Category: Incidents

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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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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