A day of a Ship Deck Officer Ship deck officers hold a lot of responsibility. They are the second in command after the captain but what does that mean, exactly? What are the main tasks of a ship deck officer apart from surveying the correct loading of cargo? And what does a typical day in their lives really look like? This video is your chance to find out and may even inspire you to become a ship deck officer, too.

Careers on board There is a variety of jobs ashore and on board ships. The ships are the limbs of the shipping industry which carry out the actual transportation of people and goods. Each vessel is manned with a crew that are responsible for guiding the ship and cargo safely through the world’s oceans, from one port to another. To overcome the various challenges during a voyage, teamwork is important and every crew member has clearly assigned responsibilities. The manning of each vessel has a structure that consists of two different departments – the deck department and the engine department.

While the people working in the deck department are responsible for navigating and maneuvering the vessel, as well as for attending to its cargo, the people working in the engine department are responsible for keeping the ship’s engines running, as well as all of the other machinery that can be found on board.

In charge: The captain Life at sea follows a clear hierarchy. On each vessel, the master (the captain) stands at the top of this hierarchy. He/she is responsible for the overall operation of the vessel and has to ensure that the ship is operated safely, efficiently, in an environmentally-friendly way and in accordance with all national and international laws and regulations. Since he/she cannot achieve this task alone, they are supported by different ship officers and ratings.

The captains right hand: Ship Deck Officers The second and third officers assist the first officer with his/her duties. All of them ensure that the vessel is held on its correct course 24 hours a day. Ship officers are the people who hold a nautical or technical certificate of competence. The nautical officers work in the deck department. In most cases there are three of them: The first officer is the second in command after the captain. He/she ensures that the ship, its cargo and the safety equipment are in good condition.

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