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Costa controversy Cruise companies defend industry’s safety standards 27

Price of piracy Attacks costing world economy US$7bn a year 09

NL nieuws Twee pagina’s met nieuws uit Nederland 32-34

Volume 45 | Number 03 | March 2012 | £3.35


Revealed: the risks of fatigue

Scientific study shows scale of watchkeeper sleepiness ‘partner’


Nautilus is urging the shipping industry and regulators to act on the

findings of a major research pro- gramme which found that as many as 45% of watchkeepers fell asleep on duty during certain common working patterns. The results of the 32-month European Commission backed Project Horizon study were released last month —providing scientific proof of the way in which long working hours lead to potentially dangerous levels of sleepiness among seafarers. The €3.8m project made pio-

neering use of bridge, engine- room and cargo simulators at maritime colleges in the UK and Sweden to stage a series of week- long

‘voyages’ in which the

fatigue levels and performance of 90 experienced deck and engi- neer o•cers were measured dur- ing common working patterns. Announcing the results at a shipping industry conference last month, researchers said the study has taken understanding about fatigue at sea to a new level. ‘This is now scientific confirmation of things that those of us who have been in these positions at sea might have predicted,’ said Pro- fessor Mike Barnett, from Warsash Maritime Academy. And Nautilus senior national

secretary Allan Graveson told the meeting: ‘The issue for the indus- try now is can you afford to ignore the scientific approach? If it is not sorted out by interna- tional bodies, it will be sorted out in courtrooms somewhere.’ The research project aimed to examine the impact of six- on/six-off and four-on/eight-off watchkeeping patterns, with the volunteer o•cers working realis- tic simulated voyages between Fawley and Rotterdam. Some par-

ticipants were also exposed to a ‘disturbed’

off-watch period,

reflecting the way in which sea- farers may experience additional workloads as a result of port vis- its, bad weather or emergencies. Key findings include:

organisations from

zincidents of sleeping on watch were found within both watchkeeping patterns, and mainly occurred during night and early morning watches zat least one occurrence of sleep was detected among 45% of o•cers working on one of the 6/6 watch patterns and as many as 40% of o•cers working one of the 4/8 patterns zparticipants working 6/6 watches were found to get markedly less sleep than those on 4/8 zthe 6/6 regime was found to be more tiring than the 4/8 rotas zwatchkeepers were found to be most tired at night and in the afternoon, and sleepiness levels were found to peak towards the end of night watches zin both watch systems, the disturbed off-watch period was found to have a profound effect upon levels of sleepiness zreaction time tests, carried out at the start and end of each watch, showed clear evidence of performance deterioration —and the slowest reaction times were found at the end of night watches and among those on the 6/6 patterns zparticipants appeared to find it harder to deal with novel ‘events’, such as collision avoidance or fault diagnosis, as the

progressed zresearchers also noted a decline in the quality of the information being given by participants at watch handovers as the week progressed

Project Horizon involved 11

across the shipping industry — including Nautilus (representing the European Transport Workers’ Federation), the European Com- munity Shipowners’ Association, the International Association of Independent Tanker Owners, clas- sification society Bureau Veritas, the Standard P&I Club, the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency and Marine Accident Investiga- tion Branch, Warsash Maritime Academy and Chalmers Univer- sity in Sweden. World-leading sleep scientists from the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University were also part of the project, helping to devise the tests and analyse the impact of sleepiness on decision- making, reaction times and other key elements of performance. Researchers have been able to use the data to develop a new fatigue management toolkit for use by ship owners and man- agers, seafarers, regulators and others, to help arrange working schedules to mitigate risks to ships and their cargoes, seafarers, passengers and the marine envi- ronment.

Project Horizon coordinator

Graham Clarke commented: ‘Sea- farer fatigue is one of the biggest safety issues in the shipping industry, and this research has taken our understanding of the way in which the quality of sleep off-watch affects the sleepiness of watchkeepers on watch to a new and much deeper level. ‘It is hoped that the fatigue


management toolkit will be a last- ing legacy for the sector, provid- ing a resource that, by establish- ing improved working patterns, will help to enhance the safety of ships and passengers, and the welfare of seafarers,’ he added. gFull report—pages 23-25.

Cunard Commodore Christopher Rynd is photographed on Queen Mary 2's funnel last month to mark the ship's arrival in Fremantle, Australia. It is the first time the New Zealand-born master has taken the Cunard ‘down under' since being appointed Commodore in 2011. Queen Mary 2 is currently on a 108-night world voyage which left Southampton on 10 January and will feature the first ever circumnavigation of Australia by a Cunard ship before returning via the Suez Canal to Southampton on 27 April

Reprieve for UK training aid

FNautilus has welcomed the UK

government’s decision to maintain the £12m-a-year Support for Maritime Training scheme following a report which showed the long-term economic value of having sufficient experienced seafarers. The Union says new figures

showing how the number of British officers could decline by almost one- third over the next decade demonstrates the need for further action to boost recruitment and retention of maritime professionals. gMore reports — pages 7 and 21.


FWelcome agreement for waterway crews Nautilus helps negotiate a new agreement on inland navigation work hours —page 3

FCommunications — your views wanted How should the Union communicate with you? Take part in our survey —pages 36-37

FCriminalisation concern Nautilus voices alarm about the treatment of the Costa Concordia’s captain —page 48

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