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Video: 3rd officer onboard daily routine.


The third officer onboard has a major role to play. He is a licensed member of the deck departments of a merchant’s vessel.

As a matter of fact, the 3rd mate is a qualified 3rd class certificate of competency ( COC ) license holder. Though work as a 3rd officer onboard, due to less practical experience, and/or alternative job, the officer can as well handle the 2nd mate jobs and likely to perform very good.

This article is to share and enlighten the 3rd officer(mate) primary duties to our cadets and new licensed fans, as well as for all Seafarers, who may find this article useful.

Having said that, the 3rd mate primary duties is to maintain the ship safety equipment such as lifeboats equipment, firefighting equipment, Lifejacket condition, immersion safety suit condition, and other emergency systems.

Furthermore, the watch keep is same with the 4th engineer duty time ( at sea morning duty 8-12 and evening 20-24). This watch is as well keep with the captain, otherwise will contact the captain in case any issues. The 3rd officer is not allowed to make a direct decision in teams of navigation. But he can be allowed, in case the fellow is found very reasonable and experienced ( not on all cases).

Responsibility for maintaining the ship safety equipment.

I believe by now, you might have understood the primary duties of a third mate. Now let’s looking into how to maintain the equipment, and what is required of him.

1. Record keeping: Since all the safety equipment also has it planned maintenance system (PMS), the 3rd mate is obligated to check that equipment on daily basis and/or weekly, then record the information relating to what observed and work is done on them.

2. Services: During annual services of the safety equipment, 3rd mate is to make sure all the equipment are placed back to the design area, also confirm the dates, condition and give all reports to the chief mate/captain.

3. Testing: the 3rd officer is obligated to check & test the self-contained breathing apparatus, refill the air if not enough. Same also goes to testing the lifejacket lights, immersion suite lights, lifebuoy rope condition check, etc.

Watch the video for more duty listed by Oguzhan Emir.


If you are employed as a 3rd officer, it’s your responsibility to work hard to learn more from your senior officers. As a safety officer, you must know more on how to use the equipment.


Be active both on your responsibility and others. This will add to your fast promotion and re-employment.

If you have questions base on this article or additional information, please feel free to send us an email.

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