A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 3.—Water Transport Workers

733.—Navigating Officers and Pilots

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see master; sometimes specifically designated, e.g. barge captain, dredger captain, ferry captain, hopper captain, launch captain.
captain (cable ship)
navigation duties and responsibilities as for master on passenger vessel; also, where no cable engineer (300) is carried, is responsible for raising cable from, and lowering it to ocean bed, manipulation of cable on deck, testing and repair or splicing of cable; decides, in consultation with chief electrician (cable ship) (301) q.v., extent of repair operations which can be done at sea.
captain, dredger
see master, dredger.
captain, ferry
see master, ferry.
see master.
master, ship master, ship's master, master mariner ; captain, commander
holds master's or extra master's certificate, issued by Board of Trade; is in supreme command of vessel on voyage, and responsible to owners for its safe navigation; makes daily inspection of work going on in all parts of ship, to see that duties are being properly performed by all hands; in consultation with chief officer or first mate q.v., arranges rota of duties necessary for ship's navigation; takes charge himself from bridge, and issues instructions to quartermaster (735) q.v. in case of fog or when ship is otherwise in danger, but does not usually keep a regular watch in other circumstances, at least on large vessels; is responsible for keeping ship's log and certifies its accuracy before it is handed over to Board of Trade on completion of voyage; keeps record of boat drills, on passenger vessels; is responsible for custody of ship's papers (manifest, crew's discharge books, and statements of account); supervises and directs work of purser (737) q.v.; duties vary according to size of ship and according to number of subordinate officers (mates, pursers, etc.).
master, derrick
in charge of a flat or lighter fitted with derricks for use in any part of dock or harbour.
master, dredger ; dredger captain
in charge of a dredger and its crew, and is responsible for navigation and dredging operations; does not hold, except rarely, a certificate, see master.
master, ferry ; ferry captain
in charge of and navigates ferry boat which is mechanically propelled; does not hold, except rarely, a certificate, see master.
master, tug
commands and navigates a tug; usually holds Board of Trade coastwise navigation ticket, or navigating permit issued by river conservancy or similar authority; tows barges, sailing ships, and, occasionally, steamships, through narrow waters (e.g. English Channel) or from open sea, river mouth, outer harbour or roadstead, to inner harbour, dock or dry dock, or, vice versa; sometimes also tows shins in distress or under repair for long distances in open sea.
mate; officer
holds Board of Trade certificate of competence as first, second, etc., mate; first or second mate often also holds a master's certificate while still serving as mate; assists master q.v. in navigation and in executive control of vessel; takes watch on bridge in turn with other officers and is responsible for navigation of vessel during his watch, issuing necessary instructions to quartermaster (735) q.v.; supervises seamen (735) q.v. and sees their duties properly carried out; assists master in warping ship into and out of dock, taking his post at forecastle (if first mate) or at stern (if second mate); sees that hatch allocated to him is properly secured on voyage and supervises opening, when necesary [sic]; takes watch, in turn, when crew have been paid-off, during loading and unloading, until fresh crew signed on; usually specifically designated, e.g. first (or chief) mate q.v., second, third, etc., mate or officer; holds Board of Trade certificate.
mate, first; chief mate, chief officer, first officer
duties generally as for mate, but is subordinate only to master q.v. and in constant communication with him; has special duties, e.g., in consultation with master, arranges rota of duties necessary for navigating ship, takes ship's bearings with sextant, etc.; sets course of ship and alters it, when necessary, in accordance with bearings, etc.; takes over duties and responsibilities of master in case of master's death or serious illness.
officer (cable ship)
as for mate (or officer) on ordinary vessel, but also assists, taking charge of a particular station, in work of raising, lowering, testing and repairing cable; usually specifically designated, e.g. chief officer of cable ship, second officer, third officer, fourth officer; cf. captain (cable ship).
officer of training ship
a master, mate, chief instructor q.v., or junior instructor on a training ship in which boys and cadets are trained in navigation for mercantile marine service.
officer, salvage
general term for officers of a vessel engaged on salvage operations; includes master, mates, engineers (734) q.v. etc.
officer, Trinity House
a master q.v. in command of a Trinity House vessel engaged on visits of inspection to lighthouses, light-ships, buoys, etc.
a licensed waterman (738) q.v. who is skilled in navigation of some particular stretch of water, such as a river mouth, an entrance to a harbour, or dock, or some narrow and thronged stretch of sea, e.g. Bristol Channel; boards ship from pilot tender at entrance to harbour, etc., and takes over control of navigation from master q.v. to dock side, landing stage or harbour mooring, or vice versa; is supplied periodically with river or harbour charts showing depths of water and channels kept open for navigation, is notified of wrecks, shifting buoys, shifting or enlarged sandbanks, etc., and other exceptional dangers to navigation; is often an ex-master and/or has completed pilot apprenticeship; sometimes specially designated, e.g. dock pilot, canal pilot, river pilot.
pilot apprentice
is attached to pilot tender and indentured, by pilotage authority, to learn, under supervision of pilot q.v., navigation of some particular stretch of water, e.g. river, harbour, dock entrance; must qualify for pilot's certificate; usually a youth qualified as A.B. sea man (735) q.v.
a slang term commonly used for a master q.v., more especially of smaller vessels, e.g. schooners, ketches, barges, etc.
skipper (trawler)
in command of a steam trawler, and responsible to owners for its safe navigation; as for master, except that (i) he is not required to and usually does not hold Board of Trade master's certificate and has more limited powers and responsibilities,
(ii) directs fishing operations as well as navigation, and is often partly remunerated by share in proceeds of catch.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.