Saving Really Big Ships

At Wired you can read about the saving of the 14-deck, 55,000 ton Cougar Ace carrying 4,700 new Mazdas. As water was being replaced in ballast tanks, a malfunction occurred preventing the starboard ballasts from refilling. What ensues is a dramatic 60 degree port list, a broken leg bone puncturing the skin, the arrival of a crew of salty dogs of Titan Salvage, and a beautiful illustration of geometry’s importance. The story covers members of the crew that reads like the character list for Ocean’s 11 (the original and better) or Armageddon. Make sure you watch the video on the first page.

Dr. M (1730 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.

3 comments on “Saving Really Big Ships
  1. That was definitely a great article.

    (I got my subscription to the magazine from amazon and it only cost $13 for 2 years!)

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