A web site for Commercial Fishing Vessel Owners, Operators and Crew
Commercial fishing requires constant vigilance and concentration.
Studies of brain functions have proven that humans need 7 to 8 hours of continuous sleep for the brain and nervous system to function properly.
The lack of sleep contributes to poor decision making.
One of the conclusions of the investigation into the KATMAI sinking is that the crew suffered from chronic fatigue due to a lack of adequate sleep/rest as a result of extended fishing operations. Survivors stated that they typically worked 16-18 hours per day and slept only 2-6 hours per day when fishing. Based on testimony, all crew onboard were deprived of sleep. Fatigue was a factor that may have affected the Captain's decision making process when he decided to proceed to Dutch Harbor in lieu of finding shelter for the F/V KATMAI until the storm passed and unnecessarily exposed the vessel to heavy winds and high seas.Fatigue may have reduced the survivability of the crew after abandoning the vessel by limiting their physical abilities.
Tips to fight fatigue in Commercial Fishing
Crew Endurance Management Pamphlet - Manage crew endurance risk factors and protect situational awarness
USCG Crew Endurance Management Program Website: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/cg5211/cems.asp