Check out this remarkable story by Paul Tough in the New York Times magazine A Speck in the Sea, the story of a working fisherman, John Aldridge, who fell overboard from the deck of a lobster boat in the middle of the night off the tip of Long Island, of the search for him, and of his own efforts to survive and increase his odds of being found. It's a long read - but worth it. It filled me with huge respect for the hard-working brave men who risk their lives to put food on our plates, not to mention great admiration for the US Coast Guard and the volunteers who searched so diligently to find a "speck in the sea."
Then read this opinion piece by Mario Vittone on gCaptain, also about Aldridge's experience and commercial fishing generally, Trying Very Hard To Die: The Preventable Disease in Commercial Fishing. (Vittone has twenty-two years of combined service in the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard and writes regularly on maritime safety.)
Vittone seems to think that commercial fishermen almost have a death wish. His article details the various actions that Aldridge could have taken to have avoided his accident in the first place, and the things that he and his fellow crew members could have done to mitigate the risks and improve his chances of being rescued.
"Perhaps it is time for commercial fishermen to realize that their job is more dangerous than it needs to be, that most of the risk in their work is unnecessary, and perhaps they should stop trying so hard to die out there."
Harsh words? Or common sense? What do you think?