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Drug and Alcohol policy in shipping

(a letter written to appeal against strict, zero-tolerance, D&A policy in some of the shipping companies)

Dear Sir,
This is in response to the “zero tolerance” drug and alcohol policy implementation, which is getting a little too merciless on seafaring community as though to make an austere saint of us!
The sea farers in the days of yore were the outcast, convict people with immense skill and desire to live and survive. Perhaps they savoured all the taste of women, wine and ate away all the dodos of this planet, feeding their will to live more in the rigorous’t of ocean waves.
Then suddenly dawned upon the mankind the rule of “Governments”, which captured the “companies” for un-social and environment un-friendly policies. A new era of “Drug and Alcohol” abuse came upon the ravelling sea-farers, which I agree was and is, a need of the hour to check more damages to the seas and oceans, from happening. It tamed the sea-farers slowly into the family-people who started to crave for more time to be with their friends and families far on shore.
But the strength of the ocean waves continued to be the same! There were no more dodos left to eat; the punishment they got in return for eating them up has deep indented into making the seafarers almost unseaworthy. The ruthless and merciless enactment of the D&A policy has left sea-farers as vulnerable soft pieces of flesh, more timid than the land-lubbers.
In fact the land-lubbers have started to appear more ravelling so much that the sea-farer now seems to be becoming the extinct group who need some protection from the clutches of many a ruthless works of law.
Losing a job all for being under the Influence sends a chill down their spine even stronger than the beer. They question if it’s really worth being a sea-farer to face the onslaught of law more than the waves of the ocean when the law seems to be making a select target of them. What more does the Governments want of them through the seafarers’ Companies, -- to make an ascetic of them?
A balanced check was essential perhaps in those days to bring the wild roaming sea-farers into the grip of Governments. In present times, a little more squeeze might ooze the will out of them, bereft as just a bony flesh.

Previous related tag : Hypocrisy in us


  1. I'm kinda new to this sort of stuff.
    What exactly is the deal with the Drug&Alcohol policy in shipping?

  2. Hello ARN,
    I am exhilerated to see a common man's interest in smthing which otherwise is uninteresting to non-related people.
    Shipping has produced the biggest environmental lawsuit of the world through a spillage of some tens of thousands of crude oil in every incident. The last known biggest disaster was that of ship 'Exxon Valdez' at the coast of Alaska in 1989. The US has to enact one new and specifically formed law called OPA-90 (OPA=Oil Pollution act) to bring justice to the affected coastners. The company, a big oil gaint, went bankrupt because of this one single incident in paying the liabilities which were to the tune of US$400Billion.
    The entire accident was due to the ship's captain not able to come on an emergency call by its third officer, as the captain was drunk.! Eversince there has been a D&A policy compulsory in all companies thru an IMO mandate. Interestingly the Exxon, despite suffering, did not make a zero-tolerance policy but only a well regulated consumption policy-- maybe becoz Alcohol is a social necessity, as i understand.
    In contrast, we Indian minds, who are in a habit of accepting, promoting,and forming hypocritical laws, have formulated on our own a zero-tolerance regime, implying as though that we never consume alcohol in any form! that extreme hypocrisy in our law-making is doing greater injustice, against our own people by Indians themselves.
    that's what i wanted to put my voice on.


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