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Marine Notices 2010
Marine Notice No. 16 of 2010 - Safe Manning, Hours of Work and Watchkeeping
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29 June 2010


Fatigue has been identified as an important contributing factor to maritime casualties and to health problems of seafarers. One of its sources is excessive hours of work or insufficient rest. Convention No. 180 (Seafarers Hours of Work and the Manning of Ships Convention) aims to limit the maximum hours of work or to provide minimum rest periods for seafarers.

All ships must be sufficiently manned to ensure that seafarers working on board are allowed at least the minimum rest periods required by the law and to ensure that watch systems are so arranged that the efficiency of all watchkeeping personnel is not impaired by fatigue.  Additionally, duties should be organized so that the first watch at the commencement of a voyage and subsequent relieving watches are sufficiently rested and fit for duty.

Ireland has set limits for minimum rest periods(1) for seafarers on ships registered in the State wherever they may be and foreign ships when in a port in the State and these are set out in Annex I. 

The limits specified in this Marine Notice apply only to ships operated commercially, they do not apply to fishing vessels and pleasure vessels. Hours of work and rest on fishing vessels are governed by separate legislation(2).

Schedules of service at sea and in port (including minimum periods of rest per day) are to be posted on board where all seafarers may see them and records of hours of rest periods are to be maintained.  Both should be in the formats shown in Annex II.

If the records or other evidence indicate infringement of provisions governing hours of rest, the competent authority of the State may require that measures are taken so as to avoid future infringement.  Record keeping and routine analysis of the hours of rest should form part of the International Safety Management System (ISM) on board.

Annex III gives further guidance on recording and calculating rest periods for compliance with the legislation.

(1) S.I. No 532 of 2003 European Communities (Merchant Shipping)(Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003

(2) S.I. No 709 of 2003 European Communities (Workers on Board Sea-going Fishing Vessels)(Organisation of Working Time) Regulations 2003

Director General,
Maritime Safety Directorate,
Department of Transport,
Leeson Lane,
Dublin 2.

29th June 2010.