The position of tug boat captain requires a demonstrated ability to multitask, as well as strong leadership and command skills. A tug boat captain has the legal responsibility and accountability for the safe operation of a tug boat under a variety of challenging conditions and situations. Tug boats are used to push or pull cargo barges to transport materials and goods both domestically and internationally. They also are used to provide berthing assistance to large ships in harbors, as well as recovery and towing services to vessels in distress.
Using their specialized training, education and lifelong experience in local operating environments, tug boat captain determine how best to utilize navigational aids, as well as their boat's equipment, to safely transport barges and tow ships to their final location. They are responsible for the logistically, and often financial, interactions with both senior management and crew members on client vessels. They must have the ability to provide services on the high seas as well as in harbors, straits, rivers, and bays in order to be successful.
Tug boat captain also must be able to maintain the records, documentation and ship's logs required by international, federal, state and local laws and policies. This means that they must keep current on applicable shipping and marine laws and how they relate to the efficient operation of their tug boat.
Finally, a tug boat captain has to be able to direct the day-to-day operations as well as coordinating the on-board activities of the boat's crew such as operating engines, steering, and maintaining and repairing the ship's equipment.