Ordinary Seaman Duties and Responsibilities
An ordinary seaman (OS) is an entry-level position in the maritime industry. The role is vital to the operation of ships and requires physical and mental agility, as well as a willingness to work long hours in harsh conditions. In this article, we will discuss the duties and responsibilities of an ordinary seaman, the importance of the role, and what it takes to become an ordinary seaman.
What is an Ordinary Seaman?
An ordinary seaman is a maritime worker who performs general labor tasks on ships. They are responsible for maintaining the ship's decks and exterior, as well as assisting in navigation and communication. The role of an ordinary seaman is physically demanding, as they are responsible for carrying heavy equipment and working in challenging conditions, such as inclement weather.
Duties and Responsibilities of an Ordinary Seaman
- Deck Maintenance: Ordinary seamen are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the ship's decks and exterior. This includes scrubbing and painting the deck, as well as repairing and replacing damaged equipment.
- Navigation and Communication: OSs assist in navigation and communication by maintaining the ship's charts and assisting in the operation of navigation equipment. They may also assist the crew in communicating with other ships and shore-based facilities.
- Safety and Emergency Response: Ordinary seamen are responsible for maintaining the ship's safety equipment, such as life rafts and firefighting equipment. They must also be familiar with emergency procedures and be able to respond to emergencies quickly and efficiently.
- Loading and Unloading Cargo: OSs assist in loading and unloading cargo by directing the movement of cargo containers and securing the cargo for transport. They must be physically fit and able to work in tight spaces.
- Equipment Maintenance: Ordinary seamen are responsible for maintaining and repairing shipboard equipment, such as winches and cranes. They must be able to use hand and power tools to perform maintenance tasks.
Why is the Ordinary Seaman Role Important?
The role of an ordinary seaman is crucial to the operation of ships. The duties and responsibilities of an OS are critical to the safety and efficiency of the vessel, and without the assistance of an OS, the crew would be unable to complete many of the necessary tasks required to keep the ship running smoothly.
The role of an ordinary seaman is also important because it is an entry-level position that provides a pathway to advancement in the maritime industry. Many OSs go on to become able-bodied seamen, mates, and even captains, as they gain experience and build their skills.
Becoming an Ordinary Seaman
Becoming an ordinary seaman requires a combination of education and experience. Most OSs complete a maritime education program, such as the Basic Safety Training program, which provides training in safety, firefighting, and survival skills.
In addition to education, OSs must have a valid passport and meet the physical and mental requirements for working at sea, as well as a willingness to work long hours in challenging conditions.
The role of an ordinary seaman is vital to the operation of ships and is a critical component of the maritime industry. The duties and responsibilities of an OS are challenging, but they provide a pathway to advancement in the industry and offer a unique and rewarding career opportunity. If you are looking for a career in the maritime industry, consider the role of an ordinary seaman, and the opportunities it provides.