Deck Ratings: The Backbone of the Maritime Industry
Deck ratings play a critical role on a ship, as they are responsible for the maintenance and operation of the ship's deck and equipment. They are considered the backbone of the maritime industry, providing vital support and expertise for the safe and efficient operation of various types of ships. A deck cadet is an entry-level trainee officer in the maritime industry, tasked with learning about the workings of life on board a ship. The primary role of a deck cadet is to assist the officers and crew in their daily tasks while gaining knowledge and experience in the operation and maintenance of the ship.
Types of Deck Ratings
There are various types of deck ratings, each with their own specific duties and responsibilities. Some common deck ratings include:
- Able Seaman: An able seaman is a skilled deck rating responsible for handling lines and ropes, assisting with cargo operations, and performing routine maintenance on the ship's deck and equipment.
- Boatswain's Mate: A boatswain's mate is a rating who works closely with the boatswain, responsible for overseeing the deck crew, maintaining equipment, and assisting with navigation.
- Quartermaster: A quartermaster is a rating responsible for assisting with navigation, maintaining the ship's charts and instruments, and keeping track of the ship's position.
- Ordinary Seaman: An ordinary seaman is an entry-level rating responsible for performing basic deck duties, such as cleaning and maintenance, and assisting with cargo operations.
Responsibilities of Deck Ratings
Deck ratings have a wide range of responsibilities on board a ship, including:
- Maintenance and Operation of Deck Equipment: Deck ratings are responsible for the proper maintenance and operation of the ship's deck equipment, such as winches, ropes, and chains.
- Loading and Unloading Cargo: Deck ratings play a critical role in the loading and unloading of cargo, working with other crew members to ensure that the cargo is properly secured and stowed.
- Navigation and Steering: Deck ratings assist with navigation and steering the ship, helping to maintain the ship's course and heading.
- Safety and Emergency Procedures: Deck ratings are trained in safety and emergency procedures, and are responsible for participating in safety drills and responding to emergencies as needed.
- Deck Maintenance: Deck ratings are responsible for keeping the ship's deck clean and well-maintained, including painting, cleaning, and repairing the deck and its equipment.
Members of the Deck Department
Deck ratings work closely with other members of the deck department, including deck officers and deck cadets. The chief officer, or first mate, is the head of the deck department and is responsible for overseeing the work of the deck crew. Deck cadets are trainees who are learning the skills and responsibilities of a deck rating.
Deck ratings also work closely with members of the engine department, including the chief engineer and engineering officers. The engine room ratings are responsible for the operations and maintenance of the ship's engines and other mechanical equipment, while marine engineers oversee the overall operation of the engine room.
Sea Time and Navigational Watch
Deck ratings are required to complete a certain amount of sea time, or time spent at sea, in order to qualify for higher ratings and licenses. During sea time, deck ratings are responsible for maintaining a navigational watch, ensuring the safe navigation of the ship and the safety of the crew and cargo.
Deck ratings play a critical role in cargo operations, ensuring that the cargo is properly secured and stowed, and that the ship remains stable and balanced during loading and unloading. They work closely with the chief mate and other crew members to ensure that cargo operations are carried out safely and efficiently.
Responsible for Safety
Above all, deck ratings are responsible for the safety of the ship, the crew, and the cargo. They are trained to respond quickly and effectively to emergencies, and to work together as a team to ensure the safe operation of the ship at all times. Deck ratings are critical to the safe and efficient operation of ships of all types, and play a vital role in the maritime industry. With their expertise and dedication, deck ratings help to ensure that ships can navigate the world's oceans and waterways, delivering goods and supplies to people and communities around the world.
Become a Deck Rating
Deck ratings are typically recruited by shipping companies or maritime academies and undergo a rigorous training program both on land and at sea. During this time, they will learn about the different systems and machinery on board the ship, basic navigation skills, and safety procedures. They will also be responsible for performing routine tasks such as cleaning and maintenance of the ship. Do you want to become a deck rating? Check out all of our available vacancies here!