What Are The Three Types Of Seaman?


The seafaring industry has long been an integral part of the global economy, with seafarers playing a key role in international trade and transportation. As such, it’s important to understand the different roles and responsibilities of the seafarers who make up the merchant navy. In this article, we’ll take a look at the three main categories of seafarers: deck, engine, and catering departments.

Definition of Seaman

A seaman is someone who works onboard a ship or boat in the maritime industry. They are responsible for various tasks including navigation, communication, maintenance, and more. The term ‘seaman’ includes both officers and enlisted personnel who serve in the merchant navy, as well as those who work in other aspects of the maritime industry such as fishing boats or recreational vessels.

Overview of Three Types of Seaman

The three main types of seaman are those who work in the deck department, engine department, and catering department respectively. Each type has its own set of responsibilities and duties that must be fulfilled to ensure that all aspects of maritime operations are running smoothly. Let’s take a closer look at each type below:

Deck Department

The deck department is responsible for all activities related to navigation and communication onboard a vessel. This includes charting courses, operating navigation equipment such as radar and sonar, as well as maintaining communications with other vessels or shore facilities via radio or satellite technology. Deck officers may also be required to monitor weather conditions and make any necessary course adjustments based on these conditions.

Engine Department

The engine department is responsible for all activities related to propulsion and power generation on board a vessel. This includes operation and maintenance of engines (such as diesel-electric or steam turbines), boilers, pumps, generators, and other mechanical systems that are necessary for propulsion and electricity generation onboard a vessel. The engine officers must possess extensive knowledge of machinery systems in order to ensure they are running properly at all times during operations at sea.

Catering Department

The catering department is responsible for providing food services onboard a vessel for both passengers and crew members alike. This includes storage, preparation, cooking, delivery, sanitation/hygiene procedures and more. Catering personnel must also be knowledgeable about food safety regulations in order to ensure food is being handled properly at all times when onboard a vessel.


In conclusion, understanding the three main types of seaman – deck officers, engine officers and catering personnel – is essential for anyone interested in working onboard ships within the merchant navy sector or any other area within the maritime industry. Each role has its own unique set of duties that must be fulfilled in order to ensure safe operations at sea!

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