Ferry Horn Blast Next to Me While on Top Deck

Discussion in 'Support' started by Rust, Sep 21, 2019.

    1. Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Hi, I was on a ferry just now on the top deck and they blasted the horn for 4-5 seconds right near me. I was on the top deck near the front of the ship where they blew the horn from.

      It was so loud, crazy loud and vibrated through me.

      I was wearing 25 dB silicone earplugs which I pressed in hard.

      Though I’m experiencing a spike straight away.

      How loud are ship/ferry horns?

      Will I recover due to wearing earplugs?

      This is really really worrying and stressing me out.

      I’m meant to be on holiday, now I feel screwed.

      Any help or opinions if the spike will go down would be much appreciated.

      Thank you.
       
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    2. Earing
      No Mood

      Earing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Sorry man. I just got hit by a YouTube video. I watched a bunch of videos no problem, volume at a normal lower level. Then I click on one and it starts up 1000 times louder than the others with a helicopter on the video, I was not even expecting to see a copter. Let alone get nailed by it. So now I have a good tinnitus hiss going on, and my ears feel like they got hurt again.
       
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    3. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      The db rating for a ferry horn can vary, but most are going to exceed 100 db's. Glad you had some earplugs in. Give this spike some time for you ears to recover.

      These air horns are ridiculously loud. I had one go off on a semi truck in the winter, and I spiked for weeks after, but it did get better.
       
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    4. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      If this spike doesn't begin fading after a month, you will have a reason to worry about it being permanent. There is still a good chance that it will eventually fade. Goes without saying that from now on, you might consider avoiding ferries.

      Do all ferries and ships blow their horn every time they leave a port?
       
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    5. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      That’s annoying man. Though it’s just computer speaker levels, hopefully I imagine you will be okay.
       
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Thanks, I will. I hope it gets better too. Will let you know. This has really traumatised me though as it was such a loud noise.
       
    7. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Anyone else have any thoughts on this nightmare scenario?

      How loud are ship air horns, and from what distance?

      Also, where are the horns positioned?
       
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Yes, the fact I had good earplugs in is my only thing I’m holding onto. I’m hoping that takes the main thrust of the horn out of it. It was just so, so f-ing loud and my ears feel sensitive that’s worrying me now.

      I just want to know a decibel level so I can work out the exposure. I can’t seem to find one though.

      It wasn’t painful to my ears, which is good. But it did resonate through my entire body.
       
    9. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Where were you when it went off?
       
    10. Badger19

      Badger19 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NIHL
      If you wore 25 dB plugs you'll be fine. You might have a small spike made worse by your anxiety.

      For noise to damage your ears in 4-5 seconds it has be to be around 104-107 dB. If you add your protection it has to be around 129-132 dB. There's no way it would have been that loud.
       
    11. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      The above would result in measurable hearing loss. In order to give one a serious tinnitus spike, the noise could be significantly less loud. This is the reason why I don't think OP ought to bother with finding out the dB of the sound he had been exposed to.
       
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    12. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Mate chill out and enjoy your holiday. I went away in July and went on a Jeep tour in Tenerife. I knew it was loud, way louder than predicted and stupidly I had no ear protection with me. I should have told my wife I'm not doing it. But she was looking forward to it. I'd never had a spike due to noise as far as I'm aware so I thought I'd probably be ok. I was wrong. As soon as we finished my already loud tinnitus was almost twice the volume. I was so angry at myself. I wouldn't say it ruined the rest of my holiday but it sure put a cloud over it.

      2 weeks later and things started to improve. The spike would lesson and lesson. Sure it kept coming back, but I had periods of rest. Eventually it went back to base level. And yours will too. Just be careful with your ears for the rest of the holiday. The spike may well not settle for a while but I'm sure it will. One loud noise is better than 4 hours of insanely loud roaring of a motor 1 foot away from your ear.

      So chill out, enjoy your holiday and try and relax. Better to have a spike on holiday than at work!
       
    13. BobDigi
      Kick ass

      BobDigi Member

      Location:
      UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      5.6.14
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud noise
      Were you using headphones?
       
    14. Earing
      No Mood

      Earing Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2010
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise
      Nope.
       
    15. Badger19

      Badger19 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2012
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      NIHL
      If you're talking about a temporary spike that will fade, I agree.
       
    16. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Most spikes ARE temporary, but I've read plenty of testimonies about permanent spikes resulting from innocent-sounding noises. Here is a tip of the iceberg:
       
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    17. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Around 4 or 5 car lengths away when it went off, and no protection.
       
    18. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      I have read that train horns are up to 176 dB!!!! So I imagine the ship one was the same. The thing I can’t find any info about is the distance from which 176 dB is measured. Thanks all the same though
       
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Rust
      Fine

      Rust Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      (2008 initially) 2015 as I know it today
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Initially stress, but noise exposure made it worse
      Cheers mate! I appreciate it. You do speak good sense and I am definitely trying to enjoy my holiday and not let it affect me all the time. I got drunk last night so that’s a start!
       
    20. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still not sure. TMJ & Neck Problems most likely.
      Hi @Rust -

      Have things improved for you since late September?

      Sorry to hear about your tinnitus spike from the time spent on the ferry. As @Bill Bauer mentioned, hopefully it will only be temporary and will fade with time. I am an Oceanographer and have spent considerable time at sea on research vessels and ferries, so hopefully I can answer some of your questions about the horns on the ferries and provide some advice based on my experiences. Please see below -

      I do not know the exact volumes of the horns on ferries, but horns on big rig trucks reach up to 150 dB and on trains up to about 175 dB (as you also mention). With being on the water, I would assume ferry and ship horns are just as loud or even louder as when used they will need propagate long distances over water. Also, from my experiences, the larger the ship, the louder the horns are; although this may be more of a subjective observation.

      On the ferries I have been on, air horns are usually located port and starboard just next to the wheelhouse where the controls and navigation lie. Ferries usually have horns located at the bow and stern as well. Wheelhouses on ferries are usually close to mid-ship, so air horn placement allows for their sound to propagate in all directions. On other ships, a good rule of thumb is, the larger the ship, the larger the area that has to be covered, so more horns will be used. Placement of horns will also vary based on type and size of ship. If planning other trips on ferries in the future, if you can locate the schematic of the ship design, then ferry placement should be indicated on them. Also, a quick call to customer service/relations for whatever company operates the ferry should yield at least the placement of the horns on the ferries in the future.

      Ferries always blast their horns before arriving at and departing from port, for routine navigation, and possibly on a rolling basis like in especially foggy weather to alert passing ships of their presence and location (ex. http://boatus.org/study-guide/navigation/sounds/). The latter is especially why these horns need to be loud. Ferries and other ships also communicate with their crew and other ships using these horns (e.g., for man overboard scenarios). Different combinations of long and short horn blasts indicate different things.

      For the first part of the question, please see above. As for how loud a horn blast will be at a certain distance is not an easy thing to gauge as it will depend on winds, weather, prevailing temperatures, any materials that the sound waves propagate through before reaching your location (that can accelerate or slow them down), and your location relative to surfaces capable of reflecting sound to produce echoes (you can be doubly-screwed in this situation but chances are on a boat some sort of echo will be produced) just to name a few. I can send you some equations but it will be a lot of math and without the correct atmospheric and meteorological measurements, it will be hard to calculate the exact volume at a certain distance. From a relative standpoint though, here are a few bits of information -

      1) Effects of air pressure and air density essentially cancel each other out in terms of sound wave velocity which leaves temperature as one of the most important controls on how loud something is perceived as it propagates away from its source.

      2) Sound waves move faster in warm air and slower in cold air. However, due to thermal stratification in the atmosphere (atmosphere has different layers with distinct temperature signals), parts of sound waves will move faster than others. During the day when it is hotter near the surface and colder higher in the atmosphere, the bottom of the sound wave will move faster at the bottom and slower at the top causing the sound wave to tilt and refract up towards the atmosphere away from our ears (things are not as loud and do not propagate as far). However, if it cooler at the surface and hotter higher up in the atmosphere, then the top of the sound wave will be moving faster than the bottom causing the sound waves to turn over (think of a ocean wave breaking as it approaches shore) and refract downward towards the ground where you will be causing sounds to be louder and to be heard from farther away. These horns are definitely louder on the Arctic Ocean than the tropical Pacific Ocean.

      3) Winds distort sound waves as they travel thru the air. Winds generally carry sounds in the same direction they are blowing. As sound meets wind, some portion of the sound waves will be accelerated (perceived as louder and carried further from the source) and some portion slowed down (perceived as softer and more indistinct from the ambient background and carried a shorter distance from its source). Generally a good idea to position yourself upwind from a horn on a boat on a windy day.

      The same thing happened to me the first time I installed a system of underway sensors in the bow thruster room of a ferry when the engines and bow thrusters were running and the horns sounded signaling we were leaving port without hearing protection. I had ringing in my ears for a couple of hours afterward, but it eventually subsided and I learned my lesson quickly - USE HEARING PROTECTION!

      I still go to sea and spent much of the last month on the boats in the Salish Sea and the NE Pacific Ocean. Nowadays, I always wear soft foam ear plugs and may layer hearing protection using a pair of noise-cancelling earmuffs. I always keep the earmuffs handy if I need them.

      Hopefully, but take steps in the future to reduce effects of noise damage and tinnitus exacerbation when transiting on ferries and other ships moving forward -

      1) Call ahead of time to ask about horn placement and possibly volume on the ferry you are traveling on. I have tried this before.

      2) Layer your hearing protection when on the ferry or at least keep a second layer of hearing protection handy.

      3) Check the winds and temperature for the time and day you will be transiting. If outside, locate yourself upwind of a horn if possible. Gauging temperatures in the different layers of the atmosphere is difficult and I do not know of a place to get this info off the top of my head, but if it is going to be cold then count on sounds being refracted back down towards to you which means they will be louder and propagate further from their source. Prepare accordingly.

      4) Try to stay away from metallic surfaces and other solid materials that may produce echoes (harder than it sounds, but echoes can be nearly as loud and prolong noise exposure even if only by seconds).

      5) Stay inside your car or inside the sitting areas of the ferry, but still wear hearing protection. This should at least reduce the perceived the volume of the horn blasts as being inside should provide some degree of insulation from the sound and the outside of the ferry may reflect some of the sound waves outward from your location thereby reducing the volume even further.

      6) Remember that ferries always blast their horns before departing from and arriving at port.

      I wish you fair winds, calm seas, and minimal horn blasts on your next voyage.
       
    21. oceanofsound26
      Sleepy

      oceanofsound26 Member

      Location:
      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Still not sure. TMJ & Neck Problems most likely.
      A couple of additions -

      From the relative standpoint, the closer you are to the horn, the louder it will be. Pretty obvious thing I forgot to mention in my first post.

      Change to - If outside, locate yourself upwind of a horn if possible and as far away from the horn as possible.
       

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