Worse things still happen at sea: the shipping disasters we never hear about
Eight missing from a cargo ship that sank in the Pentland Firth, another grounded near Southampton – these local accidents remind us that the ocean is the most dangerous workplace on the planet. So why do 2,000 seafarers die each year, and what can be done to make them safer?
I take poorly to planes. I am a nervous, panicked and unsettled passenger. In the worst moments, I take Valium, and perhaps – inadvisably – a drink, too. I sit in my seat trying not to grip things too obviously, saying my mantra as the plane rocks through turbulence: “Pretend it’s a ship. Pretend it’s a ship.” I tell myself that the air is water, and that ships rock constantly on water, so what’s the difference? Sometimes it works.
I am terrified of planes, but calm on ships. I spent five weeks on a container ship and only felt unsafe when it was in pirate waters. I was on a huge metal object, buoyant on water, operated by the latest technology and highly trained seafarers. I felt safe.
Source: Guardian Transport