About G.P. Rating Course

Before taking up a job on a merchant ship it is necessary that the candidates should undergo training, the objective being the safe and efficient operation of the ship by trained men’s. The ships of today are highly sophisticated and technology intensive and naturally manning ships with men of professional ability and dedication to duty is imperative. The training in India covers G.P. Rating course, Deck Cadet and engine cadet, All this courses are conducted as per guidelines framed by The Directorate General of shipping in co-ordination with Indian Maritime University and therefore the candidates get trainings of exceptionally high standards, Even Ships officers are of shipping in co-ordination with Indian Maritime University and therefore the candidates get trainings of exceptionally high standards, Even Ships officers are made to go through very high quality syllabus where after they are required to pass written and oral examination.

These examinations are conducted by MMD in the presence of a panel of LBS/MMD consisting of DG Nautical Surveyor in the case of Deck officer and Engineer surveyor in the case of Engineers, in view of this background, Indian seafarers are the most sought after in the Shipping Industry worldwide. Needless to say Indian seafarers are in high demand and are highly paid.

GP Rating course is commencing from 1st. January and 1st. July every year.

After completion of training candidate can join the vessel and after getting 18 months ship sailing experience you can appear for Second Mate written examination and can complete advance courses and GMDSS for deck candidate only. Your orals examination you can attend once ship sailing experience complete total 36 months.

1. An understanding of the duties of a rating on board, the ship’s daily routine and operations on the ship.
2. Practical knowledge of handling ropes, blocks, tackles, rigging and the basics of cargo work and stowage.
3. Basic knowledge of the ship’s compass, steering orders and hints on steering.
4. Basic Engineering knowledge, watch keeping duties and maintenance.
5. Familiarization with tools, equipment and instruments used on board ship.
6. Safety point of view Knots are important and same you will learn in safety period.
7. On a boat, knots seem to give way at the worst time. The winds are up. The seas are rising; your sloop is close hauled to slip around the breakwater to safety when your sheet parts company with your jib and you start to slip leeward into the rocks. While there are many knots used on board boats and ships, these basics will enable to you to handle 98% of what is needed for recreational boating.
8. Practical workshop training in basic carpentry, machine shop, electrical shop, diesel maintenance shop and hot work. The principles of survival at sea, The importance and principles of safety, following safe working practices, accident prevention and prevention of pollution of the sea.
9. Elementary knowledge of the principles of fire fighting.
10. Knowledge of elementary first-aid.
11. The importance of good discipline.

Apart from above following practicals will be given during the training period:

1. Personal Survival Techniques (P.S.T).
2. Personal Safety & Social Responsibilities (P.S.S.R).
3. Elementary First Aid (E.F.A.).
4. Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting (F.P.F.F.).
5. Oil Tanker Familiarization Course (O.T.F.C.).

After successful completion of Pre-sea Training, STCW Modular Courses, a Candidate is awarded with following Certificates and Documents on behalf of D.G. Shipping, Govt. of India:
1. Course Completion Certificate for Pre-sea Training Course.
2. Individual Certificate for all STCW Modular Courses.
3. Continuous Discharge Certificate (CDC)

CDC for a seafarer is the most important document which is an identity of Indian Seafarer to sail on various categories of Ships, engaged in Coastal/Foreign waters. It is also an evidence and report of entire tenure of sea service of a seafarer. It is mandatory for seafarers in order to serve on board any ship. The Institute arranges for the issuance of Indian CDC for its candidates on successful completion of the entire training. The Indian CDC will be issued by the Shipping Master, Mercantile Marine Department, Mumbai, under the directive of The Directorate General of Shipping to the trainees of Indian Nationality. Once you get these documents in hand than candidate can eligible to join Merchant Navy.

All these Ships are manned with 6 to 12 number of Officers and 8 to 14 numbers of seamen working on board the vessel.

Generally working hours are 8 Hrs. on duty and 8 Hrs. rest period or some cases 6 Hrs. duties and 6 Hrs. rest period. In case of emergency you may have to work for 24 hrs or continue as requires.


Deck Officers:
The officers from this branch primarily look after the ships navigation, loading/unloading of cargo and the general maintenance and administration of the ship. The officer joins in the rank of 3rd officer and is subsequently promoted to the rank of 2nd officer, Chief Officer and finally the Master of the ship. Off course, the promotions are subject to the individual passing his competency exams and his performance onboard the ship. In addition to navigation duties, normally a 3rd Officer looks after the life saving appliances, 2nd Officer the passage planning and the navigation equipment, medicine and health related issue, the Chief Officer looks after the loading and discharging of cargo and the Master is the overall in-charge of the ship.

Over all in charge of the Ship. The captain ensures that the ship complies with local and International laws as well as company policies. The captain is ultimately responsible for aspects of operation such as the safe navigation of the ship, its cleanliness and seaworthiness, safe handling of all cargo, management of all personnel and maintaining the ship's certificates and documentation.

Chief Officer:
Second in charge of the Ship Navigation (Driving) 4 Hrs. duration. As cargo officer, a chief mate oversees the loading, stowage, securing and unloading of cargoes. Moreover the chief mate is accountable for the care of cargo during the voyage. This includes a general responsibility for the ship’s stability and special care for cargoes that are dangerous, hazardous or harmful.

Second Officer:
A second mate is almost always a watch keeper in port and at sea the second mate is responsible to the captain for keeping the ship, its crew, and its cargo safe for eight hours each. He is also known as navigation officer, who plots courses and takes celestial and terrestrial fixes. In peacetime he is the communications officer but the naval officer in charge of the armed guard crew is rapidly assuming those duties because many of the messages now received are in secret code. The second mate also handles the after deck when tying up.

Third Officer:
This category always keeps duty along with the Master. He is responsible for all life-saving equipment. In addition, the third mate keeps the ship’s log, follows the captain’s orders, and assists in the navigation of the vessel. In port, he will assist or supervise in the loading and discharging of cargo. His place is on the bridge with the captain while docking.

A seaman may start the process of attaining a license after three years of service in the deck department on ocean steam or Motor Vessels, at least six months of which as an Able Seamen. Then the seaman takes required training courses, and completes on-board training.

Radio Officers:
The Radio Officers looks after all the electronic communication and meantime related records. In addition, he also looks after electronic Navigation aids such as measuring devices, long range navigation equipment and global positioning system etc. However, electronic navigation aids such as radar, depth this category of personnel has been almost phased out and their duties passed over to other deck officers. To be qualified as Radio Officer an individual need to attend a two week GMDSS course. However now days the job prospects are very limited as Captain, Chief Officer and Third Officer are qualify for Radio Officer job.

There are three kinds of ratings - deck, engine room and catering. Deck rating is responsible for cargo handling, mooring/ unmooring and general maintenance of the ship. Similarly the engine room ratings assist the engineering officers in maintenance and operation of engines and associated equipment. The catering crew consists of Steward/Cooks and as the name suggests, they look after the catering and the house keeping of officer’s cabin.

Deck Crew:
He takes the daily routine work order from Master and distributes the work to his subordinate hands.

A. B.:
Must be able to perform any deck duties aside from the actual navigation of the vessel. In general his duties include the ability to splice wire or fiber line, to work aloft and over the side of the ship, to operate the deck machinery such as the windlass or winches, to paint and mix paint, to know the principles of cargo stowage, to be a good wheelsman and competent lookout, to overhaul and install any running or standing rigging on the ship, and to be able to sew, repair and mend canvas.

The A.B. must be a competent and certified life boatman, able to handle a lifeboat under oars or sail. He must know lifeboat equipment and be able to assume the duties of the man in charge of the lifeboat. It will also be the duty of the AB to maintain the bridge in a clean and shipshape condition.

Ordinary Seamen member of the deck department. They are supporting hands on the vessel, whose duties actually are to assist the able seaman. In reality, however, he is the deck utility man and may be called upon to do any one of many tasks.

The ordinary may be called upon to stand a lookout, to scale and chip paint, to paint, handle lines in the mooring of the ship, and to assist in the actual tying up and letting go of the vessel. The ordinary also assists in the handling and operation of all deck gear such as topping, cradling and housing of booms and he may also be asked to aid the carpenter in repair work. It is likely that the ordinary may be allowed to act as helmsman, to read the draft markings or to act as cargo watch in the loading and discharging of cargo.

Calling the watch (the awakening of men, including officers, who are slated to go on watch or to so remind them if they are awake) is another of the important duties of the ordinary. He also assists in emergency drills (lifeboat, abandon ship and fire) and keeps the passageways and heads in shipshape condition on the 4 to 8 watch. He may also work aloft or over the side.

In addition to doing temporary or permanent wood construction aboard ship with hand tools, he is responsible for the operation of the anchor windlass, seeing that hatch wedges are driven properly, that the deck cargo is properly lashed and that the hatch battens are in place and secure.

The carpenter also repairs blocks, keeps the lifeboat davits in good order, builds temporary or permanent partitions, shores or braces weakened or damaged bulkheads, rigs a collision mat, builds a soft patch in the event of bulging or collision, replaces broken rivets and he will assume command of an emergency crew to repair damage in event of a collision.

Engine Room:
These are the officer who is qualified in Marine Engineering. They join as 4th Engineer and step by step, get promoted to 3rd, 2nd and Chief Engineer, subject to their passing the competency exams and performance onboard the ship. The Engineering department in addition to looking after the main engines is also responsible for associated equipment like power generation equipment, cargo pumps and air – conditioning etc. The Fourth Engineer is responsible for operation and maintenance of engine room auxiliaries. The Third Engineer for fuel, water and the boiler room equipment. The Second Engineer for lubricating the system, engine room auxiliaries, and electric equipment. In addition, there is an electrical officer, who is responsible for the electrical equipment. Chief Engineer: He is over all in charge of Main Engine & Auxiliary Machinery, other related machinery & the cooling system on the board of the Vessel. He is also responsible at the time to monitor Propulsion system while vessel is sailing.

Second Engineer:
He is also responsible like Chief Engineer to monitor Main Engine and other related auxiliary machinery.

Third Engineer:
The Third Engineer is usually in charge of boilers, fuel, auxiliary engines, condensate and feed systems, and is the third most senior marine engineer on board. Depending on usage, The Second Engineer or Third Engineer is also typically in charge of fueling granted the officer holds a valid Person In Charge endorsement for fuel transfer operations.

Fourth Engineer:
He is assisting to Chief Engineer during his watch.

Trainee Electrical Officer's Course (Approved by D.G.Shipping)

This training programmed prepares Electrical, Electronic Engineers to be employable on merchant ships as Electrical Officers. After serving a stipulated period on ships and passing the COC exams, they can become Chief Engineer of Merchant Navy ships. Successful candidates are eligible for Campus Placements in leading shipping companies.

ITI Three years training candidate also can join merchant navy after completing four senior Courses as per STCW” 95 standards. In this case candidate will be selected by company and Sponsor for training to get knowledge of Generators, Deep freezers, Air condition, Inverter and Converter circuit and after successful training they will give sponsorship letter for obtaining CDC Book from Shipping Master, Mumbai.

Electrical Officer:
Is responsible for the functioning and handling of all electrical equipment onboard the vessel such as maintenance of Generators, Deep freezers, Air condition and total Electrical system on deck, accommodations and engine room.

Engine Crew:
An oiler is a worker whose main job is to oil machinery. As a member of the engineering department, the oiler operates and maintains the propulsion and other systems onboard the vessel. The oiler's watch at sea is of four hours, with eight hours off in between. In port on some vessels, his duties consist of day work, while on other vessels his watch is eight hours long, with sixteen hours off in between. During his watch, the oiler is probably called upon to do one or all of the following. Pump out the bilges, pump up fresh water or ballast tanks, keep an eye on the water level in the boilers and on the fireman, take temperatures of the stack, sea water, filter box, and feed water for entrance into the logbook, keep oil wiped up off the floor plates and gratings, and on some ships he has a station to keep clean.

In port his work consists mainly of oiling the auxiliaries, and in assisting in the maintenance and repair of the plant. He may be called upon to oil and watch the cargo winches during the night if the cargo is being worked at that time.

A wiper is the most junior crew member in the engine room of a ship. He do cleaning job in engine room and helping Oiler & Duty Officer in their routine maintenance work. He is an all-around worker in the Engine Department of an oil-fired vessel. His is the only position open in that department for beginners and others not qualified in the more responsible ratings. The wiper washes paintwork, chips, scrapes, paints, and performs all those various duties tending to maintain the machinery spaces in a clean condition.

Where overhauling and repair work of boilers and machinery is carried on, the wiper helps in various ways, and it is through the knowledge that he gains while doing this work that he prepares himself for advancement. Since he is first, last, and always a seaman, he should be familiar with nautical terms. He should realize the importance of emergency drills, know his stations in each, and be able to fulfill his part should the necessity arise to combat fire or abandon ship. As an engine department worker he should have an interest in mechanics, and be familiar with the names and the purposes of all the units in the power plant of the vessel. Generally he is a day worker, and is not assigned to a watch. He should, as quickly as possible, familiarize himself with the hazards of using oil fuels, and operating pressure vessels.

These category are kept on board the vessel for day to day maintenance and they are working on Deck as well as in Engine Room it is Depend on Master/ Chief Engineer discretion. On offshore vessel these Category are used as Oiler cum Fitter as there is restricted accommodation. Apart from above two main departments there is one more department in called Saloon Department, by word Saloon you must have remember Barber which please not to confuse. This department, look after Food & Beverage and Hospitality. Some company keeps three hands or some company keeps two hands as below:

Chief Cook/ Cook:
The chief cook directs and participates in the preparation and serving of meals; determines timing and sequence of operations required to meet serving times; he men usually arise at 0530 to start breakfast and have rest periods between meals. In evenings, after supper, a cold meal of sandwiches and coffee is prepared for the night watch.

He also supervises the maintenance and operation of the galley and living and eating quarters of the officers and crew. He orders the supplies for the department and plans the meals. It is also his job to keep a record of all meals served on board.

Mess men may be assigned to the officer mess room or saloon mess. Duties there are to maintain the saloon and to serve meals. The mess man serves the Captain, Chief Mate, Second Mate, Third Mate, Chief Engineer, First Engineer, Second Engineer, Third Engineer, Junior Engineer, Deck or Engine Cadets, if any, Ship's Clerk, Radio Operators, Armed Guard Officer, and Chief Steward. The number of officers varies according to different types of vessels.

Safety – To be safely stowed, provisions should be protected from weather, dampness, heat, crushing, evaporation and vermin.

Cleanliness – The cleanliness of ice boxes must be maintained. This factor cannot be overemphasized. When provisions are removed from chill boxes, refrigerators, vegetable lockers and fish boxes, these spaces should be thoroughly cleaned and put into shipshape condition to receive the next lot of stores. This is usually done just before arrival in port.

The above all categories are provided accommodation some time it is separate or in the group of two or four in the case of Seamanship. There are Toilets some case it is separate or for group.