Deck Crew Structure On Board Merchant Vessels

Jan 25 16:29 2013 Narcis Bacaintan Print This Article

Life on the ship of a vessel is quite distinctive from any other shore located jobs or organization. Each and every crew member holds a precise position and carries certain tasks in order to sustain the vessel operations successful. Mainly,Guest Posting the vessel’s crew has 2 types of seafarers: officers and ratings. Both these crew members can work either on deck or in the engine room. The Deck department the ship navigation, watch keeping, maintaining the ship’s hull, shipment, equipment and accommodation, caring for the ship’s life saving and firefighting equipment. The deck department is usually the one responsible with acquiring, discharging and caring for cargo. In accordance with the vessel’s hierarchy, the deck officers are the following: Master, Chief Officer, Second Officer, Third Officer and Deck Cadet (deck officer to be). The absolute authority on board a merchant ship is the Master. The full crew is under his authority. He is accountable for the safety, use and preservation of the vessel and takes care that every single crew member carries out his function accordingly. He is also in charge of the following: payroll, ship’s accounting, inventories, custom and immigration regulations, and the ship’s documentation. In order to be Master, a seafarer should firstly have several years of experience as a deck officer and also as Chief Officer. According to the vessel’s hierarchy, the first deck officer and the head of the deck department after the Master is the Chief Officer or Chief Mate. He is in charge with the ship navigation, watch duties, charging and discharging operations. The Chief Officer also guides all the other officers on deck, makes and posts watch tasks and implements the Master’s orders so that they preserve safe operations and maintenance of the vessel. Second Officer or Second Mate is the following in rank after the Chief Mate and the ship’s navigator, focusing on creating the ship’s passage plans and keeping charts and publications up to date. In addition to watch keeping, the Second Officer may also be designated to instruct the cadets on board or to meet the rank of security, safety, environmental or medical officer. The Third Officer or Third Mate is the fourth deck officer in command and is in most cases the Ship’s Safety Officer, responsible with guaranteeing the good working of the fire-fighting equipment and life saving equipments. He undertakes bridge watches and learns how to become a Second Officer. A Cadet on board a merchant ship acquires structured guidance and knowledge on the ship and learns the right way to become a deck officer. Apart from the officers, the deck department crew at the same time consists of ratings, like AB (Able Body Seaman), OS (Ordinary Seaman) and Boatswain. The AB is part of the deck crew and bears duties which include: taking watches, steering the ship, supporting the Officer on watch, mooring and unmooring the vessel, deck managing and cleaning up. The AB also secures and unsecures the cargo and conducts deck and accommodation patrols. OS is the crew member whose most important obligation is to maintain the cleanliness of the whole vessel and may serve as assistant for the AB. Being an OS is considered to be an apprenticeship, a period called “sea time” so that you can be qualified to take courses and training for AB. Both AB and OS are normally supervised by a Boatswain, who is actually also a rating, responsible with investigating the cargo-handling gadgets and lifesaving equipment as well. The Boatswain usually holds an AB certification as well. The configuration for the deck department on board merchant ships is primarily the same on all vessel categories. Nedcon Maritime recruits deck officers and rating for various ship categories such as general cargo, bulk, container vessels, tankers, offshore vessels etc. Our data-base features well skilled crew members who, in addition to the standard demands, have various other expertise such as: AB Crane Operator, AB Cook, DP Officers etc.

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About Article Author

Narcis Bacaintan
Narcis Bacaintan

Managing director at Nedcon Maritime, a ship management company based in Constanta, Romania. It is involved mainly in the recruitment of Romanian seafarers and riding teams for ship owners and operators, hotel personnel for passenger vessels, upholsterers and wood craftsmen for the maintenance and repair of luxury yachts, trades-people for shipyards, drilling crews and personnel for the oil and gas industries.

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