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Dr Dirk Max Johns' attempt to discredit the WMU report into fatigue issues is truly astonishing ('Fatigue: another inconvenient truth', June 2021 Telegraph.) It implies that ship owners don’t think they have a problem when it comes to fatigue amongst their crews. They do have a problem, and a very long standing one. 

Everyone who works at sea knows it, and anyone who has spent a lifetime at sea understands that the ever-decreasing size of crews, among a host of other factors have led to this dangerous position. 

I was involved in two studies involving fatigue, and both these earlier studies have now been followed by the comprehensive WMU report. All of them going back years tell us just one thing: fatigue is a very big problem, one that has yet to be addressed by the ship owners, and apparently still not even recognised as such! A disgusting state of affairs that can only be addressed with international legislation. 

While Dr Johns may claim the report was 'merely contract research funded by trade unions' he fails to understand that the core reason for these fatigue issues lies with his own members, the shipowners. 

Nick Balls

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