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Hurricane Claudette Little More than Tropical Gale, Seaman Claims

According to long-time mariner Catch Hameron, Sr. (above right)
Hurricane Claudette (above left, top, middle and bottom) was not actually worthy of being called a Hurricane.

Spokane, WA (AP) In a letter written to relatives in Spokane, WA experienced sailor Catch Hameron, Sr. alleged that Hurricane Claudette was not actually deserving of the distinction of hurricane.

"She was a bit of a fussy one, no doubt about that, but to call her a hurricane seems to me to be a tall tale. A top wind-speed of about 80-mph, that's not a killer storm, that's a mere tropical gale. That hearkens me back to the storm of '64. We were sailing from Galveston..." Hameron wrote in the letter, which was dispatched from a port of call in Japan.

In the letter Hameron also put forth several theories for the alleged exaggeration on the part of the National Hurricane Center. "I think they were anxious to have their first hurricane of the year. It was the third tropical storm of the season and it was a bit stronger than the others, so I think they just jumped the gun a little."

Hameron went on to criticize the scale of strength used in the Saffir-Simpson rating system, where Claudette was rated as a Category one hurricane. "I think the criteria used in their scale is, for one thing, too wimpy. It also is too objective. By stipulating such strict benchmarks as the wind speeds for each category, it takes away other subjective, but no less important measures, like the number of people left dead in the storm's wake. According to early reports there weren't even any casualties."

The National Hurricane Center defended itself against the charges in a written statement released yesterday. "We stand by our scale of strength rating system, which is based upon years of informed research. The charges brought up by Captain Hameron are unfounded. Although he started his sailing career aboard an oil tanker in the Gulf waters in the 1960's he only sailed the Gulf for two years before moving to arctic and sub-arctic waters. So we feel that he is speaking from the position of an outsider."

Hameron captains a cargo ship called the GA Peach based out of Bremerton, WA. The ship is owned by his son Catch Hameron, Jr., CEO of Generally Awesome Dotcom.


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