S.O.S. - Stress on Ships Project


Infinity Niente

Imagine you’re doing your usual job. And suddenly everything radically changes. Your colleagues start speaking strange foreign languages you can’t understand. You try to use English, but they’re not skilled as you, so communication becomes lame, inaccurate, complicated. By consequence, working together becomes a kind of thrilling challenge, where the line between doing well and doing bad gets thin. And this gets hard, if your job is handling dangerous goods or having responsibility over other people’s lives.

Then imagine that at the end of your work shift you can’t go home. You’re only allowed to change room, to go somewhere else from your operative workspace, to a spot where spending some free time or having rest, but always remaining at your work place. You take a look around you and find no friends, no family, no dear ones, but just the same colleagues, having free time or rest, as you, and always speaking strange languages and acting strange habits you can’t deal with. So you look out of the windows to see some familiar landscapes, but all you see is always the same infinity of nothing.

Thus, you realize that home, loving ones and friends are far away. Usual behaviours, language and customs are almost forgotten. The reality where you used to live has completely transformed in something so uncomfortable to be perceived as an anomaly.

Imagine you’re forced in this kind of situation for a long time. Weeks. Months. Would you be able to concentrate on your tasks and duties, when called to do your job? Would you be able to go on bearing great responsibilities with steadfast professionalism and competence? Or you would rather be easily and gradually stress-stricken?




Stressi su Laivat

Actually, what has been described above, is the normal situation a sea worker is used to live in. No real change between workplace and home. There’s one name for both: ship. A small place floating, most of the time, in the middle of an infinity of nothing.

There the maritime worker is. There he has to stay, at least until the end of the trip. And in the ship he is plunged in a babel of people, with different habits and languages.

Put in these uncomfortable e psychologically pressing condition, the sea worker, especially when high-ranked as the officers, bears on his shoulders the responsibilities for high-value goods, people’s lives, and for the ship itself.

He should be able to manage at the same time the complex and delicate mechanism called “ship”, with everything it carries, and the personnel under his responsibilities. He tries to perform in environment and conditions that ease the uprising of stress statuses. And stress is his enemy number one: when it raises, if not kept under control, it lowers and deteriorates attention, concentration, awareness, management skills, care for safety.

Not by case, statistics and studies by major maritime international institutions recognize in this kind of “human element” the cause of most of the accidents at sea, but not only. It is also one of the main reasons for sea professionals to early quit their career, depleting the entire sector of valiant human resources, and preventing the maritime entrepreneurs to make long-term investments on reliable professionals. With “reliable” meant as being able to check and recognize, in himself and in the others, arising stress statutes, and having tools to manage and solve them in time.

S.O.S. project wants to be the answer.


Fondazione Accademia Italiana della Marina Mercantile - Italian Shipping Academy Foundation Istituto Tecnico Trasporti e Logistica “Nautico San Giorgio” Technical Institute for Transports and Logistics “Nautico San Giorgio” Chalmers University of Technology Turun yliopiston merenkulkualan koulutus - ja tutkimuskeskus - Centre for Maritime Studies - University of Turku Pîrî Reis Üniversitesi - Pîrî Reis University Akademia Morska w Szczecinie - Maritime University of Szczecin Klaipedos Universitetas - Klaipeda University