- William Petty
A career as Merchant Navy Officer is financially rewarding but is much more than that and this quote brings out the essence aboard a ship
The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet, which deals with transporting cargo and passengers by sea. Its fleet is therefore composed of passenger vessels, cargo, liner tankers, carriers, as well as other special types of vehicles. Merchant navy is a career full of adventure and long voyages to different beautiful places. In spite of a lot of hard work and long absence from home, the Merchant navy professionals earn a high tax free salary, with other numerous benefits and promising promotional opportunities. This makes merchant navy a lucrative and exciting career.
The main positions open in the merchant navy are for marine engineers, navigating officers and radio officers. In a field which was hitherto purely for men, there is some positive change visible now, with many women joining merchant navy as ship doctors and radio officers.
The employment on board a ship is divided into three different streams. Deck officers, Engineers and Ratings. Deck officers are headed by the Captain of the ship. Deck officers are responsible for navigation, safe and efficient movement of the ship and transportation of cargo. To navigate the ship they use a range of satellite, radar systems and equipments and communication systems. Checking weather and navigation reports is very important; it helps in taking appropriate action. Deck officers monitor the loading, storage and unloading of cargo and the maintenance of deck machinery. They also take care of the safety, firefighting and life-saving equipment in terms of any emergency. They also maintain the legal and operational records.
The Engineering department looks after the main engine, which is gigantic and complicated. They are also responsible for the operation of mechanical and electrical equipment on board, managing power, fueling and distribution systems, repairing and upgrading systems and equipments and implementing regular equipment inspections and maintenance programmes. Engineers also need to be updated with new developments in the marine engineering field.
Ratings has three categories. Deck rating is responsible for handling cargo, mooring / unmooring and general maintenance. Engine ratings who help the engineering officers in maintenance of engine and other equipments. Saloon (catering) consists of steward / cooks, they look after the housekeeping and catering.