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Old 07-19-2016, 01:30 AM   #61
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We are fortunate in that we also have a minimum of the two of us who are capable of taking over. Whether in a car or on a boat, I try to take a break periodically and typically every two to three hours. Fatigue is a huge issue at sea but lack of sleep and fatigue are issues in all workplaces and in schools. We've somehow convinced ourselves we can still fully function but all scientific tests show that we function less effectively.

The problem is employers who push crew to the limits and crew that is scared of the repercussions of not cooperating.

The regulations limit work to 14 hours in a 24 hour period and 72 hours in a 7 day period. Either of those might be tolerable if done for a very short period of time, but not done regularly. In manufacturing we did many tests which showed what employees could do for a short period and the loss as that time was exceeded. With work that was measured and on piece rate it's easy to track the numbers.

Looking at the 14 hour limit, well 10 hours is plenty to get sleep. Except, they only have to provide a 6 hour consecutive period and in 6 hours the most one will get is 5 hours sleep and you don't function at maximum ability with that. Anything less than 7-8 hours per day is a problem. Then do that 28 days in a row and you're exhausted. First, I think those regulations need to be followed, but more, stronger regulations are needed.

We're seeing people driven to exhaustion in all industries where companies lack the staff they should have.

Now, here is the link to the document referenced, the Crew Endurance Management Practices Guide for Maritime Operations. This was produced in 2003. While the science of sleep and fatigue has advanced since then, it's still an excellent document if owners would take it seriously. Every section of recommendations though starts with 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep which maritime regulations and practices do not require.

https://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5211/d...Operations.pdf
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Old 07-19-2016, 01:42 AM   #62
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And the OP has not come back to see the distances we have gone to...
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Old 07-19-2016, 05:47 AM   #63
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Typically on the Inland Marine Transport Industry is the 6 hour on 6 hour off schedule for 30 or so days. The engineer usually did not comply with this schedule and set his own hours. The cooks also set their hours around meals which started 30 minutes prior to a watch change with no meal at or around 2400. Capt. works the "front" watch (0600-1200 and 1800-2400) with the pilot working the back watch. I always enjoyed the back watch more than the front. Very few calls from the office, crew complaints, or problems between midnight and 0600. I did that for many years and still only sleep 4 or 5 hours at a time. Yes, a nap a day is a good thing.
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:04 AM   #64
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For 24/7 travel I have found 3 in crew to be a good minimum, 4 ideal.

With a watch sked of 3 on 6 off , plenty of time for sleeping and the other duties ,like cooking & washup.

With 4 aboard one person has a day off , and usually does the watch for whoever is the best cook.

This has worked for a number of sail journeys , Bermuda ,then to the Carib etc.

On a sail boat watch standing is mostly anti collision as all can notice when the wind picks up or dies. Steering is by wind vane.

On a power boat the fitting of Murphy gauges would meanm the watch stander would have a similar job , watch the compass , watch out for collision with the Esso Maru
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Old 07-19-2016, 06:59 AM   #65
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Smaller uninspected passenger vessels where there is only one qualified person I believe are limited to 12 hrs. unless volunteer to work more.


https://www.uscg.mil/pvs/docs/UPV_GU...11_rev2016.pdf


But have been on 3 day trips where there really was no set watch schedule. We just made sure no one was on watch for more than 12 hrs continuous and had a minimum of a 6 hr sleep period.


The most fatiguing schedule I have been on was none at all. Just being on call for 24/7 throughout the summer for assistance tows. If the calls all came at critical times, heat of day, sleep interruption, stressful towing, hard labor in the heat for salvage and ungroundings and they were all solo jobs....just driving a boat seemed easy.


The guys I felt for and was almost a little scared of standing watch were boarding officers on USCG vessels. They would have these exhausting boardings, have a ton of paperwork to do and had to fit it all around their normal shipboard watch schedule....PLUS their collateral duty assignments. Often saw them as walking zombies. That's where I parted ways with conventional USCG thinking on a few subjects.
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Old 07-19-2016, 09:02 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psneeld;
The guys I felt for and was almost a little scared of standing watch were boarding officers on USCG vessels. They would have these exhausting boardings, have a ton of paperwork to do and had to fit it all around their normal shipboard watch schedule....PLUS their collateral duty assignments. Often saw them as walking zombies.
Those conditions can put the boarding boys at odds with the boaters, without either party thinking about why.

As well, most boaters think it would be a cool job to get paid for boating and going aboard any boat you want to look at. Not a thought is given to those floaters you try to get aboard without them falling apart or the boater who just might want to put a new hole in your esophagus.

No thanks.
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:01 AM   #67
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Those conditions can put the boarding boys at odds with the boaters, without either party thinking about why.

As well, most boaters think it would be a cool job to get paid for boating and going aboard any boat you want to look at. Not a thought is given to those floaters you try to get aboard without them falling apart or the boater who just might want to put a new hole in your esophagus.

No thanks.
I am not talking recreational boarding...those can be stressful or demanding...but....usually they can quit them anytime.

I am talking at sea boardings of merchant ships and fishing vessels. Crawling around in full gear of some rancid fishing vessel counting and inspecting catch for 6 hrs, then doing it again in another few hrs is definitely a young sailors work. Plus like I said, watches, paperwork and collateral,duties inbetween. To also include suiting up in survival suits, a bone jarring ride over and climbing a ladder in sea conditions many just want to puke in.

Sure it's not battle conditions...but even the USCGs peacetime missions can be grueling for some. Those are the youngsters that if they ever get good deals...deserve them every bit.

Glad I flew helos and only FOUND those stinking boats....
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:16 AM   #68
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And the OP has not come back to see the distances we have gone to...
Copy that.

I have not worked on ships since the 80''s and it was 4 on, 8 off. But, as others have noted you have day work in between so its a long day either way. The money is good, but they are under paid in my opinion.

I watched a video of a container ship awhile back on youtube. A young OS captured their entire 4 month trip. Port time was limited, and they appeared to be working non stop. and not getting more than 4 hours of sleep. The life at sea, and a nice stop at port are no more thanks to shipping company front offices, a global economy, fuel costs...
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Old 07-19-2016, 10:17 AM   #69
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I am not talking recreational boarding...those can be stressful or demanding...but....usually they can quit them anytime.
I knew what you were talking about and just thought it was a good lead in for a reminder that it is not necessarily a sexy line of work.

On the other hand, I lived near a public dock about 10nm from the bowels of Vancouver. A dock where both the Harbour Patrol and Vancouver Marine squad were regularly boarded by young females for a 4 hour run up an arm where, damn it, there was no radio reception. That was a sexy job.
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