Vessel Interaction : Have you considered the possibility?

One radio call you do not want to hear from the gangway watch during cargo operations is, “The ship is moving!”  Unfortunately, this is exactly what was heard during a recent port call.  Shortly after berthing and starting cargo operations on a container vessel with multiple gantry cranes, the vessel started to move ahead.  The first warning was by an alert seaman at the gangway.

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Near Miss : Where is the Maritime Safety Reporting System (MSRS) in the United States?

Let’s talk about near miss reporting.  If there is a subject sure to get eyes rolling and profanities muttered under people’s breath in the maritime industry, it’s the topic of near misses and their reporting.  Near misses, near miss reporting systems and accident investigations are of great interest to me and in my humble opinion, should be of great interest to mariners as a group.  As the readers start rolling their eyes and muttering under their breath, the prevailing thought is likely, “WHY?!”  The answer is something I say quite often, “I’d much rather learn from someone else’s mistakes or near misses than make them myself.”

Then again, as colleague of mine will often say, “Sometimes you have to realize that your purpose in life is to be a cautionary tale for others.”

It’s up to you to decide which path you might follow.

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Fatigue : Is it something that you can just “get used to?”

Fatigue.  It’s a way of life for so many of us.  From first responders to students to the transportation industry, it’s a badge of honor to pull the all-nighter or push through an extended period with no rest.

The military is another community for which fatigue is no stranger.  U.S. Naval Special Warfare (NSWF) pushes their troops to the limit during initial training (Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal Training (BUD/S)) under very controlled circumstances, including stressors such as hypothermia and sleep deprivation.

But, at what cost?

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