The head of the Engineering Department, the Chief Engineer, has overall responsibility for the functioning of the engine room and all mechanical equipment on the ship. They will maintain records of all engine parts and repairs, be responsible for calculating fuel and water consumption and requirements and coordinate operations with shore side engineers and specialist riding crews.
The Second Engineer is directly involved in engine maintenance and assigns duties to engine room ratings and prioritises work according to the Chief’s requirements.
The Third Engineer will often have specific responsibility for maintaining certain equipment within the engine room and throughout the vessel.
The Engineering Department may also have a small number of ratings who will have direct responsibility for general routine maintenance and other tasks associated with some of the more basic technical systems.