” an official at the Omani coast guard told Reuters. An official at Iran’s International Institute of Seismology and Earthquake Engineering told Reuters: “A minor earthquake of 3.4 magnitude happened in Bandar Abbas”. Oman had not closed its side of the strait of Hormuz and it was “business as usual”, an official from the Omani ministry of transport said. (link) Next

2013 Jul 23:  The crew trawlers Aukaha felt the big shake . Captain Brent Thomas often asked by people, if earthquakes could be felt at sea. Now he knows. A noise and a shudder like a massive explosion beneath the 1200-tonne trawler turned out to be Sunday evening’s 6.5-magnitude earthquake beneath Cook Strait. “I’ve worked in the strait for 20 years and I’ve been fishing for Sea Lord for 24 years, and I’ve never felt anything like it. “I’d never felt an earthquake at sea before,” said Mr Thomas who reckons they must have been positioned pretty well near the epicenter of the quake that struck just after 5pm. Passengers on the Cook Strait Interislander ferry, which was crossing the area on Sunday, were alarmed by the shaking felt on the vessel. An Interislander spokeswoman said the captain of the Arahura thought at first he had hit something. Mr Thomas said they were in Cook Strait fishing for hoki and conducting research on hoki stocks. They were preparing to fish when the quake hit. “The whole boat was shuddering. It felt like a massive explosion had gone off beneath us.” Mr Thomas said he stopped the boat, turned up the radio, and began checking everything but could not explain what it might have been, so he carried on.  (link) Next

2014 Jun 08:  Analysis of Sea Shock Encountered by a Ship in North East Japan. Abstract: In general, earthquake motion experienced by a navigable vessel is called a sea shock (or seaquake). Sea shock is assumed that the vertical ground motion of the sea floor propagates as a compressional (longitudinal) wave in water. Seaquakes are sudden, unexpected phenomena that are induced by undersea earthquakes. There are almost no examples of their systematic measurement and the phenomenon of seaquakes is said to not be thoroughly understood. The effect of seaquakes was studied theoretically during the 1990s, during research on the wave response of structures for the construction of VLFS. However, There are a few experimental studies on the effect of seaquakes on floating bodies because of the problem of reproducibility. We measured ship motion caused by sea shocks by examining seabed oscillation. Such measurements provided very valuable data. The conclusions obtained in the present study are that ship motion caused by sea shocks has high-frequency oscillation. In particular, the acceleration in the z direction is remarkable. (link)

To Be Positioned