Grenada Warns Mariners of Subsea Volcanic Eruption

Published Mar 14, 2018 4:38 PM by The Maritime Executive

Grenada's National Disaster Management Agency (NaDMA) and the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Center in Trinidad have issued an advisory to shipping to warn of increased activity at a submerged volcano. 

The government has imposed a three-mile vessel exclusion zone around the volcano, known as "Kick 'em Jenny," due to the hazards posed by volcanic gases. Large underwater discharges of gas can pose a hazard to ship stability, warned Prof. Richard Robertson of the Seismic Research Center. The center does not expect seismic activity severe enough to trigger a tsunami. 

“Volcanic episodes at Kick em’ Jenny, since 1939, usually consist of several eruptions lasting over several days before returning to repose; therefore, further eruptions should be expected in this episode,” said NaDMA. 

Kick 'em Jenny, located about five miles off Grenada, is among the Caribbean's most active volcanoes. While its activity has never resulted in any recorded deaths, some suspect that gas emitted from the volcano was responsible for the disappearance of the schooner Island Queen in 1944. Gas bubbles lower the density of the water, affecting buoyancy. As a precautionary measure, Grenada maintains a permanent 1.5 km exclusion zone around the volcano, and it expands the zone to 5 km at times of heightened activity.