Seaman Duties

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Seaman is a worthwhile career for those who love the ocean.

For those who are attracted to the ocean and aren't afraid of hard work, the profession of a seaman provides an opportunity to enjoy the ocean while pursuing a career. However, before you pack your bags for the open sea, you may want to know some of a seaman's duties. This will help you make an informed choice about your future career.

  1. Maintenance

    • Maintenance on a ship is generally performed by the class of seaman known as ordinary seamen. On a large ship, this can take up a good part of the crew's time. Basic maintenance duties on a ship include deck scrubbing, cleaning of the crew's quartering areas, and maintaining lines and cables by splicing them together and coiling them for storage. Further, cleaning a ship's hull is heavy duty work that involves chipping rust off of the ship with hand tools; the chipped area must then be painted over.

    Navigation and Piloting

    • Seamen are also tasked with making sure that a ship is navigated safely through the waters. This involves turning the wheel itself on the bridge as well as following maps and navigating with a compass, chart and other equipment. Captains and mates who supervise able and ordinary seamen on the ship are entrusted with planning the ship's route and communicating with other vessels regarding the ship's path. Less skilled seamen may be called upon to stand watch while the vessel comes into or leaves port.

    Trade Duties

    • Many seamen have trades that they must use onboard their ships, such as carpentry and welding. These skills may be used in crafting new structures on the ship or in repairing old ones, depending on the needs of the craft.

    Safety

    • Even though ships have strict safety regulations, working on a ship at sea can be a dangerous job. All seamen, from an ordinary seaman up to captains and mates, must have training in safety procedures to avoid accidents on the ship. Additionally, seamen must be trained in first aid procedures as well as firefighting.

    Management

    • Ordinary and able seamen do not have management duties. However, captains and mates do. They supervise the work flow of the ship and oversee everything that takes place. In their management capacities, the captains and mates work closely with the department heads of the shipping companies they work for to ensure that tasks are being carried out properly and that the vessels are safe and seaworthy.

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References

  • Photo Credit seaman is fishing image by Siavka from Fotolia.com

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