After just two years in 1996 was above the water line almost nothing to be seen from the stern, while the bow defied over a decade of surf. The lift of the tail crack after a few weeks, although of course they mostly had the same structure thickness as that of the Bugtteils (with the exception of the extra-reinforced nose cone), in which this happened until years later. So why these extremely different destruction processes of the two halves ship?

After the breakup of the American Star, the tail was pressed by strong waves parallel to the beach due. This position gave the Waves a much stronger attack surface than the non-parallel to the beach end position of the bugs.
Breakers operate simultaneously on a beach, no matter what wind direction prevails. Thus did the great breaker tail almost always full broadside and very high pressure.
The bug, however, led by its location and form part of the impact energy laterally, so that the waves with their destructive force there is not provoked the same deformation of the hull.
Page 6: Why did the stern collapse so fast, while the bow managed to withstand for over 10 years?
The stern immediately after the beaching.
-Picture: TVE Canarias/ Vie et Mort de l'America -
In addition also comes at a still deeper water location of the stern deck in comparison to bug, which is also in the upper decks provided larger attack surfaces of the surf and structurally weaker areas such as the rear open deck or the main promenade deck made accessible.
The collapsing enclosed promenade deck next to the ballroom.
The frontal impact energy of the waves caused only a few weeks after the stranding strong deformations of the hull of the stern and the associated soon gaping holes in the A-deck, main deck and the upper deck. This damage was caused when the bow until years later and there were limited to the area of the B-deck, right on the waterline.
With the destruction of the protective, structurally important lift a large area over several decks of the internal destruction of the ship's structure was set no longer an obstacle.
Soon the stern was so strong plotted on the lake and destroyed, that the waves on the beach side of the ship struck from the portholes and thus illustrated the highly advanced internal erosion and destruction.
The structural damage to the bearing lower decks effected now that these slowly through the progressive destruction of supporting structures and the protective lift the weight of the overlying deck gave way and the stern as ever in one of the lake inclined towards skew introduced, which allowed the waves, always to destroy large areas of the stern. Like a tiered wedding cake, where you with the spoon in the same place down takes away a bit and slowly collapses everything is more skewed and finally drops off.
From the beach on one got the impression that the entire rear just wrapped increasing flip side, and then rolled to the side, but this was tilted to the side, a process that was limited only to the decks above the B-deck, by piecemeal removal and destruction of the structures located above the water line from the seaward side.
The lying below the waterline part of the tail remained in its original position and is still available.


surging billow hit the stern section (white) of the ship with full force, while the position and form of the bow section adds to a deflection of the waves.
Small picture lower right: The stern position is pointing towards the beach.
The collapsing stern part of the front end from 1996 photographed. Is clear to see how the surf from the sea has eaten deep into the structure and undermines the ship from below. The port side no longer exists above the water line. The upper deck hanging bent in the air. The intact hull on the beach side belies this dramatic condition. This illustrated in the picture holzbeplankte deck is the small sun deck, on which formerly housed the lifeboats.
Page 7: Collapse of the bow-->
Mouse over picture for markings: American Star a few months after the beaching. You can see deep holes in the ship's hull of the stern section (red). Where the hull platingis still  withstanding the wave pressure, it starts to develop deformations, so that the vertical frames of the ship's structure visibly emerge (yellow).
This type of damage can't be seen on the bow section.
-Picture: Headquaters of the Merchant Marine, Gran Canaria-
This photograph from 2006 shows the stern section completely underwater. You can see the dark outline of the lower decks, which have not been harmed by the surf. A mouseover shows the plan of the D-decks of America in comparison with the visible shadows.
Simplified animation of the effect of the surf on the stern in cross section view.
The stern is hit with full broadside by a wave.
-Picture: Headquaters of the Merchant Marine, Gran Canaria-
1996: The heavily damaged stern section is increasingly toppling over above sea level, as breakers constantly destroy structural integrity from sea side.
Above: The view of the beach to be seen on the left picture situation in 1996. The waves beat out the portholes of the lower decks. The reason you see on the left: The structure of the ship behind the intact hull has been largely eroded.
lower right: 1999, same position as on the photo left: The stern is worn down to the structurs below the waterline decks.
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S.S. American Star - From hopeful planning to total disaster
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S.S. American Star 1994-today

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