Responsibilites of the Captain
This is the top maritime job, that of a Master or Captain on board a cargo or passenger ship. A Captain is, simply, overall incharge of the entire vessel and the highest authority at sea. More specifically, he is in charge of safety of the crew, vessel and cargo. He is charged with ensuring that all international and local laws are followed properly, and that all management policies are fully complied with.
He is responsible for the navigation and discipline of the crew. In addition, although the Chief Engineer is directly responsibility for the ship’s machinery or engines, the ‘Chief’ reports to the Captain on all operational matters, and the movement of the Engines are under the Master’s control.
The Captain is overall responsible for the cargo and its stowage, and also the ship’s accounts and the crew’s wages. He is directly responsible for all certification as it pertains to the ship, whether from the Flag State (the country who’s flag the ship flies), Classification Society (like Lloyds, etc) or any other. The Captain also communicates with shore authorities on any commercial or other matters, including in response to oil spills or other accidents. After the World Trade Centre attacks, a new onerous duty has been added to all of these- the Captain is responsible for the security of the ship as well.
If crew or passengers need medical attention, the Captain must ensure that approved adequate supplies exist on board to provide this, or to seek shore medical assistance, including medical evacuation in some cases where it is possible.
Finally, the Captain is responsible for ensuring that proper and accurate records are kept by the vessel, and are made available to shore authorities in the event of an accident or when otherwise required.