Profession skipper

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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Personality Type

  • Enterprising / Conventional
  • Realistic / Investigative

Knowledge

  • Vessel stability principles

    Thoroughly understand the principles of vessel stability; follow safety requirements during loading and unloading of cargo.

  • 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.

  • Inland waterway ship building

    Understand inland waterway ship building and construction. Operate vessel in compliance with construction legislation.

  • Vessel fuels

    Know and understand characteristics of fuels and lubricants, and the fuel loading specifications of various types of vessels.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Functions of vessel deck equipment

    Know and control deck and safety equipment and vessel lifting facilities.

  • 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.

  • International regulations for cargo handling

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

  • 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.

  • Inland waterway police regulations

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

  • 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.

  • National regulations on handling cargo

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

Skills

  • 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.

  • Manage vessel cargo activities

    Manage and oversee the safe and punctual loading and unloading of cargo from vessels in port.

  • 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.

  • Read stowage plans

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

  • 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.

  • Compose stowage plans

    Compose stowage plans; knowledge of ballast systems and cargo loading process.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Steer vessels

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

  • Provide on-board safety training

    Develop and implement on-board safety training programmes.

  • Use modern electronic navigational aids

    Use modern navigational aids such as GPS and radar 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.

  • 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.

  • Adhere to traffic regulations on inland waterways

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Prepare and execute regular safety exercises

    Plan and perform regular safety exercises; maximise safety in potentially dangerous 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.

  • 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.

  • Use radar navigation

    Operate modern radar navigation equipment to ensure safe vessel operations.

  • Assess stability of vessels

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

  • Secure cargo in stowage

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

  • Coordinate the itineraries of vessels

    Develop, manage, and coordinate the itinerary of vessels worldwide together with other stakeholders.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Navigate European inland waterways

    Navigate European waterways in accordance with navigation agreements.

  • 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.

  • Ensure integrity of hull

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

  • 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.  

Optional knowledge and skills

secure ships using rope implement environmental protection measures create a work atmosphere of continuous improvement show confidence time management analyse ways to reduce travel time use maritime english maintain updated professional knowledge act reliably manage staff have computer literacy

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