Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Morning Mariner: A Letter On Fatigue

Maritime engineer David Fiddler posted a letter last week on the gCaptain forum addressing the fatigue issues that lie at the heart of so many maritime casualties. Things have changed a lot since my first year in the maritime industry, when I was made to stand a 10-hours on/10 hours-off watch schedule that left me exhausted at least one day out of three. Even today, though, many captains I've worked with require watch standers to work a 4-hour "work period" in addition to their watches, often just to meet the requirements of a company job description. Fiddler looks at how an increase in inspections and paperwork, often with the supposed purpose of reducing marine casualties, may simply add to the problem. Read Fiddler's letter here.

I'm not sure which "article" Fiddler is referring to in his letter, but I suspect it's this one here from Hellenic Shipping News. For those on LinkedIn, there's an interesting discussion of this article in the Nautical Institute group.

The US National Transportation Safety Board has outstanding recommendations on mariner fatigue that the Coast Guard has not yet adopted. These recommendations have been added to the the Board's "Most Wanted" list. Click here to read the recommendations.

Maritime New Zealand had a very helpful site addressing mariner fatigue, including the poster above and many like it. Click here.

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