Fatigue problem big issue for fishing industry

Fatigue problem big issue for fishing industry
New Zealand Herald – Auckland,New Zealand

Fatigue problem big issue for fishing industry

by Michael Griffin

When the skipper of the fishing boat Joanne fell asleep at the wheel, the vessel collided with the fully laden tanker Hellas Constellation at the approaches to Tauranga Harbour early one May morning.

The same month the fishing boat Recovery 2 ran aground while enroute from Greymouth to Nelson when the watchkeeper fell asleep.

Earlier this year two other vessels – the Kathleen G and the Physalie – ran aground in the Marlborough Sounds because their skippers were fatigued and fell asleep.

And about 2.15am on March 26 the Bronny G ran aground on Banks Peninsula.

The three-man crew was forced to scramble across the rocks to safety. The crew member who was on watch had fallen asleep.

No one was seriously injured in any of these incidents, but they are all part of a major health and safety issue for the fishing industry — fatigue.

In a survey last year a significant number of seafarers admitted making “little mistakes” or “poor decisions” because they were fatigued, including watchkeepers “nodding off” on midnight to 6am shifts.


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