Helmsmen are members of the crew on the highest rank of the operational level on an inland vessel. 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 the steering of the ship as the main task.
Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.
- Enterprising / Conventional
- Realistic / Investigative
- National waterways
Know the national waterways used for inland navigation, know geographical location of rivers, canals, seaports and inland harbours, and understand the relationship with cargo flows.
- National regulations on handling cargo
The national regulations governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports within that country.
- Anchors used in inland water transport
Name and recognise different types of anchors used in inland water transport (IWT); explain the characteristics of different anchors and their specific uses.
- Multimodal transport logistics
Understand logistics and multimodal transport as the planning and control of the movement of goods or people, and all related logistical supporting activities.
- Passenger transport regulations
Have knowledge of passenger transport conventions and regulations.
- Physical parts of the vessel
Detailed knowledge of the different physical components of the vessel. Provide maintenance and care to ensure optimal operations.
- Principles of cargo stowage
Understand the principles of cargo stowage. Understand procedures by which containers should be efficiently loaded and unloaded, taking into account gravitational forces that are exerted during transportation.
- Inland waterway ship building
Understand inland waterway ship building and construction. Operate vessel in compliance with construction legislation.
- Functions of vessel deck equipment
Know and control deck and safety equipment and vessel lifting facilities.
- European classification of inland waterways
Understand the European CEMT classification of inland waterways; use modern information systems to compare the dimensions of the waterway to those of the vessel.
- Vessel stability principles
Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.
- International regulations for cargo handling
International conventions governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports.
- Distinguish ship construction methods
Distinguish various methods of constructing vessels and how this affects their behaviour in the water in terms of strength and stability.
- International waterways
The international waterways used for maritime navigation, the geographical location of currents, maritime waterways, and harbours.
- Supervise unloading of cargo
Supervise unloading processes for equipment, cargo, goods and other items. Ensure that everything is handled and stored correctly in accordance with regulations and standards.
- Ensure safe loading of goods according to stowage plan
Monitor and ensure the safe and secure loading of materials and goods, as specified in the stowage plan.
- Assess stability of vessels
Assess the two kinds of stability of vessels, namely transversal and longitudinal.
- Adjust weight of cargo to capacity of freight transport vehicles
Adapt weight of cargo to capacity of freight transport vehicles. Oversee the maximum load capacity of the vehicle in question and the weight of each individual crate in the shipment.
- Ensure integrity of hull
Ensure sure that water does not break through the hull; prevent progressive flooding.
- 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 ship stability in relation to weight of passengers
Maintain vessel stability in relation to weight of passengers; communicate with passengers.
- Unmoor vessels
Follow standard procedures to unmoor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
- Evaluate engine performance
Read and comprehend engineering manuals and publications; test engines in order to evaluate engine performance.
- Manage vessel control systems
Know, operate, test and maintain control systems of vessels. Maintain and if necessary repair electronic components of vessel control systems.
- Distinguish various types of ships
Recognise and name various types of vessels common in European maritime transport; understand the different characteristics, construction details, and tonnage capacities of different vessels.
- 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.
- Use radar navigation
Operate modern radar navigation equipment to ensure safe vessel operations.
- 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.
- Use modern electronic navigational aids
Use modern navigational aids such as GPS and radar systems.
- Assist anchoring operations
Assist during anchoring operations; operate equipment and assist in anchor manoeuvres.
- Control proceedings on board in the event of an emergency
Control proceedings in the event of a leakage, fire, man overboard, collisions, and evacuations; implement crisis management and stay calm in emergency situations.
- Stow cargo
Stow cargo in a secure manner; operate handling gear and lashing equipment.
- Assist passenger embarkation
Assist passengers when they embark vessels, aircraft, trains and other modes of transport. Keep safety measures and procedures in mind.
- Navigate European inland waterways
Navigate European waterways in accordance with navigation agreements.
- Assess trim of vessels
Assess the trim stability of vessels, referring to the stability of a vessel while it is in a static condition.
- Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways
Understand and apply traffic rules in inland waterway navigation in order to ensure safety and avoid collisions.
- Use equipment for safe stowage
Use tools and equipment to perform safe stowage and ensure proper loading and securing of goods.
- 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.
- Follow procedures in the event of an alarm
Follow safety procedures in the event of an alarm; act according to company instructions and procedures.
- Supervise movement of crew
Oversee embarkation and disembarkation of crew members; ensure that safety regulations are followed according to specifications.
- 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.
- Execute safety assurance exercises
Organise and execute safety exercises; ensure safety in potentially dangerous situations.
- Restrict passenger access to specific areas on board
Delimit access points for passengers on board and implement an effective protection system; prevent unauthorised access to restricted areas at all times.
- 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.
- Use meteorological information
Use and interpret meteorological information for operations dependent on climatic conditions. Use this information to provide advise on safe operations in relation to weather conditions.
- Moor vessels
Follow standard procedures to moor vessels. Manage communication between the ship and the shore.
Move through water by means of the limbs.
- Supervise movement of passengers
Oversee embarking and disembarking of travellers; ensure that safety regulations are followed according to specifications.
- Anchor ships to the port
Anchor ships to the port according to the type of vessel.
- Supervise loading of cargo
Supervise the process of loading equipment, cargo, goods and other Items. Ensure that all cargo is handled and stored properly in accordance with regulations and standards.