The news in New Zealand has been full of images of the environmental disaster playing out off the shore of Tauranga, with the grounding of the container ship Rena. We have all watched transfixed and horrified as images of oil coming ashore and polluting pristine sand and containers washing up at Mount Maunganui beach and Motiti Island flood the media, usurping even the Rugby World Cup for headline space.
Containers washing up on beaches...hmmmm, that rings a bell. I have had several phone calls and texts from folk commenting on the similarities between reality and a certain novel I happened to write, Containment.
In Containment the containers of the grounded vessel Lauretia wash up on Aramoana Beach near Dunedin. The Rena has struck the Astrolabe reef at Tauranga.
In Containment the locals looted the heck out of the containers, the beginnings of very bad things for a few. In Tauranga the locals have shown far more restraint, and the containers have been well guarded.
Phew, plenty of dissimilarities to make me feel not quite so bad, except for one little coincidence... I was born in Tauranga!