The deck department is an extremely important part of sailing as it is responsible all of the safe navigation and operation of the vessel both off-shore and on-shore.  Apart from ensuring the safety of the vessel and everyone on board, the key responsibilities include all deck operations and maintenance. Deck officers are vital part of the onboard management team, and are liable to

take key decisions on manoeuvring of the vessel and controlling its navigation, communications and security. Their duties may also include maintaining 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 have to be well-trained and experienced mariners with experience in one or more of the maritime sectors. A successful candidate needs to be confident, have good team-working and communication skills. Confidence, enthusiasm and self-reliance are also essential attributes.