What Does A Harbour Master Do?

There are many roles that are given to individuals working in the port or the harbour. One such job of prime importance is of the harbour master. Like the station master in a railway station the harbour master in a port does some functions that are required for the smooth running of the port.

What Does A Harbour Master Do?

In short the harbour master is basically responsible for the safety navigation at the port. He also checks the security of the harbour and ensures that the port facilities work well. The harbour masters also provide local safety information to the mariners coming to the port.

These are called notice to mariners. These notice inform the mariners of the rules that they need to follow when they are on the port. The ports have numerous navigational aids. The harbour master is responsible to check if the navigational aids are well maintained and they are in a good condition.

Emergency Duties

The harbour master is responsible to handle emergency situation in the port. This is a common situation in a port and if not handled well by the situation can go out of control. The harbour master also checks the vessels that come to the port. They also need to check the pilotage services in a port. These ensure that the port is in control.

The ports are busy places. Every day you will have hundreds of ships coming and going. This is exactly why the harbour master has to be very clear of his duties and should know how to manage the port at any given time.

Detention and Other Powers

The harbour master has been given powers too so that he can operate well. The harbour master can detain and even arrest anyone who is trying to go against the rule of the harbour. The harbour master employed by the port authority of London is also allowed to take an enforcement rule in the port that they are working for. The harbour master is well trained for the job that they do. The role is complex and the complexities increase with the size of the port.

The various actions that a harbour master is allowed to investigate are criminal acts, customs, excise and even environmental pollution issues. Once the harbour master finds anyone defaulting in any of the mentioned departments then they will inform the immigration office, the coastguards and etc. From here these people can take control of the situation. This is as per the report given by the harbour master.

The harbour master is perhaps given a lot of authority. Well that has to be given to ensure that the port runs smoothly. If the harbour master is not given these rights then the port may not be as well managed as it is now. As we have already mentioned that to become a harbour master you must have a good knowledge about the ships and now they operate.

Most of the harbour masters are either from merchant navy or defence navy. Ports are both commercial and defence ports. The harbour master working for commercial ports are called civilian. The harbour master who works in a defence port is called military that’s all. This is because both the ports work on different scales and have different complications. This is exactly why the harbour masters also have different roles in both the cases.

Any person who has good years of experience working in the navy is eligible to become a harbour master. The advantage being that they don’t have to go on to the sea for months. The pay is good and the harbour master’s job is very well respected for the authority associated with the same.

A Challenging Job

Harbour master is a challenging job. Still many feel that it does not have the charm and adventure that is associated with sailing. Many countries have different names for the harbour master. Even in England they are called superintended of the dockyard.

In some large ports there is a chief harbour master and there are a number of small harbour masters working under him. This is because the port needs more harbour masters for its size. As per the requirement some governments have given more authority to the harbour master and some have given less. Overall the job of the harbour master is more or less the same.

We hope that you have got a good idea on what harbour master actually is and what job they do in a port. The role is complex and challenging. There are many harbour masters across the world who is working to ensure that the ports function smoothly.

Very few people know that there is a profession called the harbour master. This was just an attempt to make people aware of this role and the benefits of the same. No matter which port in the world you are in it cannot work smoothly till there is a harbour master in the same.

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