Sea transportation is the movement of goods and people from one place to another by sea or any other waterways. Hence, ship engineers, as it were, are people who run or in charge of the engine in a ship. They play major roles in ensuring a smooth sea transportation and preventing unwanted mechanical or technical faults by maintaining propulsion plants during operations. These, among others, explain indispensable obligations of ship engineers.
In addition, ship engineers also perform other functions such as maintaining the sewage, the lighting, the heating, the air conditioning, the lubrication, the ventilation, the propeller shafts and propellers, the refrigeration, the fabrication of engine parts for replacement e.g. bolts, valves etc., installing the engine controls, the electrical power generation plant as well as the water system in the ship.
Other duties include managing life-saving equipment, fuel management, boat management, safety management, fire-fighting, first aid, supervising loading and off-loading hazardous materials, monitoring working conditions of engines and any other equipment so as to know whether or not they are working properly and to identify any fault, as well as engaging in pollution prevention in line with the international regulations and nautical tasks.
However, there are different positions in ship engineering division generally for
British and US vessel. Here are the positions:
1. Chief Engineer: This post is in charge of engine department.
2. Second Engineer in US it’s called 1st Assistant Engineer: This post engages in daily operations of engine department.
3. Third Engineer in US it’s called 2nd Assistant Engineer: The position takes the responsibility of maintaining the auxiliary engines and boilers.
4. Fourth Engineer in Us it’s called 3rd Assistant Engineer: This engineer unit maintains the air compressors, purifiers, pumps and auxiliary machinery.
5. Electro-technical Officer (ETO): The officer in charge maintains electrical and electronics equipment like radars, VHF and so on.
6. Electrical Officer: The officer maintains only the electronics equipment.
7. Junior Engineer
Technicians and craftsmen in ship engineer division
In ship engineer division, there are other regular skilled jobs which include:
a. Machinist or fitter: The person in charge fabricates and repairs machines.
b. Motorman: The person assists the engineer and also does menial jobs.
c. Oiler: The duty is to ensure that the machines are well lubricated.
d. Wiper: The duty is to keep the engine room clean and tidy.
Having considered the above enormous tasks of ship engineer division, it won’t be too much to say that the engineer division is indispensable in marine transportation.