Life of Chief Officer in the Merchant Navy

Chief Officer or Chief Mate is a well recognized and known rank in the Shipping Industry. He is the head of the Deck department and is generally responsible for managing deck maintenance, cargo operations and ensure the smooth functioning of many other tasks on a merchant ship.  His work on a ship observes both daylights as well as twilight. When every other person sleeps in the dark hours of the night, he manages the Navigational watch duties. Among other work, responsibilities are guiding Second Mate about deck maintenance work.

The work life of Chief Mate is quite demanding as he has to start preparing and evaluating chores for the day, sometimes for weeks and even for months. Creating a worksheet sharing information about the previous and current day’s work and then share it with the Ship Captain who frequently visits the Deck Department and give input to newly hired professionals related to the passage and port.

After completing the work late evening, he has to hand over the watch to the third mate and discussing things about fire fighting appliances and life-saving, mock drills and other safety measures that need to be carried out on a ship. Then he walks to Deck crew members and shares things about risk assessments, work safety permits, daily work meeting, entry permits and prepares to manage the maintenance work or any other job assigned as per the schedule and location of a ship.

Being a Chief Officer of the Department, he then spends some time with the crew members to console them on their personal issues and encourage them to accomplish their tasks in the best possible way. Besides this, he observes their work to ensure if they are paying attention to safety measures or not.

The role of Chief Mate includes various aspects as in port, he sees the commencement, finishing and vital phases of cargo operations. Apart from that, he has to do paperwork which comprises reports about mooring operations, lifting gear, ballast tanks, cargo equipment etc. Different ships have different work and rest hours and watch schedule which makes the life of a Chief Officer more hard.

In between busy work life, the Chief Mate does spare some time for his family and friends whenever he gets an opportunity for it.

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