Chief mate

A chief mate (C/M) or chief officer, usually also synonymous with the first mate or first officer, is a licensed mariner and head of the deck department of a merchant ship. The chief mate is customarily a watchstander and is in charge of the ship's cargo and deck crew.[1] The actual title used will vary by ship's employment, by type of ship, by nationality, and by trade: for instance, chief mate is not usually used in the Commonwealth, although chief officer and first mate are; on passenger ships, the first officer may be a separate position from that of the chief officer that is junior to the latter.

Chief mate
The chief mate is customarily in charge of the ship's cargo and deck crew.
Other namesChief officer, first mate, first officer
DepartmentDeck department
Reports toCaptain
DutiesCargo officer, Deck department head.
RequirementsChief Mate's License
WatchstanderYes/Depends on shipboard manning requirements
Watch (at sea)Varies (0400-0800, 1600-2000)
Watch (in port)Varies (0800-1700)

The chief mate answers to the captain for the safety and security of the ship. Responsibilities include the crew's welfare and training in areas such as safety, firefighting, search and rescue.

Epaulettes often worn by the chief officer on merchant ships (similar to those worn by a commander)

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