Duties of Deck officer


Duties of Deck Officers

Duties of Deck Officers:-The Duties of officers and crew are different but they all work together giving importance to individual safety & safe manning of ship.


The Deck Officer from this branch primarily looks after the ship’s navigation, loading/unloading of cargo and the general maintenance of the ship. They are also involved in the administration of the ship.The officer joins in the rank of 3rd officer and is subsequently promoted to the rank of 2nd officer, chief officer and finally the master of the ship.

Of course, the promotions are subject to the individual passing his competency exams and his performance on board of the ship. In addition to navigation duties, normally a

Deck Cadet-

He/she is a trainee who is there on the ship to learn as much as possible. Usually, the deck cadet has to assist the chief officer at all times, however, the chief can assign him/her according to the situation. The cadet can be asked to perform jobs such as taking sounding, painting, ballasting/de-ballasting, cargo watches, navigational watch, paperwork, maintenance jobs, etc.

Third officer-

The third officer is responsible for upkeep and maintenance of all firefighting appliances (FFA) and life-saving appliances (LSA) on a ship. As a watchkeeping officer and safety officer of the ship, the third officer keeps watches, both at sea and at a port.(8-12 D/N during sailing and 6-12 D/N during port )He/she is also responsible for all port documents required by the master and managing of the bond store.

Second Officer-

The second officer is a watchkeeping officer responsible for navigational charts and publications onboard. Take care of passage planning and the navigation equipment He/ she is also assigned the responsibility of the ship’s medical officer and services related to the same. He keeps watches both at sea and at the port. .(12-4 D/N during sailing and 12-6 D/N during port )

 Chief officer-

Chief officer is the one responsible for assigning duties and jobs (as directed by the captain)  to other ranks in the deck department. He overlooks all deck operations and supervises the crew in daily work. He also takes care of cargo operations when the ship is at the port and ensures the overall safety of the ship and its crew. Generally, he is the safety officer of the ship.


MASTER is the overall in-charge of the ship. –He/she holds the command of the ship and oversees all operations. The total responsibility of the ship, cargo and the crew is on his/her shoulders. The decisions made by the captain are final and are to be obeyed by everyone on the ship.


Engineer are the officers who are qualified in Marine Engineering. They join as 4th Engineer and step by step, get promoted to 3rd, 2nd and Chief Engineer, subject to their passing the competency exams and performance onboard the ship.

The engineering department, besides, looking after the main engines, is also responsible for associated equipment like power generation equipment, cargo pumps, and air-conditioning, etc.


(Trainee marine engineer) or 5th engineer –  Onboard as a trainee.  Usually, the fifth engineer is required to assist 2nd engineers at all times, however, he/she can be asked to assist anyone in the engine room.

 Fourth Engineer – 

Fourth Engineer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of engine room auxiliaries, fuel and lube oil purifiers, air compressors, bunkering operations, etc.

 Third Engineer-

Third Engineer is responsible for fuel, water, and the boiler room equipment, auxiliary engines, pumps, fresh water generator, air- conditioning and refrigeration system, etc.

Second  Engineer-

Second Engineer is responsible for lubricating the system, engine room auxiliaries, electric equipment steering gear, ship safety systems and equipment, deck crane, lifeboat and lifeboat engine, etc..

He assigns duties to other engineers and crew. He is the one responsible for allocating daily jobs and monitoring the work performance of everyone in the engine room department.

 The second engineer is also responsible for the operation and maintenance of the main engine, boilers and steam system, steering gear, ship safety systems and equipment, deck crane, lifeboat and lifeboat engine, etc.

Chief Engineer-

Chief Engineer is overall in-charge of Engines and responsible for the safe running of the ship. Being the overall in charge of the engine room, the chief engineer decides and allocates jobs to the 2nd engineer, who further distributes it among the lower ranks.


The Electrical Officer is responsible for the electrical equipment and assists engineers in the safe running of the ship.


The Radio Officer looks after all the electronic communication and the related records. Besides, he also looks after electronic navigation aids such as radar, depth measuring devices, long-range navigation equipment, and global positioning system, etc.

(However, This category of personnel has been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers.)



Deck Ratings is responsible for cargo handling, mooring/ unmooring and general maintenance of the ship, addition to that carry out Bridge watch, cargo watch.

 Steering of the ship as and when required.

Trainee O.S/Trainee seaman-

Onboard as a trainee, usually, the Trainee O.s  has to assist the Bosun at all times, Bosun take cares of him as Trainee O.s is new on the ship

Ordinary Seaman-

Carries out daily maintenance of the ship, assist during Anchor stations, arrival & departure of ports, Cleaning of holds and tanks, Assist AB in Gangway watches, Bridge lookout, etc.

Able-Bodied Seaman-

In addition to daily maintenance of the ship, the important duty of AB is to steer the ship as and when required, He also assists the duty officer in ship navigation watch, Gangway watch, etc


Bosun is head in crew and is responsible to follow all instructions from the chief officer, he assigns everyday job roles to crew directed by the chief officer. He is also the spokesperson of the crew department and is responsible for supervising the crew and bringing their concerns and complains to the chief officer


The Engine room ratings assist the engineering officers in the maintenance and operation of engines and associated equipment.

Trainee wiper-

Trainee wiper works in the capacity of a trainee and works as directed by the second engineer


Wiper carries out daily maintenance of the engine room and as directed by the second engineer.

Oiler –

The oiler works in the engine room with the engineers and helps in cleaning, painting, overhauling and maintenance of machinery.


The motorman assists the duty officer is watch-keeping by taking readings of various machinery and systems and keep a contact watch on them.

 He also assists the engineering officer during maintenance and overhauling jobs.

Engine Fitter –

Engine fitter is responsible for welding, gas cutting, grinding, operating lathe machine, etc. He is supposed to  work in the Engine room as well as Deck as and when the demand arises


The Catering crew consist of Steward / Cook


Steward mainly helps the chief cook for preparing and cooking food for the people on board. He is also responsible for cleaning the mess and the accommodation area. He also cleans officer cabins, washes linen, dishes, etc. He severs food to the officers and he has to be present in the officer’s mess room during meal hours.


Chief Cook looks after the catering of crew on board

 The chief cook also assists the master for planning and ordering provisions on a ship.

Duties of Deck Officers


  • Deepak Chaudhary

    I am Deepak Chaudhary I have cheif officer hondresh coc and 10 month rank experience on bulk
    I m looking job on tanker


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