Captain / Pilot
REQUIRED CREDENTIALS: All vessel employees are required to hold a valid Transportation Workers Identification Credential (also known as TWIC®). A valid TWIC is required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act for workers who need access to secure areas of the nation’s maritime facilities and vessels. TSA conducts a security threat assessment (background check) to determine a person’s eligibility and issues the credential. Information on applying and enrolling for a TWIC card can be found on the Transportation Security Administration's TWIC Website.
All pilothouse personnel are required to possess a valid U.S. Coast Guard issued Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) for the area in which they will operate. The MMC is not valid if it has been revoked or is under suspension pursuant to a lawful order. The original MMC must be shown to the Personnel Manager at the time of employment. Any subsequent change in the status of a MMC must be reported immediately to the Personnel Manager.
All pilothouse personnel must maintain a valid FCC Restricted Radiotelephone Operators Permit or higher-class license.
WORK SCHEDULE: The standard work schedule for Pilothouse Personnel is 28 days on the vessel then either 14 or 28 days off. While on the boat, pilothouse personnel stand watch for 12 hours each day with the watch broken into two 6- hour watches. The Captain normally stands the forward watch (6:00 AM to Noon and 6:00 PM to Midnight). The Pilot normally stands the after watch (Noon to 6:00 PM and Midnight to 6:00 AM). The Relief Captain stands the after watch if riding with the Captain or stands the forward watch if riding with the Pilot.
When a pilothouse person is off duty, it is their responsibility to get adequate sleep and rest so they are capable of working safely and efficiently when required. Pilothouse personnel may be requested to return to a boat during their scheduled time off if an emergency arises.
PHYSICAL DUTIES OF THE JOB: Pilothouse personnel must be capable of ascending and descending stairs or ladders safely, of lifting or moving equipment that may be used while they are aboard the boat, and of performing their emergency duties as listed in the Station Bill. Pilothouse personnel must know how and when to use the emergency equipment located on the boat and be able to properly wear any safety equipment required by their duties.
Pilothouse personnel must have hearing that allows them to communicate effectively in the conditions that might be encountered aboard a towboat. They are required to communicate in English with other vessels, Coast Guard stations, Corp of Engineer Lockmasters and their own crew. Communications may be via VHF radio, orally, sound signals, or hand signals.
Pilothouse personnel must have vision that allows them to safely navigate the boat in situations that are likely to occur when a boat is in navigation night and day, year-round. They must have color vision that enables them to identify navigation lights, signals, and symbols, as well as warning lights or symbols. Their depth perception must be adequate for navigation in close quarters, as in approaching locks or bridges.
Pilothouse personnel must be able to read and to understand Coast Guard Notices to Mariners, Rules of the Road, Federal Regulations, Company Directives, Corps of Engineer Publications, and River Charts. They must be able to write so as to accurately record all events in the vessel log and to communicate as required in the course of their job.
MISCELLANEOUS DUTIES: Pilothouse personnel are responsible for the overall safety of the crew, boat, tow, and cargo during their watch. It is their responsibility to safely navigate the boat and tow while assuring that the remainder of the crew performs the daily functions for which the crew is responsible. Pilothouse personnel must make certain that the boat, tow, and crew are operated in strict compliance with any and all company policies. They shall monitor the crew to the extent necessary to be reasonably certain that everyone aboard the vessel is knowledgeable of and in compliance with the drug and alcohol, pollution, safety, and other company policies.
Pilothouse personnel may require the crew members to perform physical tasks necessary to assure the safe operation of the boat and tow. While the Mate is generally responsible for daily supervision of the deck crew, the pilothouse personnel must monitor the actions of the crew to assure the safety of all personnel, the boat, the tow, and cargo.
The Captain/Relief Captain must make certain that the boat and tow are in good operating condition to the maximum extent possible, that the crew is ready to operate the boat in a safe manner, and that the crew knows their duties. The Captain/Relief Captain is responsible for making certain that vessel navigation equipment, Charts, Notice to Mariners, VHF Radios, Radar, Sounder, machinery, rigging, and all related equipment are in good operating condition, current, and ready for his or her scheduled trip. Maintenance of an accurate and current log is the responsibility of the Captain/Relief Captain.
Pilothouse personnel are required to investigate all accidents occurring on their watch involving the boat or crew and make a report to the office. Initial reports may be oral, but written reports must be completed in a timely manner.
SECURITY DUTIES: The Captain is designated as the Vessel Security Officer. The Relief Captain or the Pilot has been designated the Alternate Vessel Security Officer. The Vessel Security Officer is responsible for the overall security of the tow and shall be guided in those responsibilities by our Coast Guard approved Vessel Security Plan.
OTHER INFORMATION: Every crew member is required to be aware of and comply with all directives, policies, and procedures contained in the company's Towing Safety Management System (TSMS). Good working relationship with other members of the crew are an important part of the daily routine aboard the boat; every crew member is expected to promote good working relationships.