A boatswain, bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun known as a Petty Officer or a qualified member of the deck department, is the seniormost rate of the deck department and is responsible for the components of a ship's hull. The boatswain supervises the other members of the ship's deck department, is not a watchstander, except on vessels with small crews. Additional duties vary depending upon ship and circumstances; the word boatswain has been in the English language since 1450. It is derived from late Old English batswegen, from bat concatenated with Old Norse sveinn, meaning a young man, apprentice, a follower, retainer or servant. Directly translated to modern Norwegian it would be båtsvenn, while the actual crew title in Norwegian is båtsmann. While the phonetic spelling bosun is reported as having been observed since 1868, this latter spelling was used in Shakespeare's The Tempest written in 1611, as Bos'n in editions; the rank of boatswain is the oldest rank in the Royal Navy, its origins can be traced back to the year 1040.
In that year, when five English ports began furnishing warships to King Edward the Confessor in exchange for certain privileges, they furnished crews whose officers were the master, boatswain and cook. These officers were "warranted" by the British Admiralty, they were the standing officers of the navy. The boatswain was the officer responsible for the care of the rigging, anchors, boats and other stores; the Royal Navy's last official boatswain, Commander E W Andrew OBE, retired in 1990. The rank of cadet boatswain, in some schools, is the second highest rank in the combined cadet force naval section that a cadet can attain, below the rank of coxswain and above the rank of leading hand, it is equivalent to the rank of colour sergeant in the royal marines cadets. The boatswain works in a ship's deck department as the foreman of the unlicensed deck crew. Sometimes, the boatswain is a third or fourth mate. A bosun must be skilled in all matters of marlinespike seamanship required for working on deck of a seagoing vessel.
The bosun is distinguished from other able seamen by the supervisory roles: planning and assigning work. As deck crew foreman, the boatswain assigns tasks to the deck crew; as work is completed, the boatswain checks on completed work for compliance with approved operating procedures. Outside the supervisory role, the boatswain inspects the vessel and performs a variety of routine and semi-skilled duties to maintain all areas of the ship not maintained by the engine department; these duties can include cleaning and maintaining the vessel's hull and deck equipment as well as executing a formal preventive maintenance program. A boatswain's skills may include cargo rigging, winch operations, deck maintenance, working aloft, other duties required during deck operations; the boatswain is well versed in the care and handling of lines, has knowledge of knots, bends and splices as needed to perform tasks such as mooring a vessel. The boatswain operates the ship's windlasses when letting go and heaving up anchors.
Moreover, a boatswain may be called upon to lead firefighting efforts or other emergency procedures encountered on board. Effective boatswains are able to integrate their seafarer skills into supervising and communicating with members of deck crew with diverse backgrounds. On board sailing ships the boatswain was in charge of a ship's anchors, colours, deck crew and the ship's boats; the boatswain would be in charge of the rigging while the ship was in dock. The boatswain's technical tasks were modernised with the advent of steam engines and subsequent mechanisation. A boatswain is responsible for doing routine pipes using what is called a boatswain's call. There are specific sounds which can be made with the pipe to indicate various events, such as emergency situations or notifications of meal time. A common slang name for this instrument was the pippity dippity. A number of boatswains and naval boatswains mates have achieved fame. Reuben James and William Wiley are famous for their heroism in the Barbary Wars and are namesakes of the ships USS Reuben James and USS Wiley.
Medal of Honor recipients Francis P. Hammerberg and George Robert Cholister were U. S. Navy boatswain's mates. Victoria Cross recipients John Sheppard, John Sullivan, Henry Curtis, John Harrison were Royal Navy boatswain's mates. There are a handful of boatswains and boatswain's mates in literature; the boatswain in William Shakespeare's The Tempest is a central character in the opening scene, which takes place aboard a ship at sea, appears again in the final scene. Typhoon by Joseph Conrad has a nameless boatswain who tells Captain MacWhirr of a "lump" of men going overboard during the peak of the storm; the character Bill Bobstay in Gilbert and Sullivan's musical comedy H. M. S. Pinafore is alternatively referred to as a "bos'un" and a "boatswain's mate." Another boatswain from literature is Smee from Peter Pan. Lord Byron had a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain. Byron had a monument made for him at Newstead Abbey. Quartermaster is the highest rank in the BSA, an older youth co-ed programme; the youth can elect a youth leader, giving that youth the title "boatswain".
A Boatswain is in the Netherlands the patrol leader of a Se
A sea captain, ship's captain, master, or shipmaster, is a high-grade licensed mariner who holds ultimate command and responsibility of a merchant vessel. The captain is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the ship and its people and cargo, including its seaworthiness and security, cargo operations, crew management, legal compliance; the captain ensures that the ship complies with local and international laws and complies with company and flag state policies. The captain is responsible, under the law, for aspects of operation such as the safe navigation of the ship, its cleanliness and seaworthiness, safe handling of all cargo, management of all personnel, inventory of ship's cash and stores, maintaining the ship's certificates and documentation. One of a shipmaster's important duties is to ensure compliance with the vessel's security plan, as required by the International Maritime Organization's ISPS Code; the plan, customized to meet the needs of each individual ship, spells out duties including conducting searches and inspections, maintaining restricted spaces, responding to threats from terrorists, hijackers and stowaways.
The security plan covers topics such as refugees and asylum seekers and saboteurs. On ships without a purser, the captain is in charge of the ship's accounting; this includes ensuring an adequate amount of cash on board, coordinating the ship's payroll, managing the ship's slop chest. On international voyages, the captain is responsible for satisfying requirements of the local immigration and customs officials. Immigration issues can include situations such as embarking and disembarking passengers, handling crew members who desert the ship, making crew changes in port, making accommodations for foreign crew members. Customs requirements can include the master providing a cargo declaration, a ship's stores declaration, a declaration of crew members' personal effects, crew lists and passenger lists; the captain has special responsibilities when the ship or its cargo are damaged, when the ship causes damage to other vessels or facilities. The master acts as a liaison to local investigators and is responsible for providing complete and accurate logbooks, reports and evidence to document an incident.
Specific examples of the ship causing external damage include collisions with other ships or with fixed objects, grounding the vessel, dragging anchor. Some common causes of cargo damage include heavy weather, water damage and damage caused during loading/unloading by the stevedores. All persons on board including public authorities and passengers are under the captain's authority and are his or her ultimate responsibility during navigation. In the case of injury or death of a crew member or passenger, the master is responsible to address any medical issues affecting the passengers and crew by providing medical care as possible, cooperating with shore-side medical personnel, and, if necessary, evacuating those who need more assistance than can be provided on board the ship. There is a common belief that ship captains have been, are, able to perform marriages; this depends on the country of registry, however most do not permit performance of a marriage by the master of a ship at sea. In the United States Navy, a captain’s powers are defined by its 1913 Code of Regulations stating: "The commanding officer shall not perform a marriage ceremony on board his ship or aircraft.
He shall not permit a marriage ceremony to be performed on board when the ship or aircraft is outside the territory of the United States." However, there may be exceptions "in accordance with local laws and the laws of the state, territory, or district in which the parties are domiciled" and "in the presence of a diplomatic or consular official of the United States, who has consented to issue the certificates and make the returns required by the consular regulations." Furthermore, in the United States, there have been a few contradictory legal precedents: courts did not recognize a shipboard marriage in California's 1898 Norman v. Norman but did in New York's 1929 Fisher v. Fisher and in 1933's Johnson v. Baker, an Oregon court ordered the payment of death benefits to a widow because she had established that her marriage at sea was lawful. However, in Fisher v. Fisher the involvement of the ship's captain was irrelevant to the outcome. New Jersey's 1919 Bolmer v. Edsall said a shipboard marriage ceremony is governed by the laws of the nation where ownership of the vessel lies.
In the United Kingdom, the captain of a merchant ship has never been permitted to perform marriages, although from 1854 any which took place had to be reported in the ship's log. Filipino and Spanish law, as narrow exceptions, recognise a marriage in articulo mortis solemnized by the captain of a ship or chief of an aeroplane during a voyage, or by the commanding officer of a military unit. Japan allows ship captains to perform a marriage ceremony at sea, but only for Japanese citizens. Malta and Bermuda permit captains of ships registered in their jurisdictions to perform marriages at sea. Princess Cruises, whose ships are registered in Bermuda, has used this as a selling point for their cruises, while Cunard moved the registration of its ships Queen Mary 2, Queen Victoria and Queen Elizabeth from Southampton to Bermuda in 2011 to allow marriages to be conducted on their ships; some captains obtain other credentials, which allow them to perform marriages in some jurisdictions where they would otherwise not be permitted to do so.
A helmsman or helm is a person who steers a ship, submarine, other type of maritime vessel, or spacecraft. The rank and seniority of the helmsman may vary: on small vessels such as fishing vessels and yachts, the functions of the helmsman are combined with that of the skipper. In the merchant navy, the person at the helm is an able seaman during ship arrivals and while maneuvering in restricted waters or other conditions requiring precise steering. An ordinary seaman is restricted to steering in open waters. Moreover, military ships may have a quartermaster at the helm. A professional helmsman maintains a steady course, properly executes all rudder orders, communicates to the officer on the bridge using navigational terms relating to ship's heading and steering. A helmsman relies upon visual references, a magnetic and gyrocompass, a rudder angle indicator to steer a steady course; the mate or other officer on the bridge directs the helmsman aboard navy ships. Clear and exact communication between the helmsman and officer on the bridge is essential to safe navigation and ship handling.
Subsequently, a set of standard steering commands, responses by the helmsman, acknowledgment by the conning officer are recognized in the maritime industry. The helmsman repeats any verbal commands to demonstrate that the command is understood; the International Convention on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping for Seafarers requires that a helmsman be able to understand and respond to helm orders in English. The proliferation of autopilot systems and the increased computerization of operations on a ship's bridge lessen the need for helmsmen standing watch in open waters. Helm orders or commands fall into two categories: heading commands. A rudder command dictates changing the angle of the rudder, a single-event action. Whereas steering a heading is a comparatively long event and will require ongoing or continuous rudder adjustments; the following are helm orders used in the United States Navy and United States Coast Guard: Rudder Midships Check your swing Hard rudder Left or right standard rudder Shift your rudder Heading Steady as she goes Steady on a course Steering a ship requires skills gained through training and experience.
An expert helmsman has a keen sense of how a particular ship will respond to the helm or how different sea conditions impact steering. For instance, experience teaches a helmsman the ability to correct the rudder in advance of a ship falling off course; this requires the capacity to anticipate the delay between when the helm is applied and when the ship responds to the rudder. A skilled helmsman will avoid overcompensating for a ship's movement caused by local conditions, such as wind, currents, or rough seas. Computer-based ship simulators provide a training environment for learning skills to steer a ship. Training can be programmed to replicate a variety of ship environmental conditions. Scenarios depicted in 3-D graphics range from making course corrections in open waters to maneuvering in port, rivers, or other shallow waters. Cost compared to a real vessel is low. Mariners learn responses to dangerous situations, such as steering failure, in the safety of a virtual environment. Land-based ship simulators may feature a full-scale replica of a steering stand with a ship's wheel.
Such simulators incorporate magnetic and gyro compasses for steering. Moreover, a rudder angle indicator that responds appropriately to the helm is part of the configuration; however technology allows for a multitude of smaller workstations in a classroom setting. Administrators network student workstations so that the instructor can launch individual scenarios at each station. Computer models are used to simulate conditions such as wind and currents. Moreover, shallow-water effects or other hydrodynamic forces, such as ships passing close to each other, can be depicted. A computer application records training sessions, complete with voice commands issued by the instructor which are received by the students via a headset. On-the-job training at sea is critical to a helmsman developing ability to "sense" or anticipate how a ship will respond in different conditions; the experienced helmsman uses measured responses to sea conditions when encountering heavy weather that may cause a ship to pitch and roll as it pounds its way through oncoming waves.
Subsequently, the helmsman learns to relax and take into account the vessel's natural rhythm in order to avoid oversteering whatever the maritime environment. More accurate steering is attained with less rudder. Applying the minimal rudder required to steer a course reduces drag of the ship, thereby favorably impacting the ship's speed and operating costs. One of the helmsman's most important duties is steering a ship in a harbor or seaport when reduced speeds slow a ship's response to the rudder. For it is during ship departures, when most ship collisions or groundings occur. Clear communication between the officer of the bridge and the helmsman is essential for safe operations; the officer or harbor pilot re
A second mate or second officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship holding a Second Mates Certificate of Competency, issued by the administration. The second mate is the third in command and a watchkeeping officer, customarily the ship's navigator. Other duties vary, but the second mate is the medical officer and in charge of maintaining distress signaling equipment. On oil tankers, the second mate assists the chief mate with the Cargo operations; the Navigator's role focuses on creating the ship's passage plans. A passage plan is a comprehensive, step by step description of how the voyage is to proceed from berth to berth or one port to another; the plan includes undocking, the en route portion of a voyage and mooring at the destination. The GMDSS officer role consists of performing tests and maintenance, ensuring the proper log-keeping on the ship's Global Maritime Distress Safety System equipment. Safety equipment includes Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacons, a NAVTEX unit, INMARSAT consoles, various radios and Rescue Transponders, Digital Selective Calling systems.
A second mate is always a watchkeeper. In port and at sea, the second mate is responsible to the captain for keeping the ship, its crew, its cargo safe for eight hours each day. Traditionally, the second mate stands a "12-4" watch: from midnight until noon until 4 pm. On watch, he must enforce all applicable regulations, such as safety of life at sea and pollution regulations. In port, the watch focuses on duties such as cargo operations and security watches, monitoring communications, the anchor or mooring lines. IMO regulations require the officer be fluent in English; this is required for a number of reasons, such as to use charts and nautical publications, understand weather and safety messages, communication with other ships and coast stations, to be able to work with a multi-lingual crew. At sea, the mate on watch has three fundamental duties: to navigate the ship, to safely avoid traffic, to respond to emergencies. Mates stand watch with able seamen who act as helmsman and lookout; the helmsman executes the lookout reports dangers such as approaching ships.
These roles are combined to a single helmsman/lookout and, under some circumstances, can be eliminated completely. The ability to smartly handle a ship is key to safe watchstanding. A ship's draught, trim and under-keel clearance all affect its turning radius and stopping distance. Other factors include the effects of wind and current, shallow water, similar effects. Shiphandling is key when the need arises to anchor, or to moor the ship; the officer must be able to transmit and receive signals by Morse light and to use the International Code of Signals. On the ship the second officer is the officer that works under the Master, i.e. the Captain of the ship and shoulders the responsibility of checking the functionality of all the navigational equipment, such as the Echo-sounder, Radar, ECDIS, AIS, on some vessels the GMDSS radio equipment, however it has been observed that Companies tend to designate the responsibility of maintaining the GMDSS equipment to the third officer. These checks are made in according to the companies planned maintenance system.
In addition these checks are made prior to arrival and departure ports. If any navigational equipment is suspected of being faulty it should be checked that the equipment is in working order as per the given performance standards. Correction of Navigation Charts and the duties of keeping the charts up to date rests on the Second mate; these corrections are received in the Weekly/Monthly/Annual Notices to Mariners, if Admiralty Charts are used on board. Corrections are to be made using the standard Symbols from Chart 5011. Admiralty Publication NP 294 How to Keep Charts Up to Date, should be used as a reference to maintenance of charts; however due to the introduction of the ECDIS in a phased manner, due to be introduced on most Merchant Vessels by 2018, manual correction of charts is fast becoming obsolete. ECDIS has ushered in the age of SENC,Vector Charts these charts can be updated remotely by the broadcasts of the service provider, provided that the ship is connected to the Internet. Corrections may be received via email, or Correction CD's depending on the service provider and your needs.
Celestial, terrestrial and coastal navigation techniques are used to fix a ship's position on a navigational chart. Accounting for effects of winds, tides and estimated speed, the officer directs the helmsman to keep to track; the officer uses supplemental information from nautical publications, such as Sailing Directions, tide tables, Notices to Mariners, radio navigational warnings to keep the ship clear of danger in transit. Safety demands the mate be able to solve steering control problems and to calibrate the system for optimum performance. Since magnetic and gyrocompasses show the course to steer, the officer must be able to determine and correct for compass errors. Weather's profound effect on ships requires the officer be able to interpret and apply meteorological information from all available sources; this requires expertise in weather systems, reporting procedures, recording systems. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are a cornerstone of safe watchkeeping.
Safety requires that one follow the principles of safe watchkeeping. Maximizing bridge teamwork, including Bridge Resource Management is an emerging focus in watchkeeping; the main purpose for Radar and Aut
A stevedore, docker or dockworker is a waterfront manual laborer, involved in loading and unloading ships, trains or airplanes. After the shipping container revolution of the 1950s, the number of dockworkers required declined by over 90%, the term "stevedore" has come to mean a stevedoring firm that contracts with a port, shipowner, or charterer to load and unload a vessel; the word stevedore originated in Portugal or Spain, entered the English language through its use by sailors. It started as a phonetic spelling of estivador or estibador, meaning a man who loads ships and stows cargo, the original meaning of stevedore. In the United Kingdom, men who load and unload ships are called dockers, in Australia dockers or wharfies, while in the United States and Canada the term longshoreman, derived from man-along-the-shore, is used. Before extensive use of container ships and shore-based handling machinery in the United States, longshoremen referred to the dockworkers, while stevedores, in a separate trade union, worked on the ships, operating ship's cranes and moving cargo.
In Canada, the term stevedore has been used, for example, in the name of the Western Stevedoring Company, Ltd. based in Vancouver, B. C. in the 1950s. Synonyms for "stevedore" include: "docker", "dock laborer", "wharfie",'"wharf rat", "lumper", and/or "longshoreman". Loading and unloading ships requires knowledge of the operation of loading equipment, the proper techniques for lifting and stowing cargo, correct handling of hazardous materials. In addition, workers must be physically able to follow orders attentively. In order to unload a ship many longshoremen are needed. There is only a limited amount of time that a ship can be at a port, so they need to get their jobs done quickly. In earlier days before the introduction of containerization, men who loaded and unloaded ships had to tie down cargoes with rope. A type of stopper knot is called the stevedore knot; the methods of securely tying up parcels of goods is called stevedore stevedore knotting. While loading a general cargo vessel, they use dunnage, which are pieces of wood set down to keep the cargo out of any water that might be lying in the hold or are placed as shims between cargo crates for load securing.
Today, the vast majority of non-bulk cargo is transported in intermodal containers. The containers arrive at a port by truck, rail, or another ship and are stacked in the port's storage area; when the ship that will be transporting them arrives, the containers that it is offloading are unloaded by a crane. The containers either leave the port by truck or rail or are put in the storage area until they are put on another ship. Once the ship is offloaded, the containers it is leaving with are brought to the dock by truck. A crane lifts the containers from the trucks into the ship; as the containers pile up in the ship, the workers connect them to each other. The jobs involved include the crane operators, the workers who connect the containers to the ship and each other, the truck drivers that transport the containers from the dock and storage area, the workers who track the containers in the storage area as they are loaded and unloaded, as well as various supervisors; those workers at the port who handle and move the containers are to be considered stevedores or longshoremen.
Before containerization, freight was handled with a longshoreman’s hook, a tool which became emblematic of the profession. Traditionally, stevedores had no fixed job, but would arrive at the docks in the morning seeking employment for the day. London dockers called this practice standing on the stones, while in the United States it was referred to as shaping or catching the breaks. In Britain, due to changes in employment laws, such jobs have either become permanent or have been converted to temporary jobs. Dock workers have been a prominent part of the modern labor movement. Container handling in Hong Kong - 2005 In Australia, the informal term "wharfie" and the formal "waterside worker", include the variety of occupations covered in other countries by words like stevedore; the term "stevedore" is sometimes used, as in the company name Patrick Stevedores. The term "docker" is sometimes used, however in Australia this refers to a harbor pilot; the Maritime Union of Australia has coverage of these workers, fought a substantial industrial battle in the 1998 Australian waterfront dispute to prevent the contracting out of work to non-union workers.
In 1943 stevedores in Melbourne and Sydney were deliberately exposed to mustard gas while unloading the ship Idomeneus. The result was permanent disability -- all as a result of military secrecy. New Zealand usage is similar to the Australian version; the 1951 New Zealand waterfront dispute, involving New Zealand stevedores, was the largest and most bitter industrial dispute in the country's history. In the United Kingdom, the definition of a stevedore varies from port to port. In some ports, only the skilled master of a loading gang is referred to as a "stevedore". "Docker" is the usual general term used in the UK for a worker who loads or unloads ships and performs various other jobs required at a sea port. In some ports a Stevedore is a person who decides where cargo is stowed on a ship, in order for safe stowage and balance of a ship, it is not a hands-on role. It was once known to refer those working on a ship
Passage planning or voyage planning is a procedure to develop a complete description of a vessel's voyage from start to finish. The plan includes leaving the dock and harbor area, the en route portion of a voyage, approaching the destination, mooring, the industry term for this is'berth to berth'. According to international law, a vessel's captain is responsible for passage planning, The duty of passage planning is delegated to the ship's navigation officer the second officer on merchant ships. Studies show that human error is a factor in 80 percent of navigational accidents and that in many cases the human making the error had access to information that could have prevented the accident; the practice of voyage planning has evolved from penciling lines on nautical charts to a process of risk management. Passage planning consists of four stages: appraisal, planning and monitoring; these stages are specified in International Maritime Organization Resolution A.893, Guidelines For Voyage Planning, which are, in turn, reflected in the local laws of IMO signatory countries.
The Guidelines specify fifty elements of passage planning, some of which are only applicable in certain situations. The Guidelines specify three key items to consider in the practice of voyage planning: having and using a voyage plan is "of essential importance for safety of life at sea and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment," voyage planning is necessary for all types of vessels on all types of voyages, the plan's scope should be based on all information available, should be "berth to berth," including when under pilotage, the plan includes the execution and the monitoring of progress. Voyage planning starts with the appraisal stage. Before each voyage begins, the navigator should develop a detailed mental model of how the entire voyage will proceed; the appraisal stage consists of contemplating all information relevant to the voyage. Much of this appraisal is done by consulting nautical charts, nautical publications and performing a number of technical tasks such as weather forecasting, prediction of tides and currents, checks of local regulations and warnings.
Nautical publications are a valuable guide to local conditions and regulations, but they must be updated and read to be of any use. These publications could include Sailing Directions and Coast Pilots or similar texts produced by other authorities; the next stage of the process is known as the planning stage. Once information is gathered and considered, the navigator can begin the process of laying out the voyage; the process involves projecting various future events including landfalls, narrow passages, course changes expected during the voyage. This mental model becomes the standard by which the navigator measures progress toward the goal of a safe and efficient voyage, it is manifested in a passage plan. A good passage plan will include a track line laid out upon the best-scale charts available; this track is judged with respect to at least nine separate criteria given in the Guidelines including under-keel clearance, safe speed, air draft, the use of routing and reporting services, the availability of contingencies in case of emergency.
The navigator will draw and redraw the track line until it is safe, in line with all applicable laws and regulations. When the track is finished, it is becoming common practice to enter it into electronic navigation tools such as an Electronic Chart Display and Information System, a chartplotter, an ARPA system, or a GPS unit; when working in a team environment, the passage plan should be communicated to the navigation team in a pre-voyage conference in order to ensure that all members of the team share the same mental model of the entire trip. The third stage of passage planning is the execution stage; the IMO was careful to include execution as part of the process of passage planning. This underscores the fact that the Guidelines list a number of tasks that are to executed during the course of the voyage, it reiterates the captain's responsibility to treat the plan as a "living document" and to review or change it in case of any special circumstances that should arise. The fourth and final stage of voyage planning is the monitoring stage.
Once the voyage has begun the progress of the vessel along its planned route must be monitored. This requires that the ship's position be determined, using standard methods including dead reckoning, celestial navigation and electronic navigation. According to the Guidelines, the passage plan should always be available to the officer on watch on the bridge; the Guidelines specify that deviations from the plan should be recorded and be consistent with other provisions of the Guidelines. In modern times, computer software can simplify the passage planning process and ensure that nothing important is overlooked. Passage planning software may include functions such as waypoint management, distance calculators and tidal current predictors, celestial navigational calculators, consumables estimators for fuel, oil and stores, other useful applications. Great Britain Ministry of Defence. Admiralty Manual of Seamanship; the Stationery Office. ISBN 0-11-772696-6. Bowditch, LL. D. Nathaniel; the American Practical Navigator.
Bethesda, MD: National Imagery and Mapping Agency. ISBN 0-939837-54-4. Retrieved 2010-06-19. "ANNEX 24 – MCA Guidance Notes for Voyage Planning". IMO RESOLUTION A.893 adopted on 25 November 1999. Retrieved March 26, 2007. "Guidelines For Voyage Planning". IMO RESOLUTION A.893 adopted on 25 November 1999. Retrieved March 26, 2007
A third mate or third officer is a licensed member of the deck department of a merchant ship. The third mate is customarily the ship's safety officer; the position is junior to a second mate. Other duties vary depending on the type of ship, its crewing, other factors. Duties related to the role of safety officer focus on responsibility for items such as firefighting equipment and various other emergency systems. International Maritime Organization regulations require the officer be fluent in the English language; this is required for a number of reasons. Examples include the ability to read charts and nautical publications, understand weather and safety messages, communicate with other ships and coast stations, to interact with a multi-lingual crew. Emergencies can happen at any time; the officer must be ready at all times to safeguard passengers and crew. After a collision or grounding, the mate must be able to take initial action, perform damage assessment and control, understand the procedures for rescuing persons from the sea, assisting ships in distress, responding to any emergency which may arise in port.
The officer must understand distress signals and know the IMO Merchant Ship Search and Rescue Manual. The officer has special responsibilities to keep the ship, the people on board and the environment safe; this includes keeping the ship seaworthy during fire and loss of stability, providing aid and maintaining safety during man overboard, abandoning ship, medical emergencies. Understanding ship's stability, trim and the basics of ship's construction is a key to keeping a ship seaworthy; the mate must know what to do in cases of loss of buoyancy. Fire is a constant concern. Knowing the classes and chemistry of fire, fire-fighting appliances and systems prepares the officer to act fast in case of fire. An officer must be expert in the use of survival craft and rescue boats, their launching appliances and arrangements, their equipment including radio life-saving appliances, satellite EPIRBs, SARTs, immersion suits and thermal protective aids. In case it is necessary to abandon ship, it is important to be expert in the techniques for survival at sea.
Officers are trained to perform medical tasks and to follow instructions given by radio or obtained from guides. This training includes what to do in case of common shipboard illnesses. At sea, the mate on watch has three fundamental duties: to navigate the ship, to safely avoid traffic, to respond to any emergencies that may arise. Mates stand watch with able seamen who act as helmsman and lookout; the helmsman executes the lookout reports dangers such as approaching ships. These roles are combined to a single helmsman/lookout and, under some circumstances, can be eliminated completely; the ability to smartly handle a ship is key to safe watchstanding. A ship's draught, trim and under-keel clearance all affect its turning radius and stopping distance. Other factors include the effects of wind and current, shallow water and similar effects. Ship handling is key when the need arises to rescue a person overboard, to anchor, or to moor the ship; the officer must be able to transmit and receive signals by Morse light and to use the International Code of Signals.
Celestial, terrestrial and coastal navigation techniques are used to fix a ship's position on a navigational chart. Accounting for effects of winds, tides and estimated speed, the officer directs the helmsman to keep to track; the officer uses supplemental information from nautical publications, such as Sailing Directions, tide tables, Notices to Mariners, radio navigational warnings to keep the ship clear of danger in transit. Safety demands the mate be able to solve steering control problems and to calibrate the system for optimum performance. Since magnetic and gyrocompasses show the course to steer, the officer must be able to determine and correct for compass errors. Weather's profound effect on ships requires the officer be able to interpret and apply meteorological information from all available sources; this requires expertise in reporting procedures and recording systems. The International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea are a cornerstone of safe watchkeeping. Safety requires one follows the principles of safe watchkeeping.
An emerging focus in watchkeeping is maximizing bridge teamwork, including the practice of Bridge Resource Management. The main purpose for Radar and Automatic Radar Plotting Aids on a ship's bridge is to move safely among other vessels; these instruments help to judge information about prominent objects in the vicinity, such as: range, bearing and speed, time and distance of closest point of approach, course and speed changes. These factors help the officer apply the COLREGS to safely maneuver in the vicinity of obstructions and other ships. Radar has a number of limitations, ARPA inherits those limitations and adds a number of its own. Factors such as rain, high seas, dense clouds can prevent radar from detecting other vessels. Moreover, dense traffic and course and speed changes can confuse ARPA units. Human errors such as inaccurate speed inputs and confusion between true and relative vectors add to the limitations of the radar/ARPA suite. Under the best conditions, the radar operator must be able to optimize system settings and detect divergences between an ARPA system and reality.
Information obtained from radar and ARPA must be treated with scrutiny: over reliance on these systems has sunk ships. The officer must understand system performance and accuracy, tracking capabilities and limitations, proc