The Effects of Fatigue on 41-FT Utility Boat Crewmembers
Interim research rept.,
NAVAL BIODYNAMICS LAB NEW ORLEANS LA
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The U.S. Coast Guard USCG is concerned that prolonged boat operations may produce excessive fatigue, which can contribute to accidents and injuries and degrade operational capability. This study assesses the effects of fatigue on 41-ft Utility Boat UTB crewmembers. Twenty USCG UTB crew members participated. Four-man crews were trained to baseline then tested, seated in the below cabin, every two hours during 16-hr simulated missions in both calm and heavy seas. Performance tests included tracking, four-choice reaction, addition, memory and search, and manual assembly tasks. Subjective tests included mood and motion sickness questionnaires. Tests were administered via a computer, using a visual display or appropriate manual input devices. Fatigue plus motion increased response times to the four-choice, memory and search, and manual assembly tasks during hours 9-16 at sea. Tracking performance declined sharply during the first two hours, then continuously improved during hours 3-16. The mood scales indicated progressive increases in negative effect for fatigue, sleepiness, depression, activity feelings, and happiness. Motion sickness increased during the mission and with heavy seas. These results generally support the crew scheduling guidelines specified in USCG COMMANDANT INSTRUCTION 5312.15A, which limit cumulative crew underway time during a 24 hr period to 10 hrs for 0-4 ft seas and 8 hrs for 4-8 ft seas.
- Stress Physiology
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics