By International law, the Master is the supreme authority on board the ship. Whatever is described in this know-how or in any Company's Regulations, does not relieve him from his responsibilities. Assistance from the Company will be given as advice only, leaving the final decision and responsibility with the Master.>
He is responsible for proper ship safety, exploitation and maintenance. Sufficient number of job / duty description and responsibilities for all persons on board must be issued ,when signing on, to ensure that all tasks are taken properly care of, including and not limitative to :
With regard to quality and safety policies, the Master is the head of the quality and safety committee on board and is responsible for :
The Master shall ensure that all emergency procedures are defined and maintained through planning, training and drills in view to minimize the consequences if accidents / incidents should occur, including anti-pollution and safety measures, in the best interest of crew, ship and marine environment.
He has to ensure that all lifesaving and safety equipments are kept in a proper order according to regulations at all times.
The Master is responsible to report to the Company all defects and other matters which could affect the safe operation of the ship or could present a risk of pollution, and which require the assistance of the Company to ensure that they are rectified and implemented on board of all vessels concerned.
The Master is responsible for the seaworthiness of the vessel in accordance with rules and regulations issued by :
and has full Authority to take the proper decision according to the circumstances.
The Master is responsible for the safe navigation at all times, crew relation, catering and welfare, good discipline, evaluation of crew performance training, familiarisation and working morale
The Master is responsible for all necessary reportings and liaisons on board. He represents the Company, the owners as well as the charterers, and is the reporting line to the Company, owners, charterers, and any third party if required.
The Master is responsible for accounting of the vessel, slopchest, provisions, control of purchasing, and if necessary to report any discrepancy.
One of his main functions is to keep himself professionally up to date, to provide his experience to the ship's staff in a way to increase experience and professional updating.
In his absence, the Chief Officer will take command.
The Master is responsible for the feedback line of data from the ship to the company or any third party, as described in further subjects.
As a summary we could say that :
The Master is responsible for the seaworthiness, navigation, cargo and maintenance of his vessel, according to all mandatory regulations. He is responsible to identify all defects, to report them to the Company, to the Classification Society, to any third party if relevant, and, if this is not possible, to handle them directly on board. The Master will assist the shore based management with information. A good communication between both parties is, in this matter, vital.
The Master is responsible for all reporting obligations on board such as, but not limited to:
The Master is responsible for the crew administration, duty, working hours and overtime carried out (time-sheet to be countersigned by Chief Engineer or Chief Officer).