All the machinery onboard ship is a combination of mechanical and electrical systems. The modern day shipping is more reliable on automations and electronics whose knowledge and maintenance can only be handled by an engineer expert in the electrical field. Marine electrical officer engineers are perfect for such jobs and that’s why they hold an important role on ship and in offshore industry.
Electrical engineer is one of the most vital positions in the technical hierarchy of a ship and engineer is responsible for his assigned work under the chief engineer’s instructions.
Some shipping companies do not carry electrical officers on their ship to cut down the manning cost and the electrical duties are carried by some one from the engineer’s side, normally third engineer. However, many companies realized that electrical and electronic system requires some extra attention and therefore require an expert to attend them.
As the technology is advancing, more and more automations and electronic circuit is replacing conventional and electrical systems. Hence the international Maritime Organisation (IMO) amended STCW 95 on 25thJune 2010 known as Manila amendment, to introduce a certified position of Electro-technical officer in place of electrical officer.
The general duties of electrical engineer or Electro-technical officer are:
- He is responsible for maintenance of all the electrical motors on ship i.e. in engine room and on deck.
- He is in charge of maintenance of all switchboard including main switchboard and emergency switchboard.
- He is responsible for maintenance of fire detectors and fire alarm system.
- He has to maintain all the ship’s alarm system.
- He is responsible for the electronic system fitted onboard ship.
- He is responsible for the ship’s navigational lights and other navigational equipments.
- He is responsible for all the batteries that are connected to machineries onboard. It includes:
– Emergency batteries for alarm and lights
– Lifeboat batteries
– Batteries for emergency generator
– Other batteries fitted onboard
- He is responsible for maintaining refrigeration unit in the engine room
- He has to take care of air conditioning unit of the vessel.
- Electrical officer is responsible for maintaining refrigerated containers carried on container ship.
- He is responsible for cargo and engine room cranes electrical system.
- He has to carry out routine maintenance for main engine alarms and trips along with the chief engineer.
- During the time of manoeuvring, he has to be present in the engine room along with other engineers to tackle any kind of electrical and other emergencies.
- Electrical officer can assist in watch keeping routines at desired time by the chief engineer.
- He has to assist ship’s engineer and deck officer in all kind of electrical problems.
Even the post of electrical officer is not a compulsion on a ship, but due to technicalities and complex knowledge requirement of the electrical and electronic system, they are extensively present in the shipping industry.