Decksmen are unlicensed members of of the deck department of an inland vessel. This position is usually the first step on the way to become an able seaman and beyond. They perform a variety of duties concerned with the operation and upkeep of deck department areas, the engine, and other equipment, mooring and unmooring, as well as (to a certain extent) the steering of the ship.
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- Environmental aspects of inland waterway transportation
Consider ecological aspects of the operation of ships in order to use vessels in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner. Understand environmental aspects when navigating inland waterways.
- National regulations on handling cargo
The national regulations governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports within that country.
- Types of cargo
Distinguish different types of cargo e.g. bulk cargo, liquid bulk cargo and heavy materials.
- International regulations for cargo handling
The body of conventions, guidelines and rules which dictate the activity of loading and unloading cargo in international ports.
- On board hazards
Prevent on board (electrical) hazards and effectively deal with them should they occur; ensure safe embarkation and disembarkation of the vessel.
- Vessel safety equipment
Gain theoretical and practical knowledge of safety equipment used in vessels, including devices such as lifeboats, life rings, splash doors and fire doors, sprinkler systems, etc. Operate equipment during emergency situations.
- Maintain ropes
Maintain splices and knots in ropes.
- Facilitate safe disembarkation of passengers
Assist passengers when they leave the vessel, aircraft, train, or other mode of transport. Keep the safety measures and procedures in mind.
- Understand different types of locks and their operation
Master various engineering constructions and functions of bridges and locks in the field of navigation. Conduct locking and entering procedures.
- Unmoor vessels
Follow standard procedures to unmoor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
- Prepare engine room for operation
Prepare and start main engine and auxiliary engines; prepare machinery in engine room prior to departure; know and follow starting procedures according to checklist.
- Perform vessel maintenance and cleaning
Follow the First Mate's instructions in assisting with equipment maintenance such as painting or varnishing, splicing lines, and wash-down chores.
- Follow verbal instructions
Have the ability to follow spoken instructions received from colleagues. Strive to understand and clarify what is being requested.
- Help to control passenger behaviour during emergency situations
Know how to use life-saving equipment in emergency situations. Provide assistance if leakages, collisions or fires should occur, and support the evacuation of passengers. Know crisis and crowd management, and administer first aid on board.
- Use different types of fire extinguishers
Understand and apply various methods of firefighting and various types and classes of fire extinguishing equipment.
- Use ballasts
Manipulate ballast system; empty and refill ballast tanks.
- Perform daily maintenance on ship machinery
Perform daily maintenance tasks on machinery in ships, such as pumps, piping systems and ballast systems.
- Follow procedures in the event of an alarm
Follow safety procedures in the event of an alarm; act according to company instructions and procedures.
- Paint ship decks
Detect and remove rust using primers and sealants; paint vessel decks to fend off oxidation process.
- Execute safety assurance exercises
Organise and execute safety exercises; ensure safety in potentially dangerous situations.
- Communicate reports provided by passengers
Transmit information provided by passengers to superiors. Interpret passenger claims and follow up requests.
- Launch lifeboats
Launch and retrieve lifeboats following international maritime regulations.
- Undertake navigation safety actions
Recognise unsafe situations and perform follow-up actions according to the safety regulations. Immediately warn ship management. Use personal protective and rescue equipment.
- Comply with checklists
Follow checklists and ensure compliance with all the items included in them.
- Wash decks of ships
Clean the ship's deck by sweeping and washing it thoroughly. Remove superfluous salt and water to avoid oxidation.
- Operate life-saving appliances
Operate survival craft and their launching appliances and arrangements. Operate life-saving instruments like radio life-saving appliances, satellite EPIRBs, SARTs, immersion suits and thermal protective aids.
- Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways
Understand and apply traffic rules in inland waterway navigation in order to ensure safety and avoid collisions.
- Apply regulations on cargo transport operations
Display knowledge of relevant local, national, European and international regulations, standards, and codes concerning the operation of freight transport.
Move through water by means of the limbs.
- Moor vessels
Follow standard procedures to moor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
- Maintain vessel engine room
Maintain the engines and engine room equipment of a vessel. Conduct pre-checks prior to departure and ongoing examinations during the voyage.
- Read stowage plans
Read and comprehend content of stowage plans; basic knowledge of how to stow various types of cargo.
- Assist anchoring operations
Assist during anchoring operations; operate equipment and assist in anchor manoeuvres.
- Use equipment for safe stowage
Use tools and equipment to perform safe stowage and ensure proper loading and securing of goods.
- Clean parts of vessels
Clean engine rooms and vessel components using appropriate cleaning materials; ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
- Assist passenger embarkation
Assist passengers when they embark vessels, aircraft, trains and other modes of transport. Keep safety measures and procedures in mind.
- Load cargo onto ships
Load and unload cargo onto ships. Oversee cargo loading and discharging operations.
- Maintain vessel technical equipment according to instructions
Operate and maintain technical equipment and devices according to technical instructions.
- Maintain service record book
Maintain service record book, in which data related to the on-board time, activities, signatures of skippers, and other details are recorded.
- Follow written instructions
Follow written directions in order to perform a task or carry out a step-by-step procedure.
- Secure ships using rope
Use rope to secure and untie the ship before departure or upon arrival.