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Able Seamen Job Description

Summary

Responsible for using emergency, lifesaving, damage control, and safety equipment on a merchant ship, performing general maintenance, repair, and sanitation duties, and standing watch to ensure the ship maintains a steady course.

Primary responsibilities

  • Work on a merchant ship.
  • Stand watch as helmsman and lookout.
  • Maintain a steady course, properly execute all rudder orders and communicate utilizing navigational terms relating to heading and steering.
  • Stand security-related watches, such as a gangway watch or anchor watch while the ship is not underway.
  • Perform general maintenance, repair, sanitation and upkeep of material, equipment, and areas in the deck department.
  • Maintain ship's metal structures by chipping, scraping, cleaning, priming, and painting.
  • Clean, maintain, and repair the hull, decks, superstructure, cargo gear, and smoke stack.
  • Perform maintenance on lifeboats, rescue boats and life rafts, and emergency and damage control gear.
  • Use emergency, lifesaving, damage control, and safety equipment.
  • Perform all operations connected with the launching of lifesaving equipment.
  • Operate deck machinery, such as the windlass or winches while mooring or unmooring, and to operate cargo gear.
  • Look for obstructions in path of vessel.
  • Break out, rig, overhaul, and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging, and running gear.
  • Navigate ship and maintains visual communication with other ships.
  • Lowers or raises lifeboats with winch or falls.
  • Use visual signaling devices, such as blinker light and semaphore.
  • Gives directions to crew.

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