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Constantly fatigued - November 27th 2012, 09:17 AM

I am 16 years old and have just got a new job working on a 70 meter deep sea factory trawler off the shores of New Zealand. I have just done my first trip which was 8 weeks long but I found the hours extremely hard. The shift work the crew does on there is 6 hours on, 6 hours off, 24/7 for upto 2 months at a time. The whole time of the trip I was constantly fatigued, If I did nothing for more then 20 minutes my head would drop and I would fall asleep. I tried eating as healthy as I could, because the meals on the ship are literally 5 star, every six hours there is a meal waiting for you. I've tried sleeping the whole 6 hours off and all hours inbetween but I am still so tired everytime I wake up, I've never been so exhausted, the whole time all I could think about was going home to sleep for more then 5 odd hours at a time, I was just wondering if there is any specific healthy, high energy foods that I should try eating while I'm out there? Or is it just because teenagers need lots of sleep that I feel so tired? All the other crew is more or less fine half an hour after they wake up but I'm just destroyed right through, 24/7. What would be the best amount of sleep for the 6 on 6 off shift work? Any insight will be extremely helpful. I don't sail again until the 7th of January next year, and I will treasure every good sleep until then.
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Re: Constantly fatigued - December 3rd 2012, 06:21 PM

Hello Im really sorry that nobodys replied to you yet... ill try and give youmy advice..
It might be that because youve just started the new job your feeling really fatigued. The average human needs at least 8 hours sleep a day. So if your not getting enough thats probably why. They also say the sea air makes you tired, the other trawler men have probably had experience so they are used to the work and can deal with their tiredness whereas your young and not used to working in these conditions I dont know if this is any help? Wish you luck
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Re: Constantly fatigued - December 5th 2012, 12:05 AM

Being 16, yes you do probably need more sleep than others on the trawler. But you get long off-periods by the sounds of things, during which your body can recover. To my knowledge, working on trawlers is very physical, and if you're not keeping up your physical fitness whilst you're at home, then it's going to be harder to deal with the shift-work.

High protein foods are your friends - they help build muscle. You also want food that gives you lots of energy, so good carbs, like wholemeal bread, pasta, and brown rice, should be a large part of your diet too. Whilst you're on the trawler and have that 5-star food available, also be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables where possible.

Your body will not adjust to this kind of work straight away, it will take time. As far as sleep is concerned, where your six hours off falls during hours of darkness, sleep at least 5 of them. When your six hours off is during the day, do more relaxing things, and sleep if you can, but don't expect your body to automatically fall into the routine you desire.

After a few times on the trawler, you will be able to establish a routine that works for you. It may also help to talk to some of the people you work with to find out how they managed at first - nobody goes into a job like that and finds it easy straight away.

But yeah. Good food and good exercise while you're not on the ship will make it easier to cope when you are on the ship.
Good luck to you.
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