The funeral rites for the world's largest ships are read on the beaches of the Indian subcontinent. When a super tanker or a cargo vessel reaches the end of its useful life, it generally limps towards Chittagong in Bangladesh, Alang in India or Gaddani in Pakistan. Piece by piece, it will be taken apart for recycling, its steel taken away to re-rolling mills.
The Gaddani ship-breaking yard north of Karachi. Thousands of men, mostly Pashto migrants, toil over the ships. They are seasonal workers, returning to their homeland near the Afghan border at harvest time. The job is one of the world’s most dangerous: workers are at risk from toxic chemicals, asbestos, a complete absence of safety equipment and frequent accidents and explosions.