Fatigue Risk Management On The Horizon?

 fatigue, maritime safety news, stress  Comments Off on Fatigue Risk Management On The Horizon?
Mar 052012

At two stages of the ‘voyage’, the participants wore 10 electrodes that measured their brain activity, over two watch periods and two sleep periods. Data obtained enabled the research teams to analyse whether crew fell asleep during their watchkeeping work and were unable perform any key tasks.

Human science is a rarity in the merchant marine domain, there is nothing equivalent to the US Navy’s excellent TADMUS programme, so the release of preliminary findings of Project Horizon are welcome.  Undoubtedly its release will be met with “we knew that already” but its real value is putting number to what was already known, or suspected, and giving less wriggle room on the issue of safe manning – a markedly different issue from minimum manning – at the expense of seafarers being imprisoned for falling asleep on a poorly manned bridge.

The results of program, which involved 90 volunteers of a mix of nationalities and gender reflecting current ship manpower, under realistic living and work conditions, in a variety of simulators at Warsash and Chalmers, are chilling by not unexpected.

Says the prelimary report: “In all four of the watchkeeping sub-groups (4/8 and 6/6 at Chalmers and 6/6 deck and engineers at Warsash) there was evidence of full-blown sleep. Incidents of sleep on watch mainly occurred during night and early morning watches. At least one incident of microsleep was detected among 40% of team 1, 4/8, at Chalmers (the 0000-0400 watch), around 45% of team 1, 6/6, at Chalmers (0000-0600 watch) and around 40% for team 2, 6/6, at Chalmers (0600-1200 watch). At Warsash the rates varied from more than 20% of the 1800-0000 watch to 0% of the 0600-12000 watch. Falling asleep on the bridge is a main indicator of the effect of the watch on dangerous states of the crew”.

Key findings include:

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NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations on Pilot Fatigue, Bridge Design

 Accident, Accident report, fatigue, maritime safety news, pilot, pilotage  Comments Off on NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations on Pilot Fatigue, Bridge Design
Nov 132011

A swathe of new safety recommendation have been issued by the US National Transportation Safety Board in the wake of its report on the Eagle Otome/Dixie Vengeance incident in January 2010. The recommendation cover pilot fatigue, vessel traffic control systems and the suitability of the Sabines-Neches Channel, among others.

On Saturday, January 23, 2010, about 0935 central standard time, the 810-foot-long oil tankship Eagle Otome collided with the 597-foot-long general cargo vessel Gull Arrow at the Port of Port Arthur, Texas. A 297-foot-long barge, the Kirby 30406, which was being pushed by the towboat Dixie Vengeance, subsequently collided with the Eagle Otome. The tankship was inbound in the Sabine-Neches Canal with a load of crude oil en route to an ExxonMobil facility in Beaumont, Texas. Two pilots were on board, as called for by local waterway protocol. When the Eagle Otome approached the Port of Port Arthur, it experienced several unintended heading diversions culminating in the Eagle Otome striking the Gull Arrow, which was berthed at the port unloading cargo.

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MAIB Catches A Bit Of Sleep

 AHTS, collision, contact, fatigue, grounding, maritime safety news, stress  Comments Off on MAIB Catches A Bit Of Sleep
Aug 202011

Fatigue or sleep inertia?

Sleep and fatigue are familiar tropes on MAC posts and two recently released reports from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch highlight two issues, one familiar, the other less so – stress, fatigue and sleep inertia.

In the case of the FV Jack  Abry II grounding on the Isle of Rum, 31 January 2011, the skipper, who had been alone on watch in the wheelhouse, fell asleep and failed to make a course alteration. He had joined the vessel in Lochinver on the day of the accident after travelling from his home in France. It is likely the skipper became fatigued through a combination of personal stress, a prolonged period without sleep and poor quality rest before leaving his home, much of it possibly connected to domestic issues.

The wheelhouse watch alarm was not used, nor was best use made of the available navigational aids and crew.

Fatigue is not just lack of sleep and heightened stress levels. The brain has a rhythm of alertness, a circadian rhythm, which can increase the effect of fatigue. Taken together these effects do not just increase the chances of falling asleep but also increase the chances of bad decision-making. In the case of FV Jack  Abry II, the skipper did not take advantage of appropriately trained crew onboard to provide additional lookout duties. Continue reading »

Video Of Note:Fatigue At Sea

 fatigue, maritime safety news, publications  Comments Off on Video Of Note:Fatigue At Sea
Jul 072011

Fatigue in the maritime industry often seems like the weather: everybody talks about it but nobody does much about it. The results are groundings, collisions and a variety of other incidents leading to deaths and injuries of seafarers. A video, Fatigue At Sea, from the Cradiss Seafarers International Research Centre highlights the issues very well.

A small scale survey among fishermen shows that 16 per cent has experiences a fatigue-related incident or accident and 44 per cent had worked to the point of exhaustion or collapse. The figures may be different for the merchant shipping industry but, as incidents like the Jambo, Antari and Sen Neng show, fatigue remains a significant factor.

The reasons for fatigue vary, from the seafarer’s ‘get the job done’ culture, lack of effective regulation, physical and mental work demands and shipowners who close a blind eye to the problem.

You can watch Fatigue At Sea here: Continue reading »

Apr 132011

Watchkeepers on the bulk carrier Sheng Neng 1 were so fatigued after supervising the loading of coal at Australia’s Gladstone port that they were not fit to carry out a navigational watch, concludes the Australian Transport Safety Board’s investigation into the subsequent grounding.

No fatigue management was in place and the grounding occurred because the chief mate did not alter the ship’s course at the designated course alteration position. “His monitoring of the ship’s position was ineffective and his actions were affected by fatigue”, says ATSB.

The ship’s hull was seriously damaged by the grounding, with the engine room and six water ballast and fuel oil tanks being breached, resulting in a small amount of pollution.

At 1705 on 3 April 2010, the Chinese registered bulk carrier Shen Neng 1 grounded on Douglas Shoal, about 50 miles north of the entrance to the port of Gladstone, Queensland. The ship’s hull was seriously damaged by the grounding, with the engine room and six water ballast and fuel oil tanks being breached, resulting in a small amount of pollution.

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Moller-Maersk Fined For Sleepy Seafarers

 fatigue, Maersk, maritime safety  Comments Off on Moller-Maersk Fined For Sleepy Seafarers
Oct 272010

image At a hearing in Newcastle Magistrates Court, AP Moller-Maersk, owner of the UK-registered container ship Maersk Patras pleaded guilty to eight charges of failing to provide adequate hours of rest for the crew and one charge of failing to improve the situation.

In September 2009, the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, MCA, conducted an audit on board the Maersk Patras at Bremerhaven. It was noticed that the captain, officers and other crew members had not been having the required periods of rest as laid down by international agreements.

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Kerloch Grounding: Thoughtful Skipper Slept

 Accident, Accident report, fatigue, grounding, Safety Alerts  Comments Off on Kerloch Grounding: Thoughtful Skipper Slept
Oct 052010

kerlochliferaftA skipper who elected to take the entire watch as his vessel returned to port because he thought his crew were tired, grounded the vessel after he fell asleep in the warm, unventilated wheelhouse and the watch alarm failed to wake him.

The incident, detailed in a report from the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, MAIB, has led to the publication of a flyer for the fishing industry

At 1725 on 20 February 2010, the Jersey-registered crabber Kerloch (J235) was returning to port when she ran aground on Crow Rock, off the Pembrokeshire coast. The vessel began to sink rapidly and all four crew donned their lifejackets, then deployed and got into the liferaft. The crew were recovered from their liferaft by another fishing vessel and subsequently transferred to the Angle ALB and then ashore. There were no injuries and no pollution.

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Is Onboard Training Hazardous?

 CBT, fatigue, training  Comments Off on Is Onboard Training Hazardous?
Sep 052010

Wyn Price

Fatigue leads to bad judgement, poor co-ordination and accidents. Training and education potentially reduce accidents, but can onboard training eat into rest hours? It’s a question mooted by Wyn Price, superintendent, audit and inspection at BP on a Linkedin group that caught MAC’s attention.

Says Price “…this is unfortunately one of the downsides of Computer Based Training , CBT, and Video On Demand, VOD, packages that are found onboard vessels more and more now. They can and do infringe into the rest hours unless operators ensure that they are not there for viewing during “off duty” periods, but properly regulated in order to get the best out of such products. ”

Is he right? What do you think?

New IMO Provision to Fight Fatigue

 fatigue, IMO  Comments Off on New IMO Provision to Fight Fatigue
Jun 292010

image Under what are already being termed the Manila Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, watchkeeping officers and those whose duties involve designated safety, prevention of pollution and security duties are required to be provided with a minimum of 10 hours of rest in any 24 hour period and 77 hours in any 7 days.

The hours of rest may be divided into no more than two periods, one of which shall be at least 6 hours in length, and the intervals between consecutive periods of rest shall not exceed 14 hours.

Inevitably there are exceptions “to ensure a continued safe operation of ships in exceptional conditions”. Under these conditions the rest period may not be less than 70 hours in a seven day period and the exceptional arrangements must not last for more than two consecutive weeks. Intervals between exceptions may not be less than twice the duration of the exception. In addition: Continue reading »