When a crew on a merchant ship is abandoned in a foreign port, a familiar pattern of events often unfolds:
- Fuel for generators runs out.
- Salaries stop being paid.
- Shore leave is denied.
- Food and water stops being supplied.
- Services provided to the ship go unpaid.
- Often the ship owner cannot be traced or remains in the background.
- Sometimes the shipowner threatens the crew, or makes false promises.
- On board, phone cards run out of credit and seafarers are unable to call home.
- Relationships suffer as boredom sets in and tempers flare.
- Families of seafarers are left begging for help.
This is a familiar pattern of events, and is very often a precursor to the ship being abandoned.