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Meet Ryndam’s Deck Officers

Front row: (from left) Nathan Ferris (Cadet Officer), Partio Manullang (Cadet Officer),
James Musgrove (4th Officer) and Thijs Menjer (4th Officer).
Back: James Bradley (Chief Officer), Andrew Baker (2nd Officer),
Derk Siebbeles (2nd Officer), Christopher Davies (3rd Officer),
Ronald Meijer (3rd Officer)and Mark Rowden (Captain).

Many people call a cruise ship a “floating hotel,” but without the Deck and Technical departments, Ryndam would be on a cruise to nowhere, going nowhere!

This month we take you onto the Bridge and introduce you to some of the people in the Deck Department who make it happen — whether it’s steering the ship from port to port or looking after the safety and life-saving equipment, (not to mention the paperwork). Their job is to ensure that we all enjoy a safe and pleasant cruise.

The view from the Bridge is certainly one of the best you can get on board the Ryndam — either through the huge windows and out to the horizon or just by glancing around at the hundreds of dials, displays, control panels and sophisticated equipment used to monitor and direct the operational status and maneuverability of the ship.

Manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, (even when the ship is in port), the Bridge is the primary operational and control center of the ship.

Deck officers work in a system of Bridge “watches,” usually four hours at a time. They are also assisted by two quartermasters who act as “lookouts” and who actually steer the ship under the command of the officer on watch, the Chief Officer or the Captain.

So why is it that you often see deck officers in khakis, climbing into hatches and looking into ceiling panels? It’s all about safety. Read on.

There are five main “officer designated” functions within the Deck Department and these are shared in rotation by the team, according to rank and experience. Some functions are more popular than others. For example, which would you prefer—sitting in an office checking life jackets and muster lists or taking the fast rescue boat out for a morning ride? Both are just as important in terms of our safety.

Not many people realize that every time a guest or crew member disembarks, the administration officer, currently James Musgrove, has to look at the muster list and change or update life boat/raft allocations. He is also responsible for issuing and collecting life jacket cards which can be a big job itself when there is a huge crew turnaround.

The administration officer is also responsible for keeping the ship’s log book up to date. Every significant event that takes place on the ship is recorded in the log book, including all safety and emergency drills.

Scheduling drills and making sure that the crew are properly trained for all emergencies is one of the responsibilities of Andrew Barker, the 2nd officer SMS (Safety Management Systems). We don’t just do it for fun, the ship is required to conduct all these drills under the SOLAS (Saftety of Life at Sea) regulations. Andrew also looks after workplace safety, some environmental issues and the ship’s stability.

The jobs of 2nd safety officer and 3rd lifesaving officer are currently undertaken by Derk Siebbeles and Chris Davies. These are the guys you often see in khakis. The 2nd safety officer looks after the fire detection system including fire dampers, sprinkler heads, fire screen and water tight doors. The life-saving officer looks after and maintains all the lifeboats and rafts, break doors and gangways. He’s also the one who gets to go in the rescue boat!

Finally, the navigation officer is responsible for all voyage planning, setting up course lines and ensuring that the ship follows a safe route to its next port. Ronald Meijer is already working on the Ryndam’s future voyages & upcoming Alaska season.

In a nutshell…

Get to know and listen to these officers — one day it may just save your life!

Sheldon James is Ryndam’s human resources manager.

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