Tasks and Duties
- Calculate sightings of land, using electronic sounding devices, and following contour lines on charts.
- Compute positions, set courses, and determine speeds, by using charts, area plotting sheets, compasses, sextants, and knowledge of local conditions.
- Direct and coordinate crew members or workers performing activities such as loading and unloading cargo, steering vessels, operating engines, and operating, maintaining, and repairing ship equipment.
- Inspect vessels to ensure efficient and safe operation of vessels and equipment, and conformance to regulations.
- Maintain records of daily activities, personnel reports, ship positions and movements, ports of call, weather and sea conditions, pollution control efforts, and/or cargo and passenger status.
- Monitor the loading and discharging of cargo or passengers.
- Signal crew members or deckhands to rig tow lines, open or close gates and ramps, and pull guard chains across entries.
- Steer and operate vessels, using radios, depth finders, radars, lights, buoys, and lighthouses.
- Arrange for ships to be fueled, restocked with supplies, and/or repaired.
- Assign watches and living quarters to crew members.
- Collect fares from customers, or signal ferryboat helpers to collect fares.
- Interview and hire crew members.
- Maintain boats and equipment on board, such as engines, winches, navigational systems, fire extinguishers, and life preservers.
- Measure depths of water, using depth-measuring equipment.
- Purchase supplies and equipment.
- Read gauges to verify sufficient levels of hydraulic fluid, air pressure, and oxygen.
- Resolve questions or problems with customs officials.
- Signal passing vessels, using whistles, flashing lights, flags, and radios.
- Tow and maneuver barges, or signal tugboats to tow barges to destinations.
- Contact buyers to sell cargo such as fish.
- Perform various marine duties such as checking for oil spills or other pollutants around ports and harbors, and patrolling beaches.
- Sort logs, form log booms, and salvage lost logs.
This project is supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation.