What is the role of Bosun in Merchant Navy?

Bosun also recognized as Boatswain is the senior most member of the Deck Department who is accountable to manage the operations in an effective manner. Before we discuss the work responsibilities of the Bosun, it is important to know how one can achieve this rank.

A trainee after gaining experience is known as Ordinary Seaman. After that with further experience, the Ordinary Seaman gets promoted to the rank of an Able Seaman. Following that, when an able seaman is considered by the company to acquire desired skills and experience, then the individual is promoted to the rank of the Bosun. Someone who is working as a Bosun on a merchant ship must possess certain skills in order to accomplish day to day operations in the desired manner such as he must have knowledge about bends, knots, whipping, splices and hitches for running the ship.

The primary work responsibilities of the rank Bosun revolve around the Deck Department. All individuals working as a Bosun work under the Chief Officer and assist them in assigning, scheduling and planning the work in the Deck Department among crew members. Bosun must have relevant experience about the Deck operations as he is someone who needs to ensure that every member is performing their role in the best possible way. Let’s go ahead and understand some key responsibilities of the Bosun:

  • Assist the Chief Officer in assigning, scheduling and planning the work among Deck crews.
  • Ensuring the work assigned to the crew members is managed effectively
  • Look at the overall functions of the Deck Department which involve painting, chipping, buffing etc.
  • Giving instructions about worker safety to the Deck crew members to ensure zero casualties
  •  Seeing that mooring and anchoring operations are carried out effectively
  • Communicate with Deck crews and understand their requirements
  • Giving an update to the Chief Officer about the Deck work
  • Accountable for various areas of the Deck department such as paint locker, deck stores and other areas that come under his jurisdiction.

Apart from these, there are other work responsibilities that are managed by Bosun or Boatswain. To know more them or to make a career in the Merchant Navy contact Varren Maritime Academy.