Suicide and sea

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JK
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Suicide and sea

Postby JK » Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:26 am

It is now the biggest cause of death at sea

Suicide rates among seafarers have more than tripled since 2014 and are now the most common cause of death at sea, according to figures from the UK P&I Club. Crew deaths attributed to suicide have increased from 4.4% in 2014-2015 to 15.3% in 2015-2016.


Cadets seem to most at risk with the culture shock of seaboard life.


https://www.ukchamberofshipping.com/lat ... al-health/

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Big Pete
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Big Pete » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:35 am

A very sad thing to read, I first read this a few days ago, but didn't reply.
I think we all know why, Life at Sea has always involved hard work, long hours, and long separation from friends and family,
But there used to be a Social Life on board, time in Port to relax, and a sense of being part of a team, there was also some respect from people for our skills and abilities. All the positive points have been lost.
Someone asked me if I missed going to Sea, and I replied, "No, but I miss what it used to be like to go to Sea" Sums up the last 45 years at Sea, really.

BP
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Merlyn
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Merlyn » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:45 am

Doing my time1960-65 there was a song in the hit parade which everyone in the engineroom would chant all day.
" Fings ain't what they used to be"
How prophetic some 50 years plus ago with what BP is saying.
Remembering The Good Old days, when Chiefs stood watches and all Torque settings were F.T.

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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby JollyJack » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:48 pm

Well said BP. I've stood on the transom and watched the surreal display at night, where the luminescence of the wake seems to entice one more step.....just one, into the warm water..,.,.,. but resisted and turned back.
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Big Pete
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Big Pete » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:49 am

I think there is always a thought that things were better in the past, in order to keep us all sane we remember the good, and rapidly forget the bad, so the past always appears to be better than the present. However, the complete Social Isolation on modern ships is something new, with small multi national crews where nobody shares your language, basic assumptions about Life or thought processes, and younger people desperately try to maintain a virtual social life on Facebook and ignore the real people they live and work with.

Sorry to hear of JJ's Dark Time, I had thoughts of throwing myself under a Bus at one point when a mistake I made led to the ship blacking out and running aground, and had to dock for repairs to the fore peak. However, I have a loving Wife and Son and they thought of their reaction stopped me, but I suffered symptoms of what would now be called Post Traumatic Stress for years. No illusions, It is a tough life at Sea.
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JK
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby JK » Fri Jul 07, 2017 4:32 am

JollyJack wrote:Well said BP. I've stood on the transom and watched the surreal display at night, where the luminescence of the wake seems to entice one more step.....just one, into the warm water..,.,.,. but resisted and turned back.


The first trip FG, I was sternly warned about that desire by the 2nd engineer.

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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby The Dieselduck » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:52 am

Indeed a dire statistic. Not sure what it was like in the "old days" but certainly the increasing isolation, no shore leave, no easy communication home, much less, outside of that, financial pressures and other problems from shore winding up on-board (from the limited communication home) certainly have impacted me. Spartan accommodations, tiny vessels doing big jobs; quest for efficiency is not a subject I am against but there is a need to limit everything being boiled down to numbers, which I think leads to decision being made that do not center around humans.

Its all things we know, but like everything else these days, we feels powerless to do anything about it. Decision seem to be made without this information, even though it is available, just to make sure the steady wheel keeps chugging along.
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Revolver » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:02 am

JollyJack wrote:Well said BP. I've stood on the transom and watched the surreal display at night, where the luminescence of the wake seems to entice one more step.....just one, into the warm water..,.,.,. but resisted and turned back.


I must admit too I've had the same/similar feeling. Now; not to say it was a suicidal thought at all... Moreso an almost hypnotized vision brought on by the, as JJ described, enticing luminescence of the wake at night. But then you snap out of the vision and have a gut roll as you realize if you ever hit the water (especially) at night you've got no damn chance. Ugh.

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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Revolver » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:17 am

Big Pete wrote: I suffered symptoms of what would now be called Post Traumatic Stress for years. No illusions, It is a tough life at Sea.
BP


Something else kind of relatable; I'm sure we've all had the close call to almost game over moments doing what we do.
Over a year ago I had a 'near miss' alright, if my reaction time was 1.5s slower my top half would have been crushed. Lights out.

I actually read a job advert 3-4 days ago for the company I worked with when that happened and had a flashback. Again, ugh.
Even writing this my I had flashbacks and my guts rolled a few times... I'm not sure, but that might considered to be PTSD too.

Tough life at sea, yeah. But what doesn't kill us makes us stronger! Right? Hahaha

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Big Pete
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Big Pete » Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:31 am

Yes Revolver,
That is PTSD, hopefully it will happen less often and less intensely over time, If it is bad it makes it harder to get enough sleep to be fit for work and makes it more likely that you will have another accident, or make mistakes, it can become a vicious circle. Take care of yourself.
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby D Winsor » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:19 am

This is increasingly becoming a conversation that is long overdue. Unfortunately, based on my own personal experiences, I don't see things changing any time soon despite the current efforts to break down the stigmas surrounding mental illness.
I still suffer from effects of past experiences where I was expected to "Suck it Up and move on" by those who were more interested in protecting an imaginary "Future Next Quarter Bottom Line" or "Margin of Profit".
Sadly, despite words to the contrary, the welfare and safety of those that actually contribute to the bottom line is being crushed by increasing workloads and isolationism. What else can be expected when the costs related to crew welfare becomes little more than just another line item in the "Cost of doing business" that can easily be reduced even further or eliminated with technology by owners.
Troubleshooting 101 "Don't over think it - K.I.S.S. it"

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Big Pete
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Big Pete » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:26 am

It is very interesting that we are all "opening up" about past traumatic experiences, a generation ago people were told to go out and get drunk and then forget about it, and then nobody would dare talk about about the problems as it would have been seen as a sign of weakness in a Macho culture,
The Senior people on board are likely to have had traumatic experiences too, so if you are suffering it may be worth opening up a bit to them, as they may be more supportive than you expect, depending on the individual of course..

BP
It is always better to ask a stupid question than to do a stupid thing.

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JK
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby JK » Wed Jul 12, 2017 7:10 am

This is turnng out to be a very good thread and got me to thinking to the point I pulled out my dicharge book from the 80's.
I was a relief engineer and in the period between June 1982 and June 1983 was on 8 ships. I was a very new, green engineer and it about blew my mind with stress. Every two weeks, new ship, new plant and new crew.
After that I worked on an old steamer for a couple of years. Looking back I stayed too long, the ER dynamics where terrible. Physical threats were commonplace, there were several alcoholics on there. There was little effort from the CE to address issues. I was about 5'5" and 130 lbs at the time and shoving or pushes from other engineers or oilers happened. I had one watchkeeping oiler threaten to kill me. He was booted off that ship and ended up on one of the other ships. I had no doubt he would have tried to carry out that threat, if I ended up on there.
Depressed? Damn right I was.
I'd get up for watch and think, shower, coveralls, breakfast, suicide.... it would just pop in there. I'd think about it, then carry on.
Eventually things got better. I worked FG for awhile, then went back to the same organization. The ships got better, crews got better. Then I went ashore to technical support which I think I was better at.
Its funny, 35 years later, I have gone further in career then my worst detracters.

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Big Pete
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby Big Pete » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:00 am

" 35 years later, I have gone further in career then my worst detracters."

JK, haven'y you figured out after all these years that your biggest detractors could see you were way cleverer than them and would end up as a Chief or Super, way above them and were jealous?
Always been a problem for Bright young Cadets and Juniors working with Professional Thirds and Motormen who insist that they are just as good as anyone, but have a Super Tanker sized chip on their shoulder about their lack of Education and Intelligence.
When you are that young you just don't realise how bitter and twisted some people are, and how every time you solve a problem or do something better than they can, their hatred grows.

BP
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JK
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Re: Suicide and sea

Postby JK » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:38 pm

It took a long time for me to understand that.
When I started, the fellows were pretty near at the end of their career. And here I come, 21 and could do a lot of what they could. :lol:
I had the third push me for being 5 minutes late for watch. He was some surprised when I grabbed him by the coveralls and pushed back onto the steps and told him I'd kill him if he did it again. He never touched me again but boy he trashed me behind my back. No doubt he was the architect of everything that went on. When you don't have a CE that stops that behaviour it makes life tough.


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