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Deck (navigation)

officer-cadet-plotting-courseUnder the Captain’s direct management, the deck department is responsible for the safe navigation and operation of the vessel, both at sea and in port.

While the safety of the vessel and everyone onboard is your prime responsibility, all deck operations and maintenance are also managed by the team.

Deck officers are a vital part of the onboard management team, taking charge of an expensive vessel and its equally valuable crew and guests. You will take key decisions on manoeuvring of the vessel and controlling its navigation, communications and security.

Deck (navigation) officers maintain watches on the bridge at sea and about the ship in port. They are responsible for passage planning, the safe navigation of the vessel, cargo loading and discharge, ship stability, communications and the maintenance of the hull and deck equipment.

The ship’s Captain, or Master, is in overall command with ultimate responsibility for the safety of the crew, vessel, cargo and environment. Only navigation officers can be promoted to the rank of Master.

Skills and attributes

Members of the deck department are well-trained and experienced mariners, having gained and developed their professional expertise and skills in one or more of the maritime sectors. 

You will need to be decisive, unflappable and able to inspire confidence in others as well as being a good team member and have effective communication skills. Confidence, enthusiasm and self-reliance are also essential attributes.

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