Duties of Second Officer in Merchant Navy 

The Second Officer in Merchant Navy is a licensed mariner of the deck department who is mainly responsible for the navigation of the ship. The 2nd officer also known as the 2nd mate is a watchkeeping officer who is often the medical officer onboard and responsible for distress signaling equipment. 

In the following blog, we have written about the duties of a 2nd Officer in the Merchant Navy and given a brief insight into the salary of a 2nd officer in the merchant navy. 

duties of second officer in merchant navy
second officer duties

    General Duties of Second Officer in Merchant Navy  

  • The 2nd Officer is in charge of navigational duties under the supervision and directions of the Master/Captain.
  • The 2nd Officer must keep the Master fully informed about any concerns regarding his/her responsibilities.
  • The 2nd Officer should understudy the Chief Officer in all aspects of their responsibilities and assist them in the following specific areas –
  1. Security
  2. Structural Inspection
  3. General maintenance 

They should be able to handle cargo operations in the absence of the Chief Officer. 

general duties of second officer
general duties

  GMDSS And Navigation Duties of Second Officer in Merchant Navy 

2nd Officers have to keep navigational watches as instructed by the Master/Captain, generally in the 0000 – 0400 hrs and 1200 – 1600 hrs watches.

navigation duties
navigation duties

Medical Duties of Second Officer in Merchant Navy

Duties of 2nd Officer is as a designated medical officer onboard. They must hold a valid medical care certificate.

They need to maintain the medical locker according to Flag state/U.K. regulations and prepare requisitions as required. 

They also need to provide medication and first aid and maintain the medical log.

Administration And Recordkeeping Duties of Second Officer in Merchant Navy 

The 2nd Officer has to prepare monthly radio traffic accounts. 

They are responsible for maintaining, taking inventory, and preparing requisitions as required of :

  • Technical library and cadets’ library (if applicable)
  • All stationary onboard.
  • Catering stores.
  • Gas detection equipment spares and calibration gas cylinders maintaining and updating.
  • Flag state circulars file.
  • SMS manuals – assisting Master/Captain.
  • Safety data sheets for chemicals used for cargo purposes; paints and any other products used in deck and catering departments.   
medical duties
medical duties

Cargo, Ballast, And Deck Work 

  • The second Officer has to assist the Chief Officer in cargo and ballast operations.              
  • Second Officer in merchant officer have to maintain port watches as decided by the Master and Chief Officer.                           
  • They need to assist in mooring/unmooring operations.   
  • They have to maintain and calibrate fixed and portable gas detection equipment (as applicable).                                      
  • 2nd Officers have to inform about any shore servicing/calibration due to or required for gas detection equipment.         
  • On Gas Carriers, 2nd Officers must assist and understudy the Gas engineer for cargo plant operations and maintenance.                           
deck work
deck work

Key Performance Duties  

In addition to the duties listed above a Second Officer in Merchant Navy has to keep the following points in mind during his/her contract.

  • No uncorrected or outdated voyage charts and publications.
  • No overdue maintenance or testing of critical equipment in own areas of responsibility.
  • No lack of medicines or expired medicines on board as per the required scale.
  • No spares to be below minimum and critical spares requirement in own areas of responsibility.
key performance duties of second officer in merchant navy
key performance duties

2nd Officer Salary in Merchant Navy          

Like all other officers, onboard the salary of the second officer in merchant navy also varies across the type of vessel that they sail in. But on average, most 2nd officers are paid really well for all their hard work onboard. However, there can be a big difference in the salary of a 2nd officer sailing on tankers and a 2nd officer sailing on dry bulk ships such as Bulk Carriers or Container Ships.

salary of second officer in merchant navy
salary of second officer in merchant navy

Although the salaries differ from company to company, however, most 2nd officers sailing on dry bulk ships (Bulk Carriers/Container Ships) are paid in the range of 4000$ – 4800$  and those sailing on tankers (Oil/Chemical/Product/LPG/LNG) are paid around 4000$ – 5000$.          

In this blog, we have written about the duties of a second officer in merchant navy in detail. Now there are some duties that may vary according to the shipping company. However, in most ships, 2nd Officers have to perform all the duties mentioned above.

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] Duties of second engineer […]