Seaman Job Description

October 13, 2009 | By More

Seaman Job Profile and Description

An ordinary seaman is required to work on a ship for a specific amount of time, gaining what is referred to as “sea time.” Once a sufficient amount of sea time is acquired, the seaman can apply to take a series of courses, and then a series of examinations to become certified as an able seaman. These tests include standing watch skills, performing lookout duty and being a helmsman.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • An ordinary seaman assists the able seaman
  • Acts as the deck utility man and can be called upon to perform any one of many tasks
  • Standing as lookout, scaling and chipping paint, painting, handling lines during the mooring of the ship, and assisting in the actual letting go and tying up of the vessel
  • Assisting in the operation and handling of all deck gear including cradling, topping and housing of booms
  • Aiding the carpenter in repair work
  • Acting in the capacity of a helmsman when called upon
  • Reading draft markings and acting as cargo watch during the loading and discharging of cargo operations.
  • Calling the watch – This is the awakening of personnel, including officers, scheduled to go on watch, or to remind them in case they are awake
  • Keeping the heads and passageways in tiptop condition
  • Operating the deck machinery such as the winches or windlass
  • Overhauling and installing any standing or running rigging on the ship
  • Sewing, repairing and mending canvas
  • A seaman is a competent and certified life boatman, and is able to handle a lifeboat under sail or oars
  • Assuming the duties of the man in charge or coxswain of the lifeboat
  • Maintaining the bridge in a shipshape and clean condition

Skills and Specifications

  • Patient
  • Ability to work with odd workers without losing focus
  • Physically fit and strong

Education and qualification

  • High school diploma
  • Knowledge in sailing and sea life

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