The Nation

At least 18 Polish seamen have deserted ship in recent days and gone to the Seward, Alaska, Police Department seeking asylum, Lt. Don Earl said. The exact number is not known because some Poles make their way straight to Anchorage, 126 miles by road north of Seward, and others seek out Alaska's Polish community before turning themselves in and requesting permission to stay. "Only a few have come to our attention," said Gary Johnson, Alaska director of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in Anchorage. Seward is a port call for the Polish fishing fleet working in the North Pacific and Bering Sea. Boats come in for crew changes, and Johnson said those seeking asylum appear to be evenly split between fishermen who have been at sea for six months and those who have just gone to sea.

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