Who does what on the state ferry

Posted: Sunday, May 06, 2001

W hile a state ferry's engines power a voyage, the crew members on board keep the operation running.

Alaska Marine Highway System General Manager George Capacci describes a state ferry as "a floating city."

The ship's captain - who is in charge of the entire ship and all departments - is assisted by the chief mate, second and third mates. The deck department includes the bosun, able-bodied seaman, ordinary seaman, ordinary seaman porter and watchman. Crew members in the deck department stand bridge watches, tie up and untie the ship, load and unload the vehicle deck and inspect survival equipment, among other tasks.

The engineering department includes the chief engineer, first assistant engineer, second assistant engineer, third assistant engineer, junior engineer, oiler and wiper. The engineering department watches and maintains the ship's engines, propulsion, steering, electric, heating and cooling systems.

The purser and his or her staff are in charge of passenger and business services, including accommodations, records, ticketing, correspondence and medical emergencies.

The steward oversees the galley, gift shop, staterooms and bar. The department includes room stewards, general stewards, cooks, storekeepers, bartenders, waiters and cashiers.

"It's an incredible feat what the marine highway system does 24 hours a day, seven days a week," Capacci said.

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