Ship Hierarchy and Crewmember Descriptions
<div>The captain has the highest rank on board a vessel. He/she is in charge of all operations and legal matters on board and is the final authority who is responsible for all matters relating to the vessel and its crew.</div>
<div>The chief engineer is in charge of the engine department. The engine room's daily operation and maintenance of all machinery on board is his/her responsibility.</div>
<div>The second engineer is the second in command in the engine department. His/her responsibilities include the supervision of all engine room machinery systems. The second engineer assigns jobs to the other engine officers and engine department ratings. The second engineer's engine room watch is typically during the day.</div>
<div>The bosun is the highest rating in the deck department. He/she is in charge of deck duties and assigning jobs to the other ratings in the deck department.</div>
<div>An AB is an ordinary seaman with two years sailing experience. The duties an AB has vary from vessel to vessel, but typically include standing watch as a lookout or helmsman and general up-keep of the vessel's deck and hull areas, like painting and cleaning. Generally, AB's work during the day.</div>
<div>This is considered the lowest rating on board a vessel. A deck cadet is often an apprentice under the guidance of an officer. No formal responsibilities are assigned to this position, however, deck cadets often help with mooring and anchoring, tank soundings, navigation, and record-keeping. General maintenance and deck work is also a common duty for deck cadets.</div>
<div>A rating on board who answers primarily to the second engineer. A shipfitter is often responsible for welding jobs and fabricating necessary parts for repair and maintenance work.</div>
<div>The second mate is typically the third in command on board. His/her duties usually include watchkeeping and navigation. The second mate is responsible for voyage planning. A second mate often serves as both the medical officer and/or the GMDSS officer on board.</div>
<div>Generally, a motorman answers to and receives orders from the second engineer. A motorman usually does routine checks of the machinery, tanks, bilge and pump rooms. Daily maintenance and operations are also jobs typically assigned to a motorman.</div>
<div>The chief officer or first mate, also sometimes known as the first officer, is in charge of the deck department. Second in command after the captain, the chief officer is also responsible for cargo. As the head of the deck department, the chief officer is responsible for the welfare and safety of the crew. </div>
<div>The third mate keeps watch and is often the ship's safety officer. The third mate generally answers to the chief officer and often performs maintenance duties on deck. These duties can include repairs and inventories of safety and search and rescue equipment.</div>
<div>An OS is an AB without the two years of sailing experience. This rating performs most of the same duties as an AB, but is often accompanied by a more experienced rating or officer to provide guidance, especially when the OS is performing lookout duties or steering. Deck maintenance and and up-keep are the most common duties an OS has.</div>
<div>An oiler or wiper are ratings in the machine room that often assist the engineers in maintenance and repair work. They are also often responsible for cleaning engine spaces and machinery. Often the title oiler is given to a wiper when he or she has had several years of sea time and gained more experience.</div>
<div>The fourth engineer is the lowest ranking certified officer in the engine department. The fourth engineer is often responsible for keeping pumps, purifiers, and compressors in working condition. A fourth engineer will also be assigned an engine room watch.</div>
<div>The third engineer stands watch in the engine room and is commonly in charge of bunkering operations and fuel. This position is often also is responsible for ensuring that the boilers and auxiliary engines are in working condition.</div>
<div>Electrical officers are typically only found on larger ships. Electrical officer's duties are, as the name implies, in charge of the maintenance and repair of all things electrical on board the ship. Smaller vessels may delegate some of these responsibilities to a capable engineering officer.</div>
<div>The chief steward is in charge of the steward's department. A chief steward is in charge of planning meals together with the chief cook, ordering provisions and other necessary items relating to the kitchen and accommodations, and ensuring that the officer's accommodations and the galley/kitchen area is kept clean.</div>
<div>The chief cook is in charge of planning and cooking meals for all crew and passengers on board a vessel. Other duties may include cleaning the galley and taking inventory of food stores.</div>
<div>A trainee cook assists the chief cook in preparing meals and carries out any other work assigned to him by either the chief steward or chief cook.</div>

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