Last year, I was inbound to a port-that-will-remain-nameless, with the local pilot at the conn. As we maneuvered up a winding channel, the channel curved to port, yet the pilot ordered starboard rudder as we approached the next turn. Our 3rd officer, who had been onboard for over two months already and well-drilled in bridge resource management theory piped up and said, “Mr. Pilot – the channel goes to port, why are you using starboard rudder?” The pilot responded by glancing at the rudder angle indicator and out the window. He then turned and told the helmsman, “Midships,” followed shortly by, “Port 20.” The pilot then turned, smiled at the 3rd officer, and said, “Thanks.”
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?
For years, I have been preaching that 90% of our communication (actually 93% as noted in the video below) is non-verbal. Coming from a family where non-verbal plays no small role in our communications, this is evident on a daily basis. A medical doctor commented years ago that my wife and daughter could have an entire conversation without ever saying a word. That certainly wasn’t a surprise to me.