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Encyclopedia > Merchant navy
It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Merchant Marine. (Discuss)

The merchant navy is the term most commonly used in English-speaking countries to denote ships owned and operated by civilian companies (merchant shipping). In the United States merchant shipping is known as the merchant marine. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ...

The British merchant navy was once one of the largest fleets in the world, but in the 1970s and 1980s many companies 're-flagged', that is registered their ships, in other countries, such as Panama and The Bahamas. The reason for this change was mainly due to high taxation.

In recent years NUMAST, the trade union of the merchant navy, has lobbied the UK government to reconsider the level of taxation placed upon shipping companies, and several new tax breaks have begun to raise the total number of ships that fly the UK flag. The flag that is flown by UK registered ships is the red ensign, usually referred to as the "Red Duster". Until 2nd October 2006 the National Union of Marine, Aviation and Shipping Transport Officers (NUMAST) was a British trade union representing shipmasters, officers and cadets serving on merchant ships, as well as other maritime workers such as harbourmasters and marine pilots. ... The examples and perspective in this article or section may not represent a worldwide view. ... The Red Ensign, as currently used by the United Kingdoms Merchant Navy The Red Ensign is a flag that originated in the early 1600s as an ensign flown by the Royal Navy. ...

The merchant navy, like the military, has both ratings and officers, both career paths require training and are usually open to applicants between the ages of 16 and 25. Ratings attend a system of training known as a 'Marine Traineeship' and must complete both academic and practical training. Officers undergo a 'Marine Cadetship' and must also complete academic training and 'sea time', that is time spent on ship learning the practical aspects of the job. The two methods of training result in an NVQ and a HND respectively. A National Vocational Qualification, or NVQ, is a certificate of vocational education in the United Kingdom. ... A Higher National Diploma (HND) is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom, and is a BTEC qualification awarded by Edexcel, in England. ...

There are two main career paths within the merchant navy: deck and engineering. A third career path is the recently introduced Electro-Technical Officer (ETO). A deck officer's duties would include navigation, cargo loading and supervision, and most legal paperwork. An engineering officer's duties are mainly focused on maintenance of the ships machinery, although some engineers do work for shipyards in the construction process. An ETO is a trained engineer who also has qualifications that allow the officer to maintain vital electrical equipment such as radio equipment and RADAR. Due to the complex nature of this equipment, most mechanical engineers are unable to perform this kind of maintenance, so ETOs are normal marine engineers given extra training. Although ETOs are relatively new, many companies are beginning to employ them, although mechanical engineers are still employed too. Table of geography, hydrography, and navigation, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... This long range RADAR antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll[1]. RADAR is a system that uses radio waves to detect, determine the direction and distance and/or speed...

The ETO rank owes its existence to the merging of the radio officer and electrician roles. From the late 1980s shipping companies sought to combine the former separate roles of electrican and radio officer into a single role of ETO. Some were engineers who elected to train in electronics, others former radio officers who went on to take engineering watch keeping certificates.

The radio officer was originally placed onboard following the enquiry into the sinking of the Titanic. Safety of life at sea, or SOLAS regulations required that listening watches be maintained on all ships over 1600grt to listen out for and respond to ships in distress.

The R/Os main responsibilities were radio communications, and maintenance of the radio room equipment, and bridge navigational equipment, including the radars. These responsibilities grew over the years to encompass secretarial and administrative duties. The launch of communication satellites during the 1960s and 1970s paved the way for the demise of the R/O. Comsat launched their first commercial satellite in 1976 and from then on shipping companies who could afford to began to experiment with the new system. By the mid 1980s satellite communication domes had become a familiar sight at sea.

The Global Maritime Distress and Safety System or GMDSS was introduced in stages during the 1990s starting with 1 February 1992 from which date any shipping company who chose to fit satcoms were allowed to sail without an R/O. From 1995 all new ships had to be fitted with satcoms and from 1st Feb 1999 all ships had to be so fitted thus bringing to an end the rank of radio officer. February 1 is the 32nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


External links

  • International Mercantile Marine Forum / People Search
  • Australian Merchant Navy: Second World War
  • New Zealand Merchant Navy: Second World War
  • Canada Merchant Navy: Second World War
  • Merchant Navy Association of Northern Ireland
  • The Chamber of Shipping
  • Careers at Sea
  • The Maritime Trade Union
  • British Merchant Navy Association
  • The Merchant Navy Training Board

  Results from FactBites:
Merchant Navy (394 words)
Merchant ships were attacked not only in distant waters but also within sight of the Australian coastline while traversing much frequented trade routes.
Contrary to popular belief, merchant seaman were not well-paid, did not have comfortable working hours, and their living conditions were often very poor.
Given the union’s claim of a total membership of 4,500 at the beginning of the war, the overall fatality rate among seamen members of the SUA during the Second World War was 8.5 per cent, a rate higher than that sustained by Australia’s fighting services.
Merchant Navy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1110 words)
Merchant Navy, also known as Merchant Marine denotes a class of seagoing vessels owned and operated by civilian companies, as opposed to the single word Navy, which denotes fighting ships owned and operated by the military arms of sovereign countries.
Prior to the end of the First World War when she sailed more than half of the world's tonnage, it was known as the Merchant Service, and became the Merchant Navy by a Royal Proclamation of George V, in recognition of the fact that the service sailed valiantly alongside the Royal Navy's fighting ships.
Merchant mariners are held in high esteem as a result of extraordinary losses in times of war.
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