News Maryland

1998: Investigative Reporting

Gary Cohn and Will Englund
For their compelling three-part series on the international shipbreaking industry, "The Shipbreakers," that revealed the dangers posed to workers and the environment when discarded ships are dismantled.

  • Scrapping ships, sacrificing men

    Salvage: As the Navy sells off obsolete warships at the end of the Cold War, a little-known industry has grown in America's depressed ports. And where the shipbreaking industry goes, pollution and injured workers are left in its wake.

  • 'You're going to die anyway'

    Brownsville: In this U.S. shipbreaking capital on the Mexican border, where labor and life are cheap, scrapping thrives amid official indifference.

  • The curious captains of a reckless industry

    Scrapping: The Pentagon repeatedly deals with shipbreakers with dismal records, then fails to keep watch as they leave health, environmental and legal problems in America's ports.

  • A Third World dump for America's ships?

    India: On a fetid beach, 35,000 men scrap the world's ships with little more than their bare hands. Despite wretched conditions, they say it is better to work and die than to starve and die.

  • Vessel's last voyage ends on Indian sands

    Beaching: An obsolete Russian freighter bearing gifts glides out of the night to end its days on the beach at Alang.