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Rank Of Second Officer | Ocean Mariner
Rank Of Second Officer

Rank Of Second Officer

A Second Officer or Second Mate “2O” or “2M” for short is the rank next rank after the third officer rank and before the chief officer rank. The second is the 3rd in command in the deck department and an officer in charge of a navigational watch. In Some small vessels, the second officer may be the least ranking officer due to the vessel’s size, especially when there’s no third officer onboard the ship.


The second officer rank is licensed in accordance with the STCW Regulations II/ 3 as an Officer in charge of Navigational Watch (OiC-NW).


The rank of the second mate has duties and responsibilities attached to it as an officer in charge of a navigational watch, which are but not limited to;

By Shayke Abdullah Nabian
  • Watchkeeping: the duty watch hour for the second officer is 1200H-1600H & 0000H-0400H, but during some ship operations, like cargo discharging or loading, the watch time is 1200H-1800H & 0000H-0600H.
  • Radio (GMDSS) Operator: Usually, the second officer is appointed by the master as the radio (GMDSS) operator.
  • Navigational officer: As one of the duties of the second officer is to assist the master in navigation by preparing voyage plan, updating charts and making sure that every equipment for navigational purposes is in good condition.
  • Mooring Officer: During mooring operations, the second mate is in charge of the aft mooring station to oversee and direct the deck ratings for the safe mooring of the ship.
  • Medical officer: Being the appointed medical officer of the ship, the second officer ensures that all medical supplies & equipment are in excellent and usable condition. First aid kits are regularly checked, replaced with expired drugs, and finished with medical supplies on board. Also, the second officer can give a first aid treatment to causality and the patient onboard.
  • Paperwork
  • Incharge of stationery store and supplies.

UNIFORM: During operations on deck, the second officer wears the complete PPE. In contrast, during the navigational watch, the second officer wears the usual working attire, the white shirt with an Epaulets to indicate the rank of a second officer (2 bars or stripes with anchor or diamond shape symbol on the Epaulets) with a black trouser.

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