The duties of an officer of the watch (OOW) on a ship during sailing are critical to the safety and operation of the vessel. These duties include:
- Ensuring the safety and proper operation of the ship by monitoring navigation, weather conditions, and the ship’s systems.
- Maintaining a proper lookout and ensuring the ship’s navigation lights are properly displayed, to prevent collisions and accidents.
- Communicating with other ships, ports, and the ship’s crew to coordinate activities and ensure the safe and efficient operation of the ship.
- Supervising and directing the work of the deck crew, including the helmsman and lookout, to maintain a safe and efficient deck.
- Keeping accurate records of the ship’s movements, including the ship’s position, course, and speed, for compliance and safety purposes.
- Enforcing safety regulations and procedures, including emergency drills and procedures, to ensure readiness in case of an emergency.
- Participating in the cargo loading and unloading operations, to ensure the safety and security of the cargo and the ship.
- Assisting the master in maintaining the ship’s security, to prevent unauthorized access and protect the ship’s crew and cargo.
- Monitoring and controlling the ship’s fuel, water, and other consumable supplies, to ensure the ship’s readiness and efficiency.
By understanding the duties of an officer of the watch on a ship, and how they contribute to the safety and operation of the vessel, you can appreciate the importance of the role and the training required to become an OOW.