How Large Ships Survive Huge Storms at Sea

Are ships safer at the port or at sea during a storm?
Loukia Papadopoulos

Big ships, like ocean-going tankers, are marvels of engineering. But even their enormous size and strength can be rendered useless against the power of nature, like huge storms.

Confronted with potentially powerful storms, like hurricanes, you might think it makes sense to not be at sea in the first place. After all the phrase “a safe harbor” must mean something?

It turns out, however, that this might be one of the worst places to be during such a storm. While big ships tend to be substantially built, often using hardened steel, if a big ship is caught in the harbor during a storm, the results can be devastating. So long as they remain tied to the dock, these enormous ships can sustain massive damage from being buffeted against concrete pilings and the dock.

Should their moorings fail, the ships suddenly become enormous, and very dangerous battering rams. Not an ideal outcome to say the least.

However, some ports are safer than others, and if there is no alternative, big ships do have the option to hunker down in the port. This brings us to the question: are ships safer at ports or at sea? Watch the video to find out the answer.

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