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The job of a marine engineer
The Marine Engineer has to be a jack of all trade, especially in engineering. He has to know all about the mechanical and electrical engineering involved in the operation and maintenance of a ship. He has to be able to service all the machinery without help from outside. He has to maintain the machinery in good running condition, so that they can last for many years, and especially during the voyage from one end of the earth to the other. The machinery is designed to be run continuously for the whole voyage, which in many instances will be a month or so.
Any breakdown in machinery, or piping, or steel structure will have to be repaired as best as can be done while the ship is still at sea. Any
leaks in piping, propeller shaft, machinery, tanks, will have to be repaired, or at least patched up temporarily until the next stop.
Any emergency, fire, may cause the ship to be forced to stop. Any stops while the ship is in the middle of a rough sea may mean disaster for the ship, because when a ship stops, the rudder is no more effective to steer the ship. A big wave may come along to drift the ship or even to heel the ship to one side.
Therefore the role of a Marine Engineer can be very well defined as:
As a member of the ship, he will also have specific roles to play during an emergency like "Abandon Ship", "Fire Fighting". At other times, he will have to support other departments like operating cargo pumps for deck department, helping in getting food provisions on board.
- Maintenance of Machinery
- Operation of Machinery (Also called Watchkeeping)
- Maneuvering the ship during arrival or departure from port.
- Receiving bunker fuel oil, machinery spare parts, etc.