Duties of 2nd Engineer on Ship

One of the most important positions in the hierarchy level of maritime professionals working on the ship is the position of Second engineer. As the position comes under the management level category, second engineer’s job is not only limited to carry out his own duties but also to look after the entire operation of the engine room and other technical aspects of the ship.

The 2nd engineer provides utmost assistance to the Chief engineer for running the ship efficiently. Moreover, second engineer is also in-charge of all the operational engineers and the crew of the engine room. He ensures for their personnel safety and routine duties. He also plans the overall maintenance of all the machinery present in the engine room of the ship.

Credits: depositphotos.com
Credits: depositphotos.com

Duties of 2nd Engineer

A brief description of the duties of second engineer is as follows:


  1. Safety of Personnel: Second engineer is responsible for risk assessment, briefing and safety training of the entire engine crew, especially for the junior engineers and fresh crew.
  2. LSA and FFA: He is responsible for operation and maintenance of life saving appliances and fire fighting appliances.
  3. Emergency equipment: All the emergency machinery and equipments under SOLAS are responsibility of second engineer.
  4. Rest hours: The rest hour of all the individual working in the engine room has to be taken care of by the second engineer as per STCW.

Pollution Prevention

  1. Pollution Prevention Machineries: He is the person in-charge of Pollution prevention equipment onboard like OWS, Sewage plant, incinerator etc.
  2. Oil transfer: He is responsible for all oil transfer operations carried out onboard including bunkering.
  3. Pollution prevention plan: He is responsible for implementation of SOPEP and other the equipments involved with the same.
  4. Sludge and bilge: Second engineer has to keep the engine room bilge clean of oil and oily water. All tank parameters are to be recorded for sludge and bilge system.
  5. Regulations: All the rules and regulation related to MARPOL has to be applied and implemented by the second engineer.

Engine Room Management

  1. Responsibility: He is the in-charge for managing the engine room staff and carrying out duties of the engine room.
  2. Assistance: He directly reports to the chief engineer and also becomes the in-charge of the engine room on his absence/behalf.
  3. Job distribution: He distributes and assigns duties to all the engine crew members and acts as supervisor to them.
  4. Housekeeping: He is also the in-charge of engine room housekeeping and engine room garbage management.
  5. Spares and inventory: Second engineer is responsible for storing all the spares properly and keeping and maintaining record of the spares’ inventory.

Operation and Maintenance of Machinery

  1. Engine room and deck machinery: The second engineer is responsible for the maintenance of all the engine room and deck machinery.
  2. Safe operation: He is responsible to make sure all the machineries and safety systems are working safely, efficiently and within the provided parameters.
  3. PMS and BMS: Planned maintenance system(PMS) is to be implemented by the second engineer and in case of any breakdown maintenance (BMS), should be immediately taken care of by him.


  1. Record keeping: Different records of the engine room have to be maintained and updated regularly. This is the responsibility of the second engineer. A few examples of important records are log book, bell book, Saturday or Monday routine book etc.
  2. Spare Inventory: All the spares for engine room machineries like pumps, auxiliary engine etc are to be stored and inventory to be maintained and updated regularly.
  3. Oil inventory: The quantity for oil present in the tanks for machinery operation like lube oil, fuel or diesel oil etc has to be recorded in an oil record book. A track for the next bunker order also needs to be  maintained.
  4. PMS: The planned maintenance system paper work like updating the maintenance data etc. is to be completed under the second engineer supervision.


  1. He is responsible for familiarising the crew member with safety features of the ship such as emergency escape, life boat, sopep etc.
  2. He should supervise the engine crew for training them to operate pollution prevention machineries like OWS, sewage plant etc.
  3. He is responsible to train the crew members for various emergency situations like flooding, fire, pirates attack and abandon ship etc.

This is a general overview of the duties of second engineer on board a ship. Second engineer is the most influencing personality in the engine room and needs to have great leadership quality apart from stoic and cool mindset.

You may also like to read Challenges of a job at sea & Shipping Jobs: A Field of Great Opportunities .

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  1. -What Gas used in the A/C plant.,Freon 12,Carbodioxide,Nitrogen,or Freon 22.

    – Why Steering gear system fitted in Aft of the ship

    Please let me know as soon



  2. ms/miss my name is Gerardo Sierra i am a second engineer and i want know if you have opportunity to work with you’ll please let me know as son as possible how i can do to get job with you’ll thanks also i am from Honduras i am ready to star work any time

  3. hai iam an 3 rd year mechanical engineering student i wanna become marine engineer so plese send detail information to my email about subjets

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