Ordinary Seaman

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute

Massachusetts, USA
Posted on Saturday, June 22, 2024

Ordinary Seaman

Job ID
Marine Crew
Location : Location
US-MA-Woods Hole

Job Summary

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is currently searching for a temporary relief Ordinary Seaman to join the Ship Operations Department. This is a temporary, casual, non-exempt position, and is eligible for casual benefits. Must have STCW Basic Training and VPDSD endorsements.

Reporting to the Master, Chief Mate, or Deck Watch Officer, stands bridge watch at sea as a lookout, or with approval of Master, as quartermaster. Under supervision of the Bosun, maintains interior and exterior spaces and deck equipment and operates machinery during loading of stores and scientific operations.

Essential Functions and Responsibilities

  • Maintains an assigned cleaning station; Cleans, chips, scrapes, wire brushes, primes, and/or paints hull, bulkheads, decks, passageways, deck machinery, and spaces, as directed.
  • May operate vessel's small boats during launch and recovery operations, assists Bosun in ground tackle, deck winch, and crane, operations.
  • Stands wheel watch at sea and security watch in port.
  • Handles lines and rigging equipment, may assist AB working aloft.
  • While working with science gear, works in conjunction with Mate-On-Watch to insure all science personnel are in compliance with vessel safety standards.
  • Performs other duties as required.

Education & Experience

  • Requires a U.S. Coast Merchant Mariner's Credential endorsed as an Ordinary Seaman.
  • Prefer a high school diploma or equivalent education and Ordinary Seaman experience on a similar vessel or boat-related work.
  • Candidates must understand the principles of good seamanship and marine maintenance with respect to small boats and deck equipment.
  • All unlicensed personnel must have all applicable training as required by the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watch for Seafarers (STCW 95) .
  • Must hold an unexpired US Passport.
  • Must be able to pass a Pre-employment DOT drug screen.
  • Must hold an Unexpired (STCW Expiration date) USCG med Certificate.

Physical Requirements

  • All marine positions have essential functions that personnel must be able to perform, minimum physical capacities and requirements that all personnel must meet, and working conditions that may be considered hazardous.
  • Essential Functions
  • Work at least 8 hours per day and, at times in excess of 12 hours per day, 7 days per week.
  • Work at sea for three to five months continuously.
  • Live and work in cramped quarters, frequently in bad weather and with violent ship motion.
  • Pass examinations for visual acuity, color sense, and hearing as established in Title 46 CFR Parts 10 and 12, and pass a physical evaluation as described in the enclosed Navigation and Vessel Inspection Articles 6-89.
  • Climb steep and vertical ladders, and enter and exit compartments through hatches, doors, and sills up to two feet high.
  • Participate in emergency drills and in launching lifeboats and life rafts.
  • Perform physical labor, climb and handle moderate weights and equipment over 50 pounds.

Physical Capability

Example of Essential Function


Work in confined and unstable areas.

Bend, kneel, squat

Clean, maintain, and inspect equipment.


Reach work areas, equipment and stores by ladder and stairs.


Crawl through bilge pockets, and under ladders and winch beds.


Touch objects: where sight is limited.


Manipulate nuts, bolts, tools, and cleaning gear.


Handle equipment and stores with sure grip.

Hear, talk

Communicate with people.

Lift, carry

Load stores over 50 pounds.

Push, pull

Move equipment over 50 pounds.


Up, over, and under equipment and stores.


Read labels, menus, logs, charts, and gauges in poor lighting.


Operate crane, Avon, lifeboat, and life raft.


Work on equipment.


Perform rounds at sea.


Maintain logs.

Work Condition

Example of Hazardous Area/Duty

Confined areas

Store rooms, engine spaces, and tanks

Potential allergens and irritants

Fuels, solvents, cleaners, dust, fumes, smoke, and gases

Adverse weather

On deck in rough seas during equipment maintenance

Extreme temperatures

On deck in tropics and high latitudes; in engine room

Potential hazards

Being at sea; slippery and uneven surfaces; moving parts and objects; climbing ladders; and working aloft


Constant and loud engine room noise, blowers, exhaust fans


Protracted and irregular working hours


Ship's engines and chipping hammer


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WHOI is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer/Disabled/Veterans/M/F. We encourage Veterans and those with Disabilities to apply. Applications are reviewed confidentially. Applicants that require accommodation in the job application process are encouraged to contact us at (508) 289-2253 or email eeo@whoi.edu for assistance.

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