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Fatigue in Seafarers

Fatigue is defined as extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  Early onset of fatigue can cause loss of productivity whereas advanced stage of fatigue can lead to accidents while working on board the ship.

There are a few possible causes of fatigue.  Some of the common causes are insufficient sleep, lack of quality sleep due to health disorder, prolonged period at sea or poor living conditions on board.

How can you protect yourself from fatigue?


  • Sleep

Sleep is the most efficient way to fight fatigue.  A person must have between 7 to 8 hours of quality, uninterrupted deep sleep.


  • Rest

Apart from sleep, rest can also help in fighting fatigue.  Taking short breaks at work can actually help seafarers stay alert.


  • Exercise

You might be thinking you are already so physically and mentally tired, how to possibly drag yourself to do exercises.  Exercise can actually increase your energy levels and boost your brain health and memory.


  • No alcohol and caffeine

Seafarers should avoid alcohol and caffeine preferably six hours prior bedtime.


  • Timely Repatriation

Some seafarers are not repatriated timely when their contract ends.  Thus they spend extended period of time on board the ship and this can cause them to experience fatigue on board.  If the crew is indeed facing fatigue when he is on board, he must flag it up to his superior or the ship owner.

Have you ever experienced fatigue on board?  Do you think companies are doing enough to tackle this issue?  Share with us your thoughts by commenting below.