Category: education

What Went Wrong? New Year Casualties….

It’s been an active beginning to 2019 in terms of maritime casualties.  The phone at the Panama Marine Accident Investigation Department was likely ringing off the hook with three major incidents on Panama-flagged vessels in the first two days.  The first three weeks of the year have produced a wide range of serious casualties…and they are likely just the tip of the iceberg in terms of incidents and near misses.

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Quicker and easier than falling asleep…

Harry Potter asks his godfather’s spirit, “Does it hurt?” after he’d passed away.  The answer Sirius Black gave was, “Dying?  Not at all. Quicker and easier than falling asleep.”

That answer may be familiar to enclosed space victims. 

The air we breathe consists of several major components.  Oxygen, critical for human life makes up about 20.9% of that air.  That majority of air is made up of nitrogen – close to 78%! The remaining 1% largely consists of argon (~0.93%) and carbon dioxide (~0.04%).  It doesn’t seem that much could go wrong with this atmosphere, but taking away critical components or adding toxic substances can kill us in an instant.

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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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