As mentioned in the previous article for the deck department on board merchant ships, daily life on board is focused on particular rules and tasks. Each and every crew member carries out his rank duties in order to maintain the ship operations running safely and properly.The engine crew is accountable with using, maintaining and fixing, when needed, the propulsion and support system. The engine department also is responsible with the repair and maintenance of additional systems, which include: lighting, lubrication, refrigeration, air conditioning, separation, fuel oil, electrical power and so on.In accordance with the vessels hierarchy, the engine officers are the following: Chief Engineer, Second Engineer, Engine Watch Officer, Electrician Officer and Engine Cadet.The first engine officer and in charge of the engine department is the Chief Engineer. He assumes full control over the engine room and that every single system and equipment works by the book and is goo for investigation continuously. The Chief Engineer also keeps up-to-date inventory for spare parts, additional fuel and oil and delegates the duties for the officers under his authority. To become a Chief Engineer a seafarer has to first be a Second Engineer with a minimum of 24 months sea time practical experience.After the Chief Engineer, accountable with the engine room is the Second Engineer, who has also a management level position. He assists the Chief Engineer to maintain the ship working efficiently, is responsible for supervising the day by day routine maintenance and operation in the engine room and prepares the engine room for arrival, departure or other operations. He directly to the Chief Engineer.The Engine Watch Officer job is usually held by the Third or Forth Engineer and it is an operational level job. The Third Engineer is generally in charge with the change of boilers, fuel, the auxiliary engines, condensate and feed systems. The Fourth Engineer is probably the most inexperienced officer, who has tasks given by the Second Engineer, and some of his duties are: engine watch, air compressors, purifiers and other auxiliary machinery.Another officer being employed in the engine room is the Electrical Engineer, responsible with supervising and ensuring the maintenance and good functioning of all the electrical systems and machinery. The Electrical Engineer answers directly to the Second Engineer as well as to the Chief Officer and needs to have the right training to do this job.Some merchant ships include amongst its crew members an Engine Cadet or Electrical Cadet, who acquire structured training and experience on board and learn to become an engine or electrical officer.Besides the officers, the engine department crew also has ratings, such as Motorman, Fitter, Electrician, Pumpman and Oiler/wiper.The Motorman is the engine rating who keeps watch and helps the engine officers when it comes to doing maintenance tasks. He also participates in maintaining and repairing the principal and auxiliary engines, pumps and boilers.On board vessels, the Fitter performs day by day routine maintenance and engine cleanup jobs and also specialized in manufacure, welding or repairing.The Electrician on board a merchant ship is the rating working with the electrical equipment and systems, wiring and high voltage panels.Usually on tanker vessels we can also find a Pumpman, responsible with the liquid cargo transfer system, pumps, the stripping pumps, filters valves, deck machinery involved with the liquid cargo transfer etc. His main job is to maintain the liquid cargo system on a tanker functioning adequately.The Oiler or Wiper on board is the rating responsible with cleansing the engine areas, machinery, lubricating bearings and other moving components of the engine and helping out the engine officers in the general maintenance of the devices in order to ensure that the oil temperature is within standards and oil gauges are running properly.Despite the fact that the crew structure in the engine room is basically the same, there are vessels that only have part of the mentioned crew. This is due either to the size of the ship or to economical causes.Nedcon Maritime, as a maritime manpower service provider recruits highly qualified engine officers and ratings for all types of vessels. Our crew members are carefully selected so that every task is performed at the highest possible standards.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Managing director at Nedcon Maritime, a
ship management company based in Constanta, Romania. It is involved mainly in
the recruitment of Romanian seafarers and riding teams for ship owners and
operators, hotel personnel for passenger vessels, upholsterers and wood
craftsmen for the maintenance and repair of luxury yachts, trades-people for
shipyards, drilling crews and personnel for the oil and gas industries. Nedcon
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