Unfortunately it is not an extreme aberration, it is an all too common occurrence within the FoC community with 3rd world crews and corrupt owners operating under maritime administrations more interested in generating cash flow than ethical standards.
Even more unfortunately, the description above now applies to (purportedly) American shipowners and operators. It should have been impossible for a company like Transatlantic to operate for so many years with such a well documented history of unseaworthy ships and working conditions that we normally associate with FoC rustbuckets. The blame for this debacle lies squarely on the shoulders of the USCG, MARAD, TransCom, and the Department of Defense who knew exactly who and what they were dealing with while handing over taxpayer cash to a foreign carpetbagger.
If shame and accountability were not among the attributes abandoned by politicians and regulators there would be more than a few resignations and dismissals in the agencies charged with oversight of Transatlantic’s activities.
TAL has given us a peek at the future of the American merchant marine under an increasingly corrupt and uninformed political regime.