Second Engineer Duties in the Merchant Navy 

The 2nd Engineer or the 1st Assistant Engineer is a licensed member of the engineering department of a ship. Second Engineer Duties in the Merchant Navy include supervising the daily maintenance and operation of the engine department of the ship. 

Second Engineer Duties in the Merchant Navy 
second engineer’s duties

General Duties of Second Engineer in Merchant Navy

  • The 2nd Engineer’s duties include reporting to Chief Engineer for the day-to-day work of the engine room department.
  • On liquified Gas Carriers where a Gas Engineer is also carried, some of the maintenance responsibilities mentioned below are to be transferred to the Gas Engineer.
  • 2nd Engineer must keep the Chief Engineer fully informed about any concerns regarding their responsibilities. 

Note: In the absence or incapacity of the Chief Engineer, the 2nd Engineer will assume charge of the engine room and machinery, till suitably relieved.

Second Engineer Duties in the Merchant Navy 
engine room duties

2nd Engineer is responsible to the Chief Engineer for :

Watchkeeping Duties of Second Engineer in Merchant Navy

  • 2nd Engineer’s duties consist of carrying out watchkeeping as per schedule. 
  • 2nd Engineers have to attend stand-by duties during arrival and departure ports. 
  • They are responsible for cargo-related machinery and systems – for example, ballast water treatment system, ballast system valves, and pumps, cranes or gantries, auxiliary engines,s, etc.      
ballast water treatment system
ballast water treatment system

Environment Protection 

  • 2nd Engineers have to supervise incineration operations.
  • They are responsible for recording and signing garbage incineration operations in Garbage Record Book
  • 2nd Engineer’s duties include assisting the Master and Chief Engineer in achieving vessel-specific objectives and targets assigned by the company (on vessels certified to ISO 14001 standard).
garbage incineration
garbage incineration

Maintenance Duties

  • 2nd Engineer’s duties include having to organize and carry out maintenance in accordance with the planned maintenance program and updating records. 
  • They need to ensure that the engine room is maintained in a clean and presentable condition at all times with no pollution or fire hazard.
  • 2nd Engineers have to personally supervise maintenance and repairs of :         
    1. Main engine
    2. Cargo machinery 
    3. Hydraulic machinery and system 
    4. Steering gear 
    5. Windlass and mooring equipment 
  • They are also responsible for the maintenance of work safety equipment in the engine room.  
Cargo machinery 
Cargo machinery 

Administration and Recordkeeping Duties

  • 2nd Engineers have to allocate duties to other engineers for daily maintenance and repair work.
  • They have to monitor the work and rest hours of engine room staff.
  • 2nd Engineers have to assign jobs to engine room ratings.
  • They need to ensure that the engine room staff complies with the safety and environmental protection procedures. 
  • 2nd Engineer’s duties include training Junior Engineers, Engine cadets, and Trainee Electrical Officers.
  • They are also responsible for the job familiarization of engine room ratings. 
  • 2nd Engineers have to prepare appraisal reports for engine room ratings and advise the Chief Engineer on the performance of engineers and ratings.
  • They have to maintain the Engine Log Book. 
  • They need to ensure that responsible personnel should keep the Planned Maintenance System (PMS) records up to date.
  • They have to maintain records of engine stores, refrigerants, and lubricating oil.
  • 2nd Engineers have to raise requisitions, inventory control, label, and monitor the consumption of spares. 

Note: 2nd Engineer is responsible for carrying out the duties of a Safety Officer (When appointed by the Master as per schedule). 

Planned Maintenance System (PMS)
Planned Maintenance System (PMS)

            Essential Performance Duties of Second Engineer in the Merchant Navy

In addition to the duties mentioned above the 2nd Engineer has to make sure that the following things are taken care of – 

  • No overdue maintenance/testing of critical machinery/equipment in PMS in own areas of responsibility. 
  • No essential machinery/equipment is inoperative in any areas of responsibility.
  • No necessary safeties inoperative or bypassed for any machinery/equipment in own areas of responsibility. 
  • No spares to be below minimum and critical spares requirement in own areas of responsibility. 
second engineer duties in the merchant navy
Duties of Second Engineer

Note: As per the applicable Collective Bargaining (CBA), the 2nd Engineer’s rank may also be known as 1st Assitant Engineer or Assistant Chief Engineer (ACE). 

In this blog we have highlighted the duties of a 2nd Engineer onboard ship, however, these duties also vary according to the shipping company and crew composition.  

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