Fatigue — it’ll bite you
Fatigue will cost you
When an incident causes an oil spill, the price is high. Costs can include state penalties, federal penalties, natural resource damage assessment and restoration, damaged/destroyed vessel, lost income, and medical bills. Incidents often endanger lives, cause oil pollution, and cost the vessel owners for salvage, cleanup, environmental damages, and penalties.
For one man, fatigue cost nearly $70,000.
Control fatigue before it controls you
There are things you can do to reduce the chances of an accident as the result of fatigue. With long work hours, rough seas, and small crews, they’ll require some thought and effort.
Tips for crew
- Make quality sleep time a priority.
- Make your sleep space as dark and quiet as possible.
- Get as close to 7-8 hours of sleep a day as you can. Use down-time to take a nap.
- Avoid using drugs and alcohol that can hurt sleep quality and quantity.
Tips for owners and captains
- Make thoughtful and informed decisions about scheduling. Understand how improper scheduling can fatigue your crew.
- When possible, consider requiring a minimum of two persons on watch in the wheelhouse at night.
- Provide a good sleeping environment for crew members.
- Listen to and address crew member concerns of inadequate rest. Regularly re-evaluate staffing and scheduling decisions based on conditions.
More information on fatigue
- Fishing, Fatigue, and the Crew Endurance Management System (U.S. Coast Guard)
- Crew Endurance Management (U.S. Coast Guard)
- Sleep Tips (Alaska Marine Safety Education Association)
- Fatigue and Maritime Operations (Washington Ecology)
Captain Eager’s story
Hear the captain’s story and the advice he gives in retrospect.
82 fatigue-related incidents in the last five years
The Coast Guard and Ecology documented cases of fatigue causing marine accidents. Fatigue-related groundings of commercial fishing vessels on Pacific Northwest shores occur regularly.