Abandoning Ship


I just read the very fine article in the NYT about crimes at sea, what happens aboard some of the shipping vessels that bring our wide screen TVs and cheap clothes to market, and it is truly shocking.


I am doing research on what happens to stowaways, and this article makes things look very grim. But the crew of those same ships seem to suffer the same conditions a lot of the time. What kind of gangsterism is this? Read! And add something in the response section.

My own issue with shipping has, most recently, been how ships have de-stabled the environment, both ecological and professional, in Savannah. There, the city widened and deepened the river to accommodate bigger and bigger ships. This, to outdo the competition up the coast, I guess, and so they could do what the politicians always want — “create jobs!” The result is a dwindling supply of fish, a rise in the salivation of the river and area marshland, the erosion of micro systems, and the increase in international feet on the ground looking for entertainment, viz. sex. How do you accommodate for hundreds more men every half hour in a small southern town? Who drink and are starved for company? It’s not slaked from the slot machine. My book, Laerka, proposes that some of these ships bring women with them, unwillingly. Press ganged, as it were. When you read the NYT article, it seems that my fiction might not be such a far cry, given that several crewmen interviewed for the story weren’t fed for weeks, had no water to wash in, and left the ship with miserable illnesses and the risk of no pay for early leave-taking.

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