- Hansa Carrier
The "Hansa Carrier" is a
container ship. On 27 May 1990, en route from Koreato the United States, the ship encountered a storm which caused the loss of twenty-one 40-foot cargo containers south of the Alaska Peninsula, near coord|48|N|161|W|. Five of these cargo containers contained 80,000 Nike shoes, all of which carried a unique serial number which later made it possible to clearly identify them as part of the spilled cargo.
Importance to oceanography
The "Great Shoe Spill of 1990" was one of the several occasions when shipping accidents have contributed to the knowledge of ocean currents and aided scientists and amateur researchers in their endeavours. After hearing of the accident, oceanic scientist
Curtis Ebbesmeyerseized the opportunity: He established links with beachcombers and formed a network of people reporting the landfall of the contents of this and other spills. Using OSCURS(Ocean Surface Currents Simulation), a computer simulator developed by oceanographer Jim Ingraham, Ebbesmeyer tracked the oceanic movement of the "Hansa Carrier" spill and other flotsam, including 34,000 ice hockey gloves washed off the " Hyundai Seattle" in 1994. In the case of the "Hansa Carrier" spill, reports from beachcombers revealed that the first 200 shoes started arriving at the northern Washingtoncoast around Thanksgiving1990, about 6 months after the spill. Beachcomber finds in January-February 1991 off Vancouver Islandand in March 1991 in Queen Charlotte Sound showed that the aggregate mass of shoes next floated northward with the winter Davidson Current. The normal spring wind transition from southerly winds of winter to northerly winds of summer off the Pacificnorthwest coast must have occurred at the end of March 1991, because the next batch of recoveries was reported to the south off Oregonin April and May, indicating that a sharp reversal of currents had moved the flotilla to the south.
North Pacific Gyreis the part of the Pacific ocean where the spill took place
* [http://www.cnn.com/2003/TECH/science/05/26/coolsc.oceansecrets/index.html How Nikes, toys and hockey gear help ocean science]
* [http://www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/ASF10/1099.html If the Shoe Fits - Alaska Science Forum]
* [http://www.beachcombers.org/ Beachcombers' Alert]
* Ebbesmeyer, Curtis C., and Ingraham, W. James, Jr.; "Shoe Spill in the North Pacific", Eos (Transactions of the
American Geophysical Union), 73:361, 1992.
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