Profession decksman

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.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional
  • Realistic / Enterprising

Knowledge

  • International regulations for cargo handling

    International conventions governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports.

  • 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.

  • Types of cargo

    Distinguish different types of cargo e.g. bulk cargo, liquid bulk cargo and heavy materials.

  • 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.

  • On board hazards

    Prevent on board (electrical) hazards and effectively deal with them should they occur; ensure safe embarkation and disembarkation of the vessel.

  • National regulations on handling cargo

    The national regulations governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports within that country.

Skills

  • 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.

  • Wash decks of ships

    Clean the ship's deck by sweeping and washing it thoroughly. Remove superfluous salt and water to avoid oxidation.

  • Maintain ropes

    Maintain splices and knots in ropes.

  • Use ballasts

    Manipulate ballast system; empty and refill ballast tanks.

  • Assist passenger embarkation

    Assist passengers when they embark vessels, aircraft, trains and other modes of transport. Keep safety measures and procedures in mind.

  • Use different types of fire extinguishers

    Understand and apply various methods of firefighting and various types and classes of fire extinguishing equipment.

  • Perform daily maintenance on ship machinery

    Perform daily maintenance tasks on machinery in ships, such as pumps, piping systems and ballast systems.

  • Use equipment for safe stowage

    Use tools and equipment to perform safe stowage and ensure proper loading and securing of goods.

  • Secure ships using rope

    Use rope to secure and untie the ship before departure or upon arrival.

  • Load cargo onto ships

    Load and unload cargo onto ships. Oversee cargo loading and discharging operations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Clean parts of vessels

    Clean engine rooms and vessel components using appropriate cleaning materials; ensure compliance with environmental regulations.

  • Communicate reports provided by passengers

    Transmit information provided by passengers to superiors. Interpret passenger claims and follow up requests.

  • Follow written instructions

    Follow written directions in order to perform a task or carry out a step-by-step procedure.

  • Paint ship decks

    Detect and remove rust using primers and sealants; paint vessel decks to fend off oxidation process.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways

    Understand and apply traffic rules in inland waterway navigation in order to ensure safety and avoid collisions.

  • Follow procedures in the event of an alarm

    Follow safety procedures in the event of an alarm; act according to company instructions and procedures.

  • Read stowage plans

    Read and comprehend content of stowage plans; basic knowledge of how to stow various types of cargo.

  • Execute safety assurance exercises

    Organise and execute safety exercises; ensure safety in potentially dangerous situations.

  • Comply with checklists

    Follow checklists and ensure compliance with all the items included in them.

  • 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.

  • Maintain vessel technical equipment according to instructions

    Operate and maintain technical equipment and devices according to technical instructions.

  • 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.

  • Swim

    Move through water by means of the limbs.

  • Assist anchoring operations

    Assist during anchoring operations; operate equipment and assist in anchor manoeuvres.

  • Unmoor vessels

    Follow standard procedures to unmoor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.

  • Launch lifeboats

    Launch and retrieve lifeboats following international maritime regulations.

  • Moor vessels

    Follow standard procedures to moor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.

Optional knowledge and skills

use different communication channels prepare simple meals on board inland waterway police regulations work in a water transport team principles of combustion engines vessel stability principles perform manual work autonomously distinguish various types of ships show intercultural awareness perform services in a flexible manner use waterway traffic control systems; act reliably european classification of inland waterways show confidence implement environmental protection measures passenger transport regulations ensure integrity of hull provide first aid