A ship captain is the leader of an entire vessel, which can range in size from a small yacht to an entire cruise liner. He or she has vast experience with ships and their operation, and has likely worked their way through the ranks of other ship-related positions. Duties on the ship fall far beyond the scope of a management position, as the ship captain must be proficient in every aspect of running a ship, from ship operation to maintenance, and in the instance of touring ships, playing host to the passengers. The entire success of a ship's voyage lies on the captain's shoulders and how well he or she manages the crew.
A captain's responsibilities are wide-ranging in expertise and include navigation, operation of the ship's equipment, business functions, and the assignment and monitoring of duties performed by all crew members. Ensuring all equipment receives proper maintenance and follows environmental regulations also falls under their jurisdiction. Lesser, but equally important to their other duties, is the task of keeping regular logs throughout the journey, and supervising passengers and crew members embarking and disembarking the ship. Nearly everything that happens on the vessel must be rigorously documented and checked by the ship captain to keep a formal record of every excursion and the ship's functions throughout. In the instance of international travel, it is the captain's duty to meet the requirements of local and international customs and inspections.
In some cases, the captain must maintain the ship's financial operations and accounting, including cash-on-hand and payroll, in the absence of a purser on board. They must also be responsible for the ship's security, both in terms of basic operation and under extreme circumstances, such as responding to threats from terrorists, pirates, hijackers, and stowaways.
In the instance of trouble during the voyage that results in cargo damage or loss, improper ship piloting, or the injury or death of a crew member, a captain must act as a direct contact to local authorities to aid in the preceding investigation. They must provide thorough documentation and accounts of the event in question and be capable of providing any further information the investigative party may require.
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A ship captain's workplace is upon their particular boat, which can vary in type and size depending on their certification. The boat's territory may range from touring at sea, traveling rivers, or navigating various other waterways in between harbours. Because of the nature of maritime travel, a captain's stay at their workplace may be a day-to-day outing, or last for several weeks to months.