Skippers are the highest authority on-board or on inland waterways, they are in charge of the vessel and are held responsible for the safety and well being of the clients and crew. They are licensed by the responsible authority and will determine the operations of the vessel at any time. They are the ultimate instance responsible for the crew, the ship, the cargo and/or passengers, and the voyage.
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- National regulations on handling cargo
The national regulations governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports within that country.
- 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.
- Physical parts of the vessel
Detailed knowledge of the different physical components of the vessel. Provide maintenance and care to ensure optimal operations.
- Passenger transport regulations
Have knowledge of passenger transport conventions and regulations.
- Inland waterway ship building
Understand inland waterway ship building and construction. Operate vessel in compliance with construction legislation.
- Vessel stability principles
Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.
- Inland waterway police regulations
Understand waterway rules, legal requirements, and relevant police regulations. Handle and maintain buoys, marking systems, and day and night signs.
- Vessel fuels
Know and understand characteristics of fuels and lubricants, and the fuel loading specifications of various types of vessels.
- 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.
- International waterways
The international waterways used for maritime navigation, the geographical location of currents, maritime waterways, and harbours.
- 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.
- 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.
- International regulations for cargo handling
International conventions governing the loading and unloading of cargo in ports.
- Functions of vessel deck equipment
Know and control deck and safety equipment and vessel lifting facilities.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use water navigation devices
Utilise water navigation devices, e.g. compass or sextant, or navigational aids such as lighthouses or buoys, radar, satellite, and computer systems, in order to navigate vessels on waterways. Work with recent charts/maps, notices, and publications in order to determine the precise position of a vessel.
- Assess stability of vessels
Assess the two kinds of stability of vessels, namely transversal and longitudinal.
- 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.
- Coordinate the itineraries of vessels
Develop, manage, and coordinate the itinerary of vessels worldwide together with other stakeholders.
- 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.
- Ensure vessel security
Ensure that security requirements for vessels are met according to legal norms. Check if the security equipment is in place and operational. Communicate with marine engineers to ensure that the technical parts of the vessel functioning effectively and can perform as necessary for the upcoming journey.
- Ensure vessel compliance with regulations
Inspect vessels, vessel components, and equipment; ensure compliance with standards and specifications.
- Navigate European inland waterways
Navigate European waterways in accordance with navigation agreements.
- 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.
- Ensure integrity of hull
Ensure sure that water does not break through the hull; prevent progressive flooding.
- 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.
- Recognise abnormalities on board
Identify anomalies and abnormalities on board, evaluate them, and take appropriate actions to restore normal operation of ship. Check all (safety) systems for operational functions. Organise actions to be taken in the event of an identified problem.
- Steer vessels
Operate and steer vessels such as cruise ships, ferries, tankers, and container ships.
- Compose stowage plans
Compose stowage plans; knowledge of ballast systems and cargo loading process.
- Use modern electronic navigational aids
Use modern navigational aids such as GPS and radar systems.
- Analyse reports provided by passengers
Analyse reports submitted by passengers (i.e. on unforeseen occurrences or incidents such as vandalism or theft) in order to inform strategic decision making.
- Assess trim of vessels
Assess the trim stability of vessels, referring to the stability of a vessel while it is in a static condition.
- Assume highest level of responsibility in inland water transportation
Understand the responsibilities that accompany the position of skipper. Assume responsibility for the integrity of ship's crew, cargo, and passengers; ensure that operations run as they should.
- Instruct crew in operations of technical shore based facilities
Instruct crew members in the pre- and after activities relating to the operations of technical shore-based facilities. Understand safety regulations required to work with shipboard electrical systems.
- Monitor crew members operating engines
Monitor the staff that operate the engines during operations. Communicate with them in order to obtain information relevant to the general steering of the ship.
- Manage vessel cargo activities
Manage and oversee the safe and punctual loading and unloading of cargo from vessels in port.
- Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways
Understand and apply traffic rules in inland waterway navigation in order to ensure safety and avoid collisions.
- Prepare and execute regular safety exercises
Plan and perform regular safety exercises; maximise safety in potentially dangerous situations.
- 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.
- Plot shipping navigation routes
Plot the navigation route of a vessel under the review of a superior deck officer. Operate a ship radar or electronic charts and automatic identification system.
- Secure cargo in stowage
Secure cargo stowage with basic knowledge of stowing methods; ensure efficient and safe transport of goods.
- Read stowage plans
Read and comprehend content of stowage plans; basic knowledge of how to stow various types of cargo.
- Use radar navigation
Operate modern radar navigation equipment to ensure safe vessel operations.
- 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.
- Conduct water navigation
Ensure that a vessel carries up to date and adequate charts and appropriate nautical documents. Lead the process of preparing the voyage report, the vessel passage plan, daily position reports, and the pilot's information sheet.
- Conduct analysis of ship data
Collect information from a vessel's management software and cross reference it to analyse the data from different points of view. Analyse data and apply judgement to inform decision-making.
- Calculate the amount of cargo on a vessel
Determine the weight of cargo on tanker ships and cargo vessels. Calculate the exact amount of loaded cargo or cargo to be discharged.
- Provide on-board safety training
Develop and implement on-board safety training programmes.
- Communicate mooring plans
Prepare crew briefings on mooring plans and division of labour. Provide the crew with information on protective gear such as helmets and safety goggles.