...those were the words my father said when I told him that I had an opportunity to get a job on a ship, 11 years ago.
Yesterday I saw the tug "Steven-Scott" cross our stern while we were loading cargo in Bayonne, NJ. It left me with a nauseous feeling in my stomach to see her working. Her captain, Brendan O'Leary, was lost over the side while at sea last week. Just disappeared while he was on watch. In our line of work, this happens from time to time, and it's always a tragedy, most especially because the circumstances will never be known, and there is no chance to avoid further loss of life in the future as a consequence of lessons learned from such a loss.
Enough time has passed that a search had already been called off a few days ago for Capt. O'Leary, though I heard this morning that his body was successfully found and recovered yesterday around Montauk Point, NY. Cold comfort, though, for myself, I feel it is better to have the closure of a successful body recovery when someone is lost at sea, for the sake of the family. He leaves behind a wife and children, and I know that all of us extend our deepest sympathies to his loved ones.
I wonder who’s going to be the next to use that seatbelt?
15 minutes ago