Fifth Engineer or Junior engineer, a rank on the ship who are an all-rounder with no responsibility on the head. They work as a helping hand for all the other engineers and report to the second engineer in the ship. A junior engineer should be an industrious and obedient person who always works with a learning attitude. So, he should know the important task to carry out daily of taking round before his watch. Taking round is a task which needs your full attention and observation technique.
The things you should carry before taking round are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a plastic pen, a small note making a diary, torch, and an adjustable spanner. Your round should follow in a way of “funnel to tunnel” a golden rule in the ship.
- Take entry from funnel deck, while doing so always observe the color of the smoke coming from the funnels. Try to identify the funnels like differentiate among boiler, generator and main engine uptakes. Check the wires of the fire dampers near the entry gate of funnel deck to the engine Always check the wires are tight enough and the proper greasing is there on wires.
- Taking the stairs, always check the outlet temperature of Exhaust Gas Boiler (EGB) while going downstairs. In the poop deck machinery, you will find incinerator, waste oil tank, safety valves of the boiler, the inlet temperature of EGB and if tanker vessel, then IG plant can be seen. As a junior engineer, keeping all the records of the soundings of all the engine room tanks is a compulsory task. Every junior engineer must do it and make this as a habit in themselves.
- In poop deck, you will find fire control station. Always include this room in your round and check the keys are in the designated place. Check the air pressure of the quick closing valve’s air bottle. If found low, trace its filling line and fill it. Check the blower room, find at the exit of poop deck to the weather deck.
- Take entry in the Control room floor and report the Watchkeeping Engineer in Engine Control Room (ECR) and take the round of the remaining engine room. Take the walkie-talkie from these and double check the communication with ECR
- Check the parameters like pressure, temperature and oil level of all the machinery. Always observe the panel and check for any sign of malfunction of the machinery and always do the lamp test.
- When coming to boilers always check for the smell of fuel near the boiler. If that occurs, always concern your senior. Check the steering room and the Emergency Fire Pump tunnel. There are cases where ingress of water took place in that area near Emergency Fire Pump. Inspect the indicator panel of steering and also check the level of grease box of the steering gear.
- While coming to Main Engine and Auxiliary Engine check all the units and record all the readings. Check for all the temperature and pressure especially the scavenge air temperature, turbocharger exhaust temperature and take a close look and all the indicators fitted on the engine. These all things to be done for Generator also.
- Enter the purifier room and always check the drains of the fuel oil heaters. Take sounding of the sludge tank if available in the room. Always check for the exhaust blower running inside the purifier room. Check the purifiers for any abnormal sound and do the de-sludge operation observing the drains of the purifier ensure no overflowing is going on. This can also be checked through the sludge tanks readings. This is why taking reading is a very important task.
- Check the amount of water inside the Fuel oil service tanks by pressing down the drain valves. Till how much time water is coming from them gives you a clear sign of the purifier’s working. Take the readings of all the gauges found inside the purifier room and note them in your notepad.
- In the bottom floor, you will find the sounding pipes of all the tanks take daily sounding plus note them regularly. Check the bilges for any trace of water or oil. If any trace of oil comes, immediately report to the Officer-In-charge. Take the real-time exposure of all the units of the main engine by touching the crankcase door. Use your torch on the sight glasses of Piston Cooling oil and check it is flowing continuously or not when the engine is running. Check all the running machinery and note all the readings and assist your watch keeping engineer to fill up the log book.
This is all about how to take round before your watch. But according to the ship and duty timings, things can be altered. As if the discharging of the tanker is going on then you have to take rounds of COPT’s and pump rooms too. If you are working on gas tankers, then compressor rooms and all are to be monitored. This is the advantage with a junior engineer on the ship. Nobody is expecting anything from you except show interest in learning things. A cadet and junior engineers are kids of the ship. Always put your learning attitude in front of everyone. Take knowledge from everywhere. Every person on the ship is having more experience than you. So, try to be a helping hand to everyone and you will get a tremendous learning experience of all the things and activities which are carried on the ship.
Well, these are all my personal point of view, if there are more points that you want to add, you can always put in the comments section.