The second deck officer on the vessel is the Mate. When performing duties as the Officer on Watch, the Mate is the Master’s representative and his primary responsibility is the safe operation and navigation of the vessel. The following is a general job description of what can be expected for a newly hired Mate and is not all inclusive. The Marine Operations Manual and the current labor agreement should be referred to for additional information.
A Mate must have a minimum of a U. S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine Officer license as of Mate of Towing Vessels or equivalent, endorsed for service on inland waters, or near coastal waters, or oceans with a valid Endorsement as Radar Observer (unlimited).
Physical Demands - Mate
- All Deck Officers are required to communicate with other vessels, U. S. Coast Guard stations, dispatchers, and their own crewmembers. Communications may be made via a VHF-FM radio, orally, by sound signals or by hand signals. All Deck officers must have hearing that allows them to communicate effectively in the conditions that might be encountered aboard a towing vessel.
- Deck Officers must have vision that allows them to safely operate the vessel in situations that are likely to occur when a vessel is in navigation night and day, year round. They must have color vision that enables them to identify navigation lights, signals, and symbols as well as warning lights or symbols. Their depth perception must be adequate for navigation in close quarters, including lock or bridge approaches.
- Deck Officers must be capable of ascending and descending stairs or ladders safety, of lifting or moving equipment that may be used while they are aboard the vessel and of performing their emergency duties as listed in the vessel’s Station Bill. Wheelhouse personnel must know how and when to use the emergency equipment located on the vessel.
- Deck Officers must be able to read well enough to understand U. S. Coast Guard Local Notices to Mariners, Navigation Rules - International and Inland, federal regulations, Company directives, Corps of Engineers publications, and nautical charts. They must be able to write well enough to accurately record all required events in the vessel’s log, fill out incident reports, and to communicate as required in the course of their job.
The Mate is an officer and as such is not required to perform maintenance work including, but not limited to; chipping paint, wire brushing, washing paint work, painting living quarters, galley and heads or sanitary work.
Duties which are appropriate for the Mate include, but are not limited to:
- Acting as officer in charge on deck for vessel operations and, when directed, direct and perform line-handling operations.
- Inspection, maintenance and repair of; life-saving equipment, fire-fighting equipment, safety equipment, and watertight closures.
- Inspection and splicing of the vessel’s lines, wire rope and associated deck tackle.
- Assisting the Master, as directed, in maintaining the vessels deck maintenance and administrative program including maintenance of navigation equipment, navigation lights, and navigational charts and publications.
- Assisting in maintaining the vessels fendering system (i.e. hanging tires) and in fuel transfer operations.
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