Boatswain
Canadian Armed Forces
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
3d ago

Overview

Boatswains are the seamanship specialists of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). They are responsible for the safe operation and maintenance of the ship’s rigging, shipboard cargo handling equipment, boats and small craft.

Work environment

The range of their responsibilities and supervisory duties is wider than in most other seagoing occupations. Their primary responsibilities are to :

  • Operate and maintain shipboard equipment associated with cargo handling and inter-ship transfers of personnel, fuel, and materiel while at sea
  • Operate and maintain the ship’s equipment for such tasks as anchoring, towing, launching and recovering boats, and surface rescue operations
  • Operate and navigate small craft in all waters
  • Perform required tasks with ship’s rigging and lifesaving equipment
  • Organize the storage, training, and use of small arms, demolitions and ammunition
  • Plan, organize and conduct drill and ceremonies
  • Assist and supervise deck crews in maintaining the ship and its equipment
  • Coordinate watch keeping duties at sea and in harbour
  • Basic Military Qualification

    Basic occupational qualification training

    The next training is specific to the duties of Boatswains. It lasts about 12 weeks. It includes the following topics :

  • Working of anchors, cables and lines, and tasks associated with mooring, anchoring, and towing
  • Maintenance of the upper deck and its equipment
  • Transfer of materiel and personnel between ships at sea
  • Procedures for ship refuelling at sea
  • Naval recruits attend the Canadian Forces Fleet School in Esquimalt, British Columbia or the Canadian Forces Naval Operations School in Halifax, Nova Scotia for approximately five weeks.

    Training includes the following topics :

  • Rigging tasks including brows, ladders and buoys
  • Boat work, including high-speed small boat operation, boat maintenance and navigation
  • Rescue operations
  • Naval history and organization
  • Handling, preparation and detonation of demolition charges
  • Shipboard firefighting and damage control
  • Operation and maintenance of small arms, from rifle and pistol up to .50 calibre heavy machine-gun
  • Shipboard safety and ship’s security
  • Watchkeeping duties
  • Seamanship
  • Available specialty training

    Boatswains may be selected to develop specialized skills through formal courses and on-the-job training, including :

  • Naval Boarding Party
  • Ship's Diver
  • Charge of Tenders (i.e., small naval vessels)
  • Navigator's Yeoman
  • Instructional Techniques
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