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THE ILLS OF SEAFARERS
This issue includes two papers on the health of seafarers. To investigate traumatic deaths in British merchant shipping, Roberts and Marlow1 analysed records spanning 1976–2002—a million seafarer-years at risk. The 835 deaths were mostly accidental, but included suicides, homicides and poisonings; 185 deaths involved disappearances at sea. The accidental mortality rate was 28 times that of all British workers over the period. Rates, although declining, were still up 16-fold in recent times. The authors call for urgent improvements, including better safety awareness, avoidance of certain practices, and care for those at risk of suicide. Meanwhile, Hansen et al2 studied the causes of hospital admission …
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