Profession matrose


Sailors stand watch to look for obstructions in path of vessel, measure water depth, turn wheel on bridge, or use emergency equipment as directed by captain, mate or pilot. Break out, rig, overhaul and store cargo-handling gear, stationary rigging and running gear, and perform a variety of maintenance tasks.

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Conventional

Tasks matrose

  • Stand watch in ship's bow or bridge to look for obstructions or to locate navigational aids such as buoys and lighthouses.
  • Alert deck officers when other vessels, navigation marks or hazards are sighted.
  • Load or unload cargo to and from vessel and secure it.
  • Steer ship under the direction of commander or navigating officer, following designated course, or direct helmsmen to steer.
  • Stand by wheel when ship is on automatic pilot, and verify accuracy of course using magnetic compass.
  • Handle ropes, wire mooring lines, gangways and ladders when the ship is berthing and unberthing.
  • Stand gangway watches to prevent unauthorized persons from boarding ship when in port.
  • Operate, maintain and repair ship and deck equipment and appliances (e.g. winches, cranes, derricks, cargo gear, rigging, and lifesaving and firefighting devices).
  • Remove rust, treat and paint ship's sides and structures, and assist in maintaining and repairing ship's engines and mechanical equipment.
  • Overhaul lifeboats and lifeboat gear, lower or raise lifeboats with winches or falls, and man lifeboats in emergencies.
  • Maintain cleanliness of decks and structures, and clean ship's fresh water, ballast and oil tanks and cargo compartment.
  • Set and strike ship's flag.

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  • Principles of combustion engines

    Basic knowledge and understanding of different types of engines and their construction and performance.

  • On board hazards

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

  • Types of cargo

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

  • 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 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.

  • Passenger transport regulations

    Have knowledge of passenger transport conventions and regulations.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Influence of winds and currents in the steering of ships

    Know what influence current, wind strength, and wind direction have on a vessel's navigation and manoeuvring abilities.

  • International regulations for cargo handling

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

  • Inland waterway police regulations

    Understand waterway rules, legal requirements, and relevant police regulations. Handle and maintain buoys, marking systems, and day and night signs.


  • Follow procedures in the event of an alarm

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

  • 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.

  • Use riverspeak to communicate

    Use Riverspeak to communicate in technical and nautical terms.

  • Assist passenger embarkation

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

  • Clean parts of vessels

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

  • Perform daily maintenance on ship machinery

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

  • Comply with checklists

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

  • Operate marine communication systems

    Operate on board marine communication systems; communicate with other ships or with on-shore control centre e.g. to send urgent messages concerning safety; transmit or receive alerts, etc.

  • Launch lifeboats

    Launch and retrieve lifeboats following international maritime regulations.

  • 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.

  • Assist anchoring operations

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

  • 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 technical equipment according to instructions

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

  • Paint ship decks

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

  • Use modern electronic navigational aids

    Use modern navigational aids such as GPS and radar systems.

  • Read stowage plans

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

  • Unmoor vessels

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

  • Provide first aid

    Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.

  • Use different types of fire extinguishers

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Secure cargo in stowage

    Secure cargo stowage with basic knowledge of stowing methods; ensure efficient and safe transport of goods.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Steer vessels

    Operate and steer vessels such as cruise ships, ferries, tankers, and container ships.

  • Moor vessels

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

  • Assess stability of vessels

    Assess the two kinds of stability of vessels, namely transversal and longitudinal.

  • Load cargo onto ships

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

  • Navigate European inland waterways

    Navigate European waterways in accordance with navigation agreements.

  • Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways

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

  • Steer ship in compliance with helm orders

    Steer a ship using various propulsion and steering systems, while under supervision and complying with helm orders.

  • 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 waterway traffic control systems;

    Operate various systems of waterway traffic control; cooperate with traffic control operators, lockkeepers and bridge, keepers.

  • Execute safety assurance exercises

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

  • Swim

    Move through water by means of the limbs.

  • 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.

  • Assess trim of vessels

    Assess the trim stability of vessels, referring to the stability of a vessel while it is in a static condition.

  • 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.

  • Use equipment for safe stowage

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

  • Ensure integrity of hull

    Ensure sure that water does not break through the hull; prevent progressive flooding.

  • Use ballasts

    Manipulate ballast system; empty and refill ballast tanks.

  • 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.

  • Obtain information on various nautical subjects

    Obtain information on various nautical technical and safety subjects.

  • Secure ships using rope

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

  • Follow verbal instructions

    Have the ability to follow spoken instructions received from colleagues. Strive to understand and clarify what is being requested.

  • Maintain ropes

    Maintain splices and knots in ropes.

Optional knowledge and skills

use different communication channels operate vessel engine room implement environmental protection measures show confidence show intercultural awareness physical parts of the vessel prevent damage to electrical devices on board engine components act reliably act as a watchstander vessel stability principles perform manual work autonomously ensure vessel compliance with regulations principles of mechanical engineering perform services in a flexible manner inland waterway ship building vessel fuels prepare simple meals on board distinguish various types of ships