Editor’s Note

Monday, October 11, 2004

Frankly, I ‘m tired. Having passed yet another summer and now embarked upon the path of Autumn 2004, my schedule is packed not only with work and the requisite travel, but the schedule of a fourth grader and the myriad of after school and weekend activities, not to mention the pile of paperwork from school and clubs. To tell the truth, I would rather evaluate the merits of a corporate consolidation than be forced to decipher the nuances of my son’s ‘school picture’ package. But my over tiredness has little real world consequences, the worst being a late afternoon nod-off in yet another meeting, or a missed ‘snooze’ alarm in the early Dawn, meaning I’m a half hour late to work.

For mariners, being tired has a completely different meaning. Tired for mariners can mean life and death; for themselves, their crewmembers and potentially the general public. Fatigue has long been cited as a major factor in maritime accidents, yet according to Dennis Bryant and his ‘Asleep at the Wheel’ commentary in this month’s Government Update (starting on page 9) precious little has been done to remedy the matter. While technological development is often positioned as an answer to this conundrum, it is merely a factor in the equation, rather than the solution itself.

Bridge technology evolution has multiplied exponentially in the past decade, and there is nothing to suggest that the trend will not continue. Companies that continue to develop new and innovative solutions for the marine market: on the navigation, communication and total vessel management fronts; will prosper, as increasingly – whether it be by market demand or legislation – owners will continue to adopt these advanced solutions on vessels of every shape and size.

That said, the challenge for vessel operators becomes not only ensuring that the mariner is adequately outfitted for the task of safe and efficient navigation, but that its crews are appropriately trained, educated and managed.

This formula for success –technology, training and effective management – is not an option, it is a necessity.

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