On Monday, the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Anthem of the Seas, halted travels and turned back to port after a severe storm off the North Carolina Coast left several passengers with mild injuries and the ship with damage. Many passengers had been dreaming of sandy shores and a much needed vacation. Instead, they were greeted with 150 mph winds and sheer terror.
The Anthem of the Seas encountered incredibly rough seas off the coast of Cape Hatteras.
There were recorded gusts of 76 mph winds (above hurricane force) and 30 ft. waves.
Passengers were told to stay in their rooms and received hourly updates. That is, until 10 P.M, when the storm became so severe the captain and crew did not have time for the hourly updates.
During the peak of the storm, many were exhausted, terrified, starving, and of course...very sea sick.
Some passengers said TV reports stated that winds were reaching 120-150 mph.
The Captain dilligently did his job to keep everyone on board safe and the cruise ship afloat. One passenger reported the ship leaning "way over" as the Captain fought the winds.
Parts of the cruise liner gave way during the terrible storm. Like this picture above of a ceiling.
Luckily, no passengers were seriously injured and all received a full refund and half off a future cruise fare.
The passengers and crew of Anthem of the Seas were incredibly lucky, though. This particular area has claimed hundreds of lives and ravaged ships. It has happened so much that the area was deemed the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic.'
Navigational difficulties as well as terrible storms have caused the loss of thousands of ships and countless lives in the Diamond Shoals area off Cape Hatteras.
Records of shipwrecks in the area have been documented all the way back to 1526. Since then, more than 5,000 ships have met their demise in the 'Graveyard of the Atlantic.'
The dangerous area extends along most of the North Carolina coast. With crucial areas being Cape Lookout and Cape Fear. The spot is known as Cape Point, a stretch of beach that divides the north and south facing beaches of Hatteras Island. It is wildly popular for surfing and fishing, but dangerous for boating. The shores of Cape Hatteras have seen more than 600 shipwrecks.
The high risk potential for shipwrecks even lured some to be "wreckers" - people who salvaged off goods from wrecked ships, sometimes even luring them into their destruction.
Today's technology, boats, cruise ships, etc. are better equipped to deal with the dangerous shores of North Carolina. Yet, it's safe to say that the passengers and crew on Anthem of the Seas are incredibly lucky.
Do you have any personal experience with or stories of the Graveyard of the Atlantic? Tell us in the comments!