Captain (nautical)

Captain (Nautical)

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Captain (nautical)

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The captain (alt. master or shipmaster) of a merchant vessel is a licensed mariner in ultimate command of the vessel. The captain is responsible for its safe and efficient operation, including cargo operations, navigation, crew management and ensuring that the vessel complies with local and international laws, as well as company and flag state policies. All persons on board, including officers and crew, other shipboard staff members, passengers, guests and pilots, are under captain's authority.

A ship's captain commands and manages all ship's personnel, and typically in charge of the ship's accounting, payrolls, and inventories. The captain is responsible for compliance with immigration and customs regulations, maintaining the ship's certificates and documentation, compliance with the vessel's security plan, as mandated by the International Maritime Organization. The captain is responsible for responding to and reporting in case of accidents and incidents, and in case of injuries and illness among the ship's crew and passengers.

A ship's captain must have a master's license or certificate, issued by the ship's flag state. Various types of licenses exist, specifying the maximum vessel size indicated in gross tonnage and in what geographic areas the captain can operate. An unlimited master's license or certificate (usually known as a master mariner's certificate) allows the captain to operate any...
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