The sea has been indispensable to the growth and development of human civilization. Simply put, it is among the roots of our modern economy, and there is no way we could live without it.
However, the sea has always been an erstwhile ally, at best.
From the Odyssey to Moby-Dick, humanity has captured the majesty, power and sometimes cruelty of the Earth’s waters in our culture and literature.
A recent tragedy in the Black Sea, off the coast of Turkey, serves as another reminder.
According to the Maritime Executive, the MV Arvin, a 46-year-old Turkish freighter en route from the country of Georgia to Bulgaria, sought shelter from a powerful storm at the Bartin, Turkey, anchorage on Jan. 15.
As bad weather continued on Jan. 17, heavy waves snapped the Arvin’s hull in half, causing the ship to sink.
You can see video of the accident here, via the Turkish Ministry of Transport:
Of the 12 crew members — two Russian nationals and 10 Ukrainians — half were recovered alive by the Turkish Coast Guard, while, tragically, the other half were either recovered deceased or are still missing.
The Maritime Executive furthered that the Platform of the Sea Workers, a Turkish maritime union, issued a statement remarking that “in this video, we see how the lives of seafarers are played with by going through surveys even though the sheet metal of a 46-year-old ship has reached the breaking point.
“Just as it was certain that the MV Bilal Bal ship would sink four years ago, it was certain that the MV Arvin would sink.”
According to the Gulf Times, the Bilal Bal was a Turkish cargo ship that sank in the Black Sea with 11 people on board in 2017 under similar circumstances.
Mother Nature is a cruel provider, and the men and women who make great sacrifices on a daily basis deserve honor and praise.
It is hard to wrap one’s head around how something as majestic as the sea can be so terrifying — and yet mankind has nobly braved it for millennia.
Perhaps that is why old sea shanties are making a comeback in popular media.
Perhaps now, we again can truly understand the awe of creation and the realities of seafaring.
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