An extract on #sailor
Etymologically, the name "sailor" preserves the memory of the time when ships were commonly powered by sails, but it applies to the personnel of all vessels, whatever their mode of propulsion, and includes military (naval) and security (coast guard) maritime personnel and members of the merchant marine, as well as recreational sailors. The term "seaman" is frequently used in the particular sense of a sailor who is not an officer.
Seafarers hold a variety of professions and ranks, each of which carries unique responsibilities which are integral to the successful operation of an ocean-going vessel. A ship's crew can generally be divided into four main categories: the deck department, the engineering department, the steward's department, and others.
Officer positions in the deck department include but are not limited to: master and his chief, second and third officers. The official classifications for unlicensed members of the deck department are able seaman and ordinary seaman. With some variation, the chief mate is most often charged with the duties of cargo mate. Second Mates are charged with being the medical officer in case of medical emergency. All three mates each do four-hour morning and afternoon shifts on the bridge, when underway at sea.
A common deck crew for a ship includes:
(1) Captain / Master
(1) Chief Officer / Chief Mate
(1) Second Officer / Second Mate
(1) Third Officer / Third Mate
(1) Boatswain (unlicensed Petty Officer: Qualified member Deck Dept.)
(2) Able seamen (unlicensed qualified rating)
(2) Ordinary seamen (Entry-level rating)
(0-1) Deck Cadet / unlicensed Trainee navigator / Midshipman
A ship's engineering department consists of the members of a ship's crew that operates and maintains the propulsion and other systems on board the vessel. Marine engineering staff also deal with the "hotel" facilities on board, notably the sewage, lighting, air conditioning and water systems. Engineering staff manage bulk fuel transfers, from a fuel-supply barge in port. When underway at sea, the second and third engineers will often be occupied with oil transfers from storage tanks, to active working tanks. Cleaning of oil purifiers is another regular task. Engineering staff are required to have training in firefighting and first aid. Additional duties include maintaining the ship's boats and performing other nautical tasks. Engineers play a key role in cargo loading/discharging gear and safety systems, though the specific cargo discharge function remains the responsibility of deck officers and deck workers.
A common engineering crew for a ship includes:
(1) Chief Engineer
(1) Second Engineer / First Assistant Engineer
(1) Third Engineer / Second Assistant Engineer
(1) Fourth Engineer / Third Assistant Engineer
(1) Motorman (unlicensed Junior Engineer: Qualified member Engine Dept.)
(2) Oiler (unlicensed qualified rating)
(2) Entry-level rating Wiper
(0-1) Engine Cadet / unlicensed Trainee engineer
USA ships also carry a qualified member of the engine department. Other possible positions include motorman, machinist, electrician, refrigeration engineer and tankerman.