In recent years, many tidal turbine projects have been developed using composites blades. Tidal turbine blades are subject to ocean forces and sea water aggressions, and the reliability of these components is crucial to the profitability of ocean energy recovery systems. The majority of tidal turbine developers have preferred carbon/epoxy blades, so there is a need to understand how prolonged immersion in the ocean affects these composites. In this study the long term behaviour of different carbon/epoxy composites has been studied using accelerated ageing tests. A significant reduction of composite strengths has been observed after saturation of water in the material. For longer immersions only small further changes in these properties occur. No significant changes have been observed for moduli nor for composite toughness. The effect of sea water ageing on damage thresholds and kinetics has been studied and modelled. After saturation, the damage threshold is modified while kinetics of damage development remain the same.