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  • Offshore Working Hours

    Please correct me if I am wrong throughout this. I would just like a little clarification.

    As far as I am aware, vessels working offshore have unique working patterns.

    When operating in DP mode, the pattern of which I am told is 6 hours on, 6 hours off. This does coincide with the ILO's working hours and does include, of course, a uninterrupted 6 hour rest period.

    Is this enough sleep? The National Sleep Foundation recommend a minimum of 7 hours -6 at a push. With this work pattern, one would be lucky to get 5 hours 30 minutes of sleep.

    Although Margret Thatcher managed to get by on 5 hours sleep a day and achieved the age of 87, is this damaging our health?
    "Knowledge is gained through experience and experience is just another name for our mistakes" - Albert Einstein/Oscar Wilde
    "Choose a career that you really enjoy and you will never have to work a single day in life."

    Experience with Container, General Cargo and Cruise vessels.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Lewisscott22 View Post
    Please correct me if I am wrong throughout this. I would just like a little clarification.

    As far as I am aware, vessels working offshore have unique working patterns.

    When operating in DP mode, the pattern of which I am told is 6 hours on, 6 hours off. This does coincide with the ILO's working hours and does include, of course, a uninterrupted 6 hour rest period.

    Is this enough sleep? The National Sleep Foundation recommend a minimum of 7 hours -6 at a push. With this work pattern, one would be lucky to get 5 hours 30 minutes of sleep.

    Although Margret Thatcher managed to get by on 5 hours sleep a day and achieved the age of 87, is this damaging our health?
    You'd be lucky to get 5 hours continuos sleep on any type of ship in my opinion, regardless of whether you're on 4on 8off or 6on 6off.
    ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

    ? Mark Twain
    myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
      You'd be lucky to get 5 hours continuos sleep on any type of ship in my opinion, regardless of whether you're on 4on 8off or 6on 6off.
      Surely this can't be good for us?
      "Knowledge is gained through experience and experience is just another name for our mistakes" - Albert Einstein/Oscar Wilde
      "Choose a career that you really enjoy and you will never have to work a single day in life."

      Experience with Container, General Cargo and Cruise vessels.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Lewisscott22 View Post
        Surely this can't be good for us?
        I personally don't mind it - I've learned to sleep whenever I can, especially now that I am on call 24/7 as well and everything always seems to happen in middle of the bloody night!
        ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

        ? Mark Twain
        myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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        • #5
          No, it probably isn't good for us, there are countless studies attesting to that.

          Likewise, there are countless studies indicating that spending 9 hours a day sat at a desk is bad for your health, communting stress is bad for your health, and a whole host of other 'work ashore' problems are bad for your health. So to only be doing it 6 months of the year at sea means your probably coming out on top overall!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by condeh View Post
            No, it probably isn't good for us, there are countless studies attesting to that.

            Likewise, there are countless studies indicating that spending 9 hours a day sat at a desk is bad for your health, communting stress is bad for your health, and a whole host of other 'work ashore' problems are bad for your health. So to only be doing it 6 months of the year at sea means your probably coming out on top overall!
            Very true. I do wonder if 'catching up' on sleep during leave will counteract the defects.
            "Knowledge is gained through experience and experience is just another name for our mistakes" - Albert Einstein/Oscar Wilde
            "Choose a career that you really enjoy and you will never have to work a single day in life."

            Experience with Container, General Cargo and Cruise vessels.

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            • #7
              If I come back from a trip where I have been doing a high % of sixes then I struggle to get back into a normal sleeping pattern at home. When we are on sixes I'm lucky if I get 5 hours at all. It's usually only about 4 hours solid kip. Having said that your body adapts fairly quickly. Having power naps where you can helps. If you have a nice Captain then after an intensive period of sixes they can step into the watch pattern and you can all do 3 on 9 off and catch up on missed sleep. But let's be honest, the working hours are one of the reasons why offshore wages are higher.
              They told me I was gullible and I believed them.

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              • #8
                Yes - it's bad for you. I always felt like crap after a couple of months of watchkeeping, even if sometimes I got more sleep in terms of total hours than the day-workers.
                Even when you are not watchkeeping everything happens at oh crikey a clock and you never sleep properly anyway because some comedian is using a pneumatic hammer above your cabin or the engineers have turned the heating up so the paint is melting or you are in a hurricane and your cans of deodorant are rolling around the bathroom like ball bearings in a metal can.... or (while I'm at it) the Chief Engineer is listening to loud music next door or the OOW does not answer the BNWAS while in the bog, or the reception accidentally put a call from the Philippines through to your cabin or you hear a loud 'bump' and you worry that the thrid mate has run over a fishing boat and are waiting for the call...
                So no. Don't go to sea if you like sleeping. ILO is something of a joke. It is 'hours of rest' not hours of sleep.


                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...el-so-bad.html
                Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                • #9
                  I find I sleep better on ship than at home.

                  It's all about getting a good balance. When I'm at home I have long lies all the time and go to bed pretty late.

                  On ship I get at most 7 hours sleep a day , coupled with better diet and exercise as well as better weather I feel much healthier...

                  That is on a cruise ship tho...

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                  • #10
                    "Previous studies have shown that disrupting the body clock has a serious impact on health raising the risk of heart attacks and strokes by more than 40 per cent."

                    I know it is just a study, but yikes.
                    "Knowledge is gained through experience and experience is just another name for our mistakes" - Albert Einstein/Oscar Wilde
                    "Choose a career that you really enjoy and you will never have to work a single day in life."

                    Experience with Container, General Cargo and Cruise vessels.

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                    • #11
                      Well, consider it a motivation for either going ashore, or getting a Captains job ASAP!
                      Cruise ship Captain with experience on-board Passenger Vessels ranging from 5500-150000 GRT.

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                      • #12
                        I don't know how the old man gets any sleep at all with numptys like me upstairs...

                        Sent from my XT1032 using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          What other industry allows people to go without more than a 6 hour break for months on end? Do doctors do it? Lorry Drivers? Aeroplane pilots? I'm not an expert on other industries rest hour requirements, but the marine industry somehow seems to think that if you put someone on a ship they somehow become superhuman and the laws of nature don't apply.

                          Anyway the hours of rest require one period of a minimum of 6 hours of rest, so if you are required to go to the bridge/deck/engine room 10-15 minutes before watch to hand over, then you are only getting 5 hours 45-50 mins "rest", which breaks the regulations.

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                          • #14
                            An interesting article on the bbc relevant to this topic.

                            "After several days of sleep patterns similar to those followed by night workers - three days of night shifts with only four to five hours sleep in 24 hours - the mice lost 25% of the brain cells, in part of the brain stem."

                            Maybe the slogan for joining the merchant navy could be "Go to sea and become a vegetable".

                            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26630647

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                            • #15
                              I get into watches pretty quickly, and I find that 4/5 hours sleep is enough for me. I guess its just down to how your body can adapt as an individual.
                              Ex-South Shields Cadet

                              Currently trying to pass exams...

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