A massive ‘water tornado’ swirling above the sea was captured in dramatic footage by two brave sailors – as it headed straight towards their ship.
Ewen MacKenzie, 37, and Barry Stevenson 31, were on board a vessel in Egyptian waters when the amazing natural spectacle appeared.
In just a few minutes the clear blue sky changed rapidly as dark clouds formed and a funnel-cloud swirled in front of them.
The phenomenon is known as a waterspout – a tornado-like column of spinning air which forms usually over large lakes or seawater.
Luckily for the crew water tornadoes are not as powerful as their land-based cousins – but the impressive swirling vortex still came within 40 metres of the ship.
Winds in waterspouts reach around 50mph but on rare occasions large spouts can generate speeds of up to 150mph.
Dad-of-two Barry, from north east Scotland, said: “It was a clear blue sky apart from cloud formation in the distance, as the cloud moved closer I could see the water spout.”
“I noticed the clouds were moving towards the vessel and over the next 20 minutes the spout travelled towards us and passed around 40m to the left.”
Ewen, a remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) supervisor, from Dores, near Loch Ness, said there had been thunder and lightning overnight.
He said: “Barry was the one who phoned me to tell me to look out the starboard side and I watched as it headed towards our vessel, the Far Samson.”
“I did not feel in any danger, I was interested in how it would behave if it had hit the ship.”
“But it just missed us passing our stern, I was about 80m from the water spout as it passed by, once it was on our port side it started to disappear.”
“I have seen some before in the past but they were always miles away. It was strange because even though it was like a tornado it appeared to almost move in slow motion.”
A freak tornado was spotted off the west coast of England earlier this month, amid 24 hours of bizarre weather conditions.
The looming twister was pictured towering over rooftops in the tiny village of Caton by a stunned photographer in Morecambe, Lancashire.
The dark funnel-shaped cloud appeared on the backdrop of a grey, stormy sky sparked by Hurricane Ophelia.
“Tornado alert – an image of what looks like a twister taken over Caton,” the Twitter account Morecambe Bay posted.
The picture was uploaded after a day of unusual weather conditions.
Disclaimer: This video is intended for informational purpose only. This may not be construed as a news item or advice of any sort. Please consult the experts in that field for the authenticity of the presentations.
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