Found this story at www.forbes.com and wanted to see what you all thought about this whole mess.
<p style="text-align: left;]<font style="text-transform: uppercase; float: left;]SAN FRANCISCO - </font><span class=“lingo_region” id="lingo_span]
For nearly a year, six Chinese crew members of the cargo ship that crashed into a bridge and spilled 50,000 gallons of oil into <a rel=“nofollow” href=“http://www.forbes.com/reuters/feeds/reuters/2008/11/05/2008-11-05T231534Z_01_N05338672_RTRIDST_0_WELLSFARGO-UPDATE-3.html?partner=lingospot” style="border-bottom: 1px dotted; color: rgb(0, 51, 153); text-decoration: none; cursor: pointer; display: inline; font-family: Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif; font-size: 13px; font-weight: 400; font-style: normal;]San Francisco Bay have been detained by federal authorities.
Although they are under arrest as material witnesses, life is not as bad as it could be. They are not in jail.
Living rent-free in apartments and hotels, they have been permitted to roam one of the most beautiful cities in the world. They continue to draw their salaries, and each also receives $1,200 per month for witness fees, which exceeds the $900 monthly salary of at least one detained seaman.
But, as good as that deal may sound, the men have been fighting to return to their families and their lives in China. They already have been unable to celebrate important family birthdays and tend to sick relatives. One crewman’s wedding had to be delayed.
“They are unhappily detained,” said Douglas Schwartz, a lawyer representing the ship’s captain, Mao Cai Sun.
The sailors are stuck here in legal limbo because of their duties aboard the Cosco Busan. On Nov. 7, 2007, the ship struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, gashing its hull and releasing oil that killed thousands of birds and fouled beaches.
Prosecutors want the crewmen to testify in federal criminal cases against the ship’s U.S. pilot John Cota and Cosco Busan operator Fleet Management Ltd., which is accused of obstruction. Cota and Fleet Management, both of whom also face several lawsuits, have pleaded not guilty. READ MORE HERE
<p style="text-align: center;]<span class=“lingo_region” id="lingo_span]