Fatigue in Mariners
Fatigue has long been an issue recognised in the marine industry and has been associated with several accidents at sea. Project MARTHA was launched in 2013, to look at the growing international issue of fatigue in greater detail.
The study aimed to get a better understanding of fatigue, as well as the psychosocial issues associated with long-term fatigue and motivation during long tours of duty. The study was completed over three years by collecting data from industry through questionnaires, diaries and actigraphy watches.
The research conducted under Project MARTHA’s found that:
- Tours of duty over six months may lead to increased levels of fatigue, loss of sleep quality and reduced motivation;
- Night-watch keepers are most at risk of falling asleep on duty;
- Captains feel stressed and fatigued at the end of their tours of duty, and require significant recovery time.
It was also acknowledged that managing the risk of fatigue can improve the health of crew and minimise near-misses, incidents and accidents at sea.