Fatal accidents among Icelandic seamen: 1966-86

Br J Ind Med. 1992 Oct;49(10):694-9. doi: 10.1136/oem.49.10.694.


Objective: To investigate whether fatal accidents, including drownings, have decreased among Icelandic fishermen and seamen.

Design: Historical prospective study. The study population was record linked with the National Register and the Register of Deceased to get information on water transport accidents (ICD-7, E850-E858) during the period 1966-86. The number of persons in each calendar year and the number of days at sea registered at the pension fund were both used as denominator to find annual mortalities.

Setting: Iceland.

Subjects: 27,884 seamen who were members of the Seamen's Pension Fund. The cohort included both fishermen and seamen from the merchant fleet.

Main outcome measures: Changes in mortality from all accidents and drownings from 1966-86.

Results: The mortality for all fatal accidents was 89.4 per 10(5) person-years and did not change appreciably during the study period. The mortality for drowning was unchanged at 73.2 per 10(5) person-years. The greatest number of drownings were among those 20-24 years of age but the mortality for drowning was highest among those 45-54 years of age.

Conclusion: Mortality because of fatal accidents and drownings among these seamen was high and did not conclusively decrease during the study period. Further preventive measures are needed.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Drowning / mortality*
  • Fisheries*
  • Humans
  • Iceland / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors