Able Seaman (AB WHEELSMAN)

Job Details

Able Seaman (AB WHEELSMAN)

Jacksonville, Florida




Job Description

Position Purpose: Briefly summarize the purpose of this position in one or two sentences.

The Company owns/operates a fleet of US Flag commercial free-flowing, self-unloading dry bulk cargo vessels on the Great Lakes. This position assists as directed in the Deck and Maintenance departments achieving three broad objectives:

  1. Safety of the ship and the crew.
  2. Sound environmental practices.
  3. Efficient vessel operations.

This position is assigned as a watch-stander in the Deck Department.


Key Job Activities: List the ongoing day-to-day essential job responsibilities in priority order (it is not necessary to list every activity, you may just list the most important ones). In the brief description include the impact of the position on the business, level/type of authority, independence, complexity, analysis, judgement used and decisions made. If the position supervises personnel, indicate number and titles.


Key Activities

Example: Process accounts payable with a volume of approximately $3.4mil per month and over 500 vendors.

  1. Safety of the ship and crew – A daily, visible effort and leadership role in all aspects of vessel operations to promote:
    • Enforcement and compliance with the Company’s Safety Policy, procedures, response plans and application laws and regulations.
    • Safe working practices and conditions.
    • Identification and elimination of hazards through inspections and reporting near misses in the Company’s Near Miss Reporting system.
    • Satisfactorily participate in training and orientation through the Company’s “Stop, Talk, Proceed” program (also known as: “STP”).
    • Satisfactorily participates in drills and exercises.
  1. Sound environmental practices
    • Complies with applicable environmental laws, regulations, policies and procedures.
    • Satisfactorily participate in training and drills to support the Company’s efforts to protect the environment.
    • Conducts inspections and reports actual or potential pollution incidents, including sheens in the water and oil or hazardous substances on deck, to the officer on watch


  1. Efficient Vessel Operations -
    • Will be considered a watch stander in the Deck Department when watches are established but may be assigned as a day worker when established watches are augmented.
    • Performs work in the Deck Department when assigned:
      • When assigned to watches in the Deck Department, maintains vigilant watch on the bridge or on deck during assigned hours in open or restricted waters and reports all sightings to the officer on watch or Master. Follows Master's standing orders.
      • Steers the vessel at the direction of the Mate on watch or Master when required.


  • Participates in tying up vessel, handling lines on deck and on dock, shifting and operating mooring winches.
  • Handles hatch covers, including operating hatch crane to open/close/shift hatch covers, open or secure hatch clamps.
  • Primarily responsible for operating unloading boom.
  • Operates ballast system if required.
  • Stands security watch at boarding ladders and maintains security log as required.
  • Operates incinerator.
  • Rinses cargo holds, secures, clears and cleans anchors and anchor chain.
  • Cleans cargo residue and shovels spillage wherever it occurs on deck or in

the tunnel.

  • Assists in repair and maintenance of vessel deck equipment and machinery, including chipping and painting.
  • Takes on and stores all stores and supplies.
  • Cleaning throughout the vessel.
  • Assists in activities related to the activating (a.k.a. “fit out”) or deactivating (a.k.a. “layup”) of the vessel as directed.
  • Any other vessel responsibilities within the scope of their certification and ability.

Number and title of positions supervised:

  • None


Interaction: Briefly describe the level/type of contacts that will interact with the position.

The position requires a close relationship with the vessel’s maintenance team and its supervisors. Works as assigned in the various departs aboard the vessel.


Education and/or Experience Required (including certifications):

  • USCG Merchant Mariners Credential with Able Seaman endorsement.
  • US Department of Homeland Security Transportation Worker Identification Credential (“TWIC”).
  • US Coast Guard issued Medical Certificate or a US Coast Guard Application for a Medical Certificate CG Form-719K.
  • Safety and operations training as provided by the Company.


Key Competencies (non-technical behavioral skills, i.e. presentation, negotiation, customer service skills), in priority order. Select from “key competencies for job descriptions” list:

  • Maintains a positive attitude.
  • Works effectively within a team.
  • Ability to accurately and efficiently follow directions.
  • Knowledge of all safety policies and procedures.
  • Proper and safe operation of vessel equipment.


Other (i.e., physical requirements, travel, etc. that is not covered above):

  • Successfully complete an English language assessment administered by the Company.
  • Eligible to enter Canada.
  • Pass a screening for dangerous drugs and alcohol as required under US Coast Guard regulations.
  • Must be “fit for full duty” for medium work, as determined by physical examination performed by Company-designated physician. Medium work defined as:
    • Lifting/Pushing/Pulling/Carrying 50 lbs. max.
    • Frequent reaching up, down and to side and rotation.
    • Frequent flexion and extension of neck and waist.
    • Constant walking/standing.
    • Occasional climbing stairs/ladders, stooping, crouching, squatting.
    • Occasional kneeling, crawling.


  • Must satisfactorily pass a Company criminal background check.
  • Extensive travel throughout the Great Lakes to join and depart vessels for assignments at any time and throughout the shipping season.
  • Vessel assignments are approximately 60 to 120 days in duration with approximately 200 total days on board Company vessels during a navigation season. The navigation season commences late March and ends mid-January.
  • Must have the physical vigor to board Company vessels using steep ladders or work boats provided by vessels or ship repair yards to embark and disembark vessels and access the pilot house and engineering spaces aboard the vessels.
  • Must be able to don personal protective equipment as required to conduct work aboard the vessel or on docks and must be able to don lifesaving equipment provided by the vessel.
  • Have the stamina to work extended hours (within US Coast Guard limits) in performing duties.


NOTE: The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required of personnel so classified.

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