The Ship's Company
THE MERCHANT NAVY
Introducing the varied roles of seafarers in the British Merchant Navy
There are normally two main departments on board ship – Deck and Engineering. Ships carrying passengers also have a Hotel Services department and many other roles catering for the demanding needs and expectations of the paying passenger.
The Engineering department is responsible for all technical services including main engine propulsion, other plant and machinery, electrical generation and maintenance, all controlled by a complex array of computer control systems that need monitoring 24 hours a day. Electro-Technical specialists manage control systems in some vessels.
The number in a ship’s crew varies according to the size and type of vessel and its area of operation. The ship’s company may range from as few as six crew members up to twenty-five or more. These numbers will be significantly higher on passenger ships and ferries in all departments but particularly in the Hotel Services department, depending on the number of passengers carried.
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