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USCG Alternative watch system

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  • USCG Alternative watch system

    Hiya

    We have been looking at the alternate watch system and I was wondering what your thoughts were on it. I think it would only work on certain types of vessel but it seems decent.

    2/O does from 0000-0600
    C/O does from 0600-0800 giving him time to brief the crew and get the permits sorted and the day kicked off.
    2/O does from 0800-1000 and then had 14 hours of rest/work/maintenance.
    3/O does from 1000-1200 and then has 6 hours to relax/maintenance.
    C/O does from 1200-1800 and then has 12 hours rest/planning the work for the next day and review the previous day
    3/O does from 1800-0000 and then has a 10 hour rest period.

    I think this looks like a pretty good system with big blocks of rest and would be good for long deep sea passages with single officer watch keeping, it obviously can't work on offshore vessels where the watches need to be doubled etc

    what are your thoughts on it as a tool for combating fatigue

  • #2
    Seems a much better system ! Sometimes finishing at midnight then trying to get to sleep then back up at 7.15 you can only get 6hours sleep

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    • #3
      Yea 8 hours off isnt 8 hours sleep, by the time you shower and maybe check facebook or watch an episode of whatever your watching it isn't enough

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
        Yea 8 hours off isnt 8 hours sleep, by the time you shower and maybe check facebook or watch an episode of whatever your watching it isn't enough

        Yeh it's not ! Facebook ha the luxury of some !

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        • #5
          Yea, well facebook for some of the month, until the internet runs out :P

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
            what are your thoughts on it as a tool for combating fatigue
            What do you think causes fatigue in the first place? It certainly isn't the 4 on 8 off watchkeeping routine IME.

            Periods in excess of 4 hours on watch are not a good idea IMO. That does cause fatigue, and certainly loss of concentration.

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            • #7
              It's very different on deck, but I have worked 4 on /8 off with a couple of hours extra after one of the watches, 6 on / 6 off, 8 on / 8 off and 12 on / 12 off in the engine room and I much prefer 12 on / 12 off.

              I think if you can get a decent period of rest every day then you are much less likely to suffer from fatigue, I was rarely tired working 12 on / 12 off, whereas 6 on / 6 off, I was like a zombie.

              I know people who have tried the coastguard watches and loved them and those who have tried them and hated them, I guess it's horses for courses.

              As for the periods in excess of 4 hours, I think it depends what you are doing, mates on ferries regularly work 12 on / 12 off, but it is split between arrival / departure, sea passage and cargo, so it is not 12 hours of monotony. I can imagine that 12 hours dodging ships in heavy traffic would leave you pretty drained and that 12 hours following a red line on the radar with nothing happening would leave you comatose, but in the right conditions I can't imagine that a 6n hour watch and a 2 hour watch every day would be too bad.
              Go out, do stuff

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              • #8
                I have done the USCG watch system - it is excellent! You feel very well rested, I thoroughly recommend it.

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                • #9
                  I think fatigue is caused by the disrupted sleeping pattern due to as Jonathan said not actually getting 8 hours of sleep in your 8 hours off. Periods of 6 hours watch are ok IMO, it's how the whole offshore industry works and everyone is knackered due to lack of sleep but the watch period is fine I think. Plus under the USCG system, if you are getting a good long sleep of say 10 hours, a 6 hour watch isn't an issue.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
                    I think fatigue is caused by the disrupted sleeping pattern due to as Jonathan said not actually getting 8 hours of sleep in your 8 hours off.
                    I usually get about 10 hours sleep a day when watchkeeping 4 on 8 off. Why aren't you having two sleeps?

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                    • #11
                      I do sleep twice in a day, but I'm of the opinion one big block of unbroken sleep is the most efficent for combatting fatigue

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Martyboy View Post
                        I do sleep twice in a day, but I'm of the opinion one big block of unbroken sleep is the most efficent for combatting fatigue
                        Absolutely. Although one big block of sleep and a wee siesta at lunch time never did anyone any harm.
                        Go out, do stuff

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                        • #13
                          Ha well my last company the daily routine was finish watch at 12 go down maybe fall asleep 12.30/1 get up around 7.15/7.45 have breakfast if time ha watch till 12 then go down have lunch till 1 go on deck till 4/5 come back shower go for dinner then finish around 6 go an relieve chief for watch go back to cabin then it's pretty much 7 before you know it. Being a cadet I never had to relieve the chief part but I was hard to find time to sleep in the afternoon

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by JonathanI View Post
                            Ha well my last company the daily routine was...
                            Working 12 hour days with poorly timed meals and meal reliefs I would not expect you to be well rested. The problem is not 4 on 8 off, it's the other stuff you are doing!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve View Post
                              Working 12 hour days with poorly timed meals and meal reliefs I would not expect you to be well rested. The problem is not 4 on 8 off, it's the other stuff you are doing!
                              Welcome to the real World!
                              Go out, do stuff

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