Dude, I’m like, totally relaxed. I know sulfuric acid is water soluble and like Damn Yankee says, if the barrels sink offshore we’ll never hear about them again. On the other hand, several containers have been reported drifting to the SW so it’s not inconceivable that they could eventually fetch up in a populated area and begin leaking as the result of damage suffered when they fell overboard and/or being slammed by the waves on the beach or against a pier piling. There is an enormous quantity of debris on the beach from that blow as we speak.
How do you calculate the floating properties of a steel container filled with drums of sulfuric acid and formulate a potential drift scenario? What if the container busted open and the barrels escaped? How would they behave? This is the kind of thing that keeps me awake at night.
Don’t get me wrong though, overall, I’m still relaxed.
I don’t take it as gospel because I read this in the newspaper but an article said that the Shanghai reported 40 foot waves to the CG. That does seem pretty steep. Then again, the Chesapeake Bay bridge was closed to traffic and wind speeds there reportedly reached 80 mph. On the sound side the wind blew up from a fresh to a strong gale for about 3 hours.
Without being there, saying that those seas never reached that state and faulting improper lashing is a bold statement.
PS Hatteras will kick your ass. Last summer on a calm cloudy day, four water spouts formed suddenly outside the harbor (north of Oregon Inlet). One came in for a quick spin sending patio furniture flying hundreds of feet in the air and tearing off roof tiles did a 180 rejoined the other 3 and they all disappeared to the NW.