Engineers

A career in engineering onboard a fishing vessel offers a fantastic opportunity to learn a technical trade in a thrilling and exciting environment.

Engineers are responsible for maintaining and repairing electrical and mechanical equipment on the fishing vessel. More information about training for fishermen can be found here.

 

Trainee engineer

Trainee engineers work as part of a team on deck, and occasionally in the engine room. Sharing many responsibilities with trainee deckhands, trainee engineers will gradually be given more duties relating to maintenance and repair of equipment.

Trainee engineers may want to progress to second engineers, or instead pursue a career as a skipper. Engineers can also move into other maritime industries, such as the Merchant Navy.

All trainee engineers must attend approved basic safety training before going to sea, as well as courses covering the basic Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) statutory basic safety training in sea survival, first aid, fire fighting, and health and safety. Trainee engineers must also be physically fit with good eyesight and an ability to communicate and work well with others.

 

 

Second engineer

The second engineer on a fishing vessel is responsible for maintaining all mechanical and electrical equipment including propulsion equipment, steering equipment and board pumping equipment. This includes testing and diagnosing faults. On vessels with an engine power of 750kw of more, second engineers will assist the chief engineer.

Second engineers can progress to the role of chief engineer after receiving the MCA Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency (Fishing Vessel) Class 1. Alternatively, moving into other maritime industries is an option for second engineers.

If working on a fishing vessel with an engine power of 750kw or more, second engineers must hold the Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency (Fishing Vessel) Class 2. To be eligible to sit for this, you must be over 19 years of age and meet the following criteria:

  • Have completed a six-week approved course on the operation and maintenance of machinery
  • Have two years of sea service in an engineering capacity on a fishing vessel with an engine of 100kw or more

or

  • Full engineering apprenticeship and six months of sea service in an engineering capacity on a fishing vessel with an engine of 100kw or more

or

  • Full engineering apprenticeship followed by three months in the Merchant Navy or Royal Marines in an engineering capacity plus three months of sea service in an engineering capacity on a fishing vessel with an engine of 100kw or more

or

  • 30 months of sea service in an engineering capacity on a fishing vessel with an engine of 100kw or more

and

  • Pass the Engineer Officer (Fishing Vessel) Class 2 Oral Examination
  • Hold the basic sea survival, first aid, fire fighting and safety awareness certificates, as well as the advanced fire fighting certificate and the medical first aid certificate.

Chief engineer

 

Chief engineers will use their extensive knowledge of health and safety and fishing vessel machinery to deal with engineering emergencies, and to oversee the maintenance and operation of the vessel's engine and machinery. This includes regularly testing steering equipment, operating all onboard pumping equipment, monitoring instruments and equipment, and diagnosing mechanical and electrical faults. The chief engineer is also responsible for any other engineering personnel on the vessel.

Chief engineers looking for career progression may consider moving into related maritime industries, including the Merchant Navy, where fishing vessel experience will be well recognised.

For chief engineers working on fishing vessels with an engine power of 750kw or more, there is a statutory requirement to hold the MCA Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency (Fishing Vessel) Class 1. To be eligible to sit for this, candidates must hold an Engineer Officer Certificate of Competency Class 2, and have satisfactorily completed at least:

  • 21 months of qualifying sea service in an engineering capacity on a fishing vessel with an engine of 750kw or more and
  • Courses in basic sea survival, first aid, fire fighting and safety awareness, advanced fire fighting and medical first aid.