Astonishing incident occurred in the port of Belgium
Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS
Many of our readers will surely remember Thomas Mine Reed’s classic adventure story Sea Wolf. In it, a 12-year-old boy sneaks into the hold of a cargo ship to be locked away for a long time by an unsuspecting crew. As a result, the boy inadvertently takes a journey from Britain to Peru, and over the course of the story, battles ship rats, famine, and the sea. And in the end, having endured such trials, he falls in love with the sea forever and becomes a captain.
A very similar story happened earlier this year with a 15-year-old boy named Fahim from Bangladesh. On January 12, he played hide-and-seek with his friends at the Chittagong port. And so that no one would find him, the young Bengali climbed to the most inaccessible place – a shipping container, where he calmed down, trying not to give away his location with a single sound. Fahim, in fact, was not found for a long time, and the hot and humid tropical air left him exhausted. Somehow, he fell asleep. And when he opened his eyes, it turned out that the container was closed from the outside and there was no way out of it. It only remained to wait…
Meanwhile, the Bengali’s “steel cage” was loaded onto the container ship Integra, which sped off to Malaysia. Fahim desperately pounded on the walls, trying to get the team’s attention, but where is he there! On the high seas on a huge ship, in which a multi-storey building fits in the hold, extraneous knocks could hardly attract anyone’s attention.
Alone at the destination port, one of the stevedores still heard the sounds coming from the container and decided to check the cargo.
As the metal doors opened, an emaciated man appeared before the astonished workers, barely able to stand. No wonder, because he spent five days at sea without food or water. The young man was immediately taken to the hospital, where he was examined and treated a little. And then the police started asking questions.
Initially, the police decided that the boy was the victim of human traffickers. This kind of “live shipments”, unfortunately, is found quite often (see “And there was another case”). But then it turned out that no criminal network was involved in this. “Jung” was sent home to a happy family who no longer expected to see the boy alive.
However, one question remains unanswered: is Fahim now going to connect his life with the sea, like his predecessor from Mine Reed’s book, or vice versa, now he will not come closer than a kilometer to the seashore?
And there was another case
Cat traveled for three weeks eating sweets
In recent years, there have been several cases of human smugglers transporting people alive in shipping containers. For example, “free travelers” were shipped from Asia to the US or from Africa to Europe.
Living in a container for a couple of days is not that difficult, as there is definitely enough air for several people. One major problem, however, is the lack of light, which makes navigation in this iron box quite difficult, and psychologically it feels like you’re in a coffin.
These trips do not always end well. For example, in October 2022, workers found a decomposed corpse in a container that was removed from a ship carrying goods from Bangladesh’s Chittagong itself to Malaysia’s Penang. In 2016, the Indian port of Visakhapatnam police freed a young man from an empty Bangladeshi container and in 2017, one of the workers found himself in the same situation, although he was rescued from the “box” at the loading stage.
And in 2021, a stray cat turned out to be a prisoner of a freighter. He spent three weeks in a container en route from Ukraine to Israel. The animal would hardly have survived in such conditions, but it was “lucky” to be locked in a container with boxes of sweets. Thanks to this, the tailed one was able to partially maintain his strength by eating sweets along the way.