Who is the Boatswain?

The Boatswain—or ‘Bosun’—works for the Deck Department onboard as the foreman and head of the department for the ship. The role is the first point of contact between the ships' officers and the deck crew and we have the overall responsibility in ensuring that discipline is maintained.

What does the Boatswain do?

We ensure that deck operations are carried out in a safe and controlled manner, giving out daily duties to individual crew members. We also ensure that all the deck equipment and deck stores are up to date and available for the large variety of work that Trinity House undertakes, be it lighthouse refuelling by helicopter, general buoy work, lightvessel moorings, wreck marking or any other operation to be carried out.

Within recent years we have also taken on the responsibility of completing personal development plans and reports for the deck department which has led to us working more closely with the office based staff while ensuring a high level of training, certification and grading is maintained.

The Boatswain’s role within Trinity House

There are four Bosuns within the organisation: John Jones, Gwinfur Roberts, Simon Wakelin and myself. There is one Bosun on each watch of Patricia and Galatea and between us we have over 80 years’ experience and service within Trinity House. Our role—like Trinity House—is constantly changing and evolving, with new technologies being introduced and new challenges to overcome. But we need to always learn from the past and keep an eye on the traditions and maintain the high levels of seamanship that are expected within Trinity House.

This article is taken from the Trinity House Flash journal (#26 Spring 2017)