According to ranking, the third engineer, commonly known as “3E,” is the third most senior engine officer onboard a marine vessel which is the rank before the second engineer and the rank after the fourth engineer. That makes the position the middle rank between an operational and managerial position, where the third engineer has to be seen as the second engineer assistant.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The third engineer is an Engineer Officer of the Watch (EOOW) who holds a certificate of competency STCW Regulation III/1, the same license as the fourth engineer, but their duties and responsibilities differ because of their position and rank. The duties and responsibilities of the third engineer are, but are not limited to;
- Watchkeeping: the third engineer oversees the 1200H – 1600H and 0000H – 0400H watch hours where an engine rating is attached to him/her to observe the running and behavior of all the types of machinery in the engine room during his watch hours.
- Maintenance and Repairs: some machinery is assigned to the third engineer to oversee their performance, carry out routine maintenance when due, and repair when there is damage. These machinery are not limited to Auxiliary Generators, Auxiliary/ Main Boiler, Exhaust Gas Boiler, Air compressors, and pumps.
Other responsibilities are;
- Feedwater test analysis and dosing.
- Inventory for assigned types of machinery.
- Preparing monthly reports.
- Working in second engineer capacity when the second engineer is absent.
- Incharge of the lube oil store.
The duties and responsibilities of the third engineer may differ depending on the type of vessel, company policy, or the chief engineer’s standing order.
The “Deadman Watch” is the name given to watch hours of 0000H – 0400H because almost everyone on board is asleep except the watchkeepers who are on duty, and this is the duty time of the third engineer, which is the most challenging watch time onboard because he/she needs to be alert (awake) to watch the engine room for the safety of the crew onboard and operation of machinery.
The schedule of the working and resting hours of the third engineer is, but can be subject to change depending on the operation of the vessel or chief engineer’s instruct;
0000H – 0400H The third engineer starts his day, taking over the morning watch from the fourth engineer.
0400H – 1000H is the rest/ bedtime; breakfasts can also be taken between the times.
1000H – 1200H this time could be overtime work period to carrying out necessary maintenance and checks if there is any also launch can be taken in between the time.
1200H – 1600H afternoon watchkeeping hours
1600H – 2400H in this hour, the third engineer is expected to take dinner, rest, and prepare to take overwatch for the next day.
The third engineer can be identified onboard by the two (2) stripes (bars) with a diamond or propeller shape on his epaulets.
The third engineer wage has expected to be $3400, but it may differ higher or lower depending on the type of vessel, company policy (bonus and allowances), and tax deductions.